Soft Skills For Tech Professionals - Creativity, Communication & Collaboration - Speaker Series #3

By Terence Lee

On July 22, 2017, EqOpTech hosts a third tech talk in a series of Speaker/Workshop for students interested in the tech fields. The tech talk features Shrikant Nasikkar, Entrepreneur, Founder/CEO of Chaperone, a silicon valley startup.  

Speaker Series #3 featuring Shrikant Nasikkar, Entrepreneur, Found CEO, Chaperone

Speaker Series #3 featuring Shrikant Nasikkar, Entrepreneur, Found CEO, Chaperone

Nasikkar kicks off the meeting by sharing the SmartUp app, a platform to help develop soft skills: communication, creativity, collaboration. Students are given a template with 2 different characters: Martian and Teletubby to create a scenario. Based on the exercise, students explore different ideas using imagination and creativity, communicate the idea with one another, learn from one another, collaborate to improve and make it better.

“Every child is an artist”
”Imagination is the source of all human achievement”
Sir Ken Robinson

The takeaway here is that there is no right or wrong answer, everyone is born with creativity. It is the different background and subjectivity that bring forth perspective and imagination that breed success. Do not be afraid to always try something different, see a different perspective or a different path, learn to weigh the pros and cons, and challenge oneself to a better way of doing things. 

Speaker Series #3 - Soft skills: Creativity, Communication & Colaboration

Speaker Series #3 - Soft skills: Creativity, Communication & Colaboration

Knowledge versus Applied Knowledge

Today, ideas and knowledge can be googled easily, the best idea may not be original, but "it is what you do with it that gets recognized in a startup environment," according to Nasikkar. Knowledge is always there, the idea is not worth anything until you take the next step to apply the knowledge to solve a problem. Just like it is not the first time one see the characters on the drawing, it is that open-mindedness, creative thinking, willing to experiment and explore, peer learning and collaboration that makes the idea and activities valuable. 

Creative Engagement in Technology

Nasikka showcases his Teens Take Off at Kaiser Permanente, using Adobe Illustrator, Flash, InDesign to create an interactive game designed to help teens lose weight as a group therapy. The tool is made available to enrolled patients which allow them to learn about healthy habits while having fun.

Nasikka's Ergonomics design utilizes Adobe Illustrator, Flash and Photoshop to help Kaiser solve some of its health challenges. SmartMoves was a program designed to help their 900k employees with Ergonomics at the workplace. 

Thanks to technology, through creative design and content, he can create tools to effectively engage stakeholders to change behavior. "The technology part is easy, it is the content design, user interface, user experience (UI/UX) that takes creative thinking," said Nasikka. "Think out of the box,stretch, go beyond your comfort zone and don't be bound by normal boundaries." He also said that if something is normal, it becomes mundane; it is the only if something fails that creates an opportunity to learn something new.

Changing behavior remains the key challenge to success

When asked about what are the future challenges for start-up like Chaperone, Nasikka said there are 2 challenges, (1) create awareness (2) change behavior. Buying more advertising can address customer awareness. But behavior change takes time and education. Rideshare is a movement, an evangelism; analogous to the green movement of banning plastic bags in California. Overtime, shoppers are now accustomed to carrying their own recycled bags. 

Thank you to Mr. Nasikka for an inspired presentation

On behalf of our attendees, EqOpTech would like to sincerely thank our speaker for taking the time to share his invaluable experiences and words of wisdom.

Speaker Series #3 featuring Shrikant Nasikkar, Entrepreneur, Found CEO, Chaperone

Speaker Series #3 featuring Shrikant Nasikkar, Entrepreneur, Found CEO, Chaperone

Our past and upcoming events are posted on our website here, including topics on networking, cyber security, user interface development, entrepreneurship, machine learning, artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship and CAD engineering etc. Please stay tuned.

Our Equal Opportunity Technology program is made possible thanks to Los Altos Community Foundation community grant award.

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