Architecting the Future Together Across the Global Network

September 21, 2021

Architecting the Future Together Across the Global Network

Last week, I highlighted the (not-so -secret) special sauce of Venture Café: we are a community that wants each other to win. It’s that sense of fellowship and support that allows us to experiment boldly and fail with the confidence that we’re making progress.

I was reminded of how much the spirit our gatherings extend across geography in a recent conversation with Dr. Yasuhiro (Yasu) Yamakawa, who leads Venture Café Tokyo. One of great opportunities of our virtual, now hybrid, gatherings is connecting across the Venture Café Global Network. Even when we are not hopping into Cafes across time zones on Thursdays, we’re always sharing and learning from one another.

Yasu noted that it’s in our DNA.  Tokyo and Philadelphia Venture Cafés were founded about a year apart, and both were influenced by a scientific mindset.

When founding Venture Café Tokyo, one of the goals was to ignite and celebrate failure. In fact, each week, Yasu would ask his team after the Thursday Gathering, “What do we want to fail at next week?”  It’s no surprise he has become known as Dr. Failure.

Venture Café Philly was founded as part of the Science Center to continue the work of, to borrow a phrase from Buckminister Fuller, “architecting the future” though innovation together. Each week, our team would ask “what if we X?” or “how can we try Y?” Experimentation was critical to our process, and so too, was learning from failure.

But how about now, three years later?

We both agreed that, if anything, experimentation and failure is more critical than ever. In a rapidly changing– volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA)—  world, our gatherings have shifted from in-person to virtual-only to now a new model of hybrid experiences. And we should expect more changes to come, whether that be through augmented reality or something yet to be invented.

Our work in architecting the future together each Thursday is not to find one, right model, but to keep designing and iterating new ones.

In this spirit, I want to highlight a session next Thursday, September 30th that we collaborated with our Global Network and B. PHL to curate exploring the Future of AI and Big Data in Healthcare Innovation. The session will feature perspectives from April Walker, GM, US Microsoft Technology Centers; David West, CEO Proscia; Dr. Ligia Kornowska, M.D., Managing Director, Polish Hospital Federation; and will be Moderated by: Simon Turner, Founder, Nomis Life Sciences.

Jen Rajchel