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Posted by on Jan 22, 2013 in Inspiration, Startup Life | 0 comments

Girl Geek Dinner #32 at Palantir

Girl Geek Dinner #32 at Palantir

The Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner events never fail to inspire me, with stories told by amazing women in technology — and last week’s dinner hosted at Palantir was probably one of my favorite.

Girl Geek Dinner #32 on January 15th brought together roughly 200 women in technology, ranging from engineers, designers, marketing types; to students looking to break into the field.

Palantir treated girl geeks like queens. We were met at the door with a selection of cocktails, great food… and if you didn’t feel like you indulged enough, there was a dessert table with mousse and fruit caviar and espresso push-up pops.

Then, it was time for the talks. The speakers included Lucy Bernholz, a visiting scholar at Stanford University, who talked about disrupting philanthropy with data; Maura O’Neil, the chief innovation officer at USAID; Chelsea Geyer, a crisis tracker project developer from Resolve, who talked about the importance of vulnerable communities being able to warn each other in emergencies; and Mary Quigley, a senior business development manager who specializes in data and system security.

All of the speakers were Palantir users, talking about using technology for good.

Here are some of the interesting points mentioned during the discussion (please note these are not my thoughts, but transcripts from the talks):

- There are a million and a half nonprofits in the U.S…. and they’re driven by passion.
- Impact investing is entirely dependent on shareable data.
- Data first philanthropy is the future of the social sector.
- How to use data to affect real change. More data doesn’t equal solutions.
- “We’re seeing radios on bamboo shoots. And that’s the point of technology is it adapts to its surroundings.”
- The trends are going cheaper, faster, smaller, mobile and more ubiquitous.
- There will be 1-3 billion more people on the Internet in the next decade.
- 75% of our economy is based on retail. Shopping.
- There are 7 billion phones in the world. 2 billion of those have no bank account.
- “We’re hard wired for connection. It’s an emotional thing. We desperately, desperately need to connect.”
- Why women don’t have their fair share of jobs at the top: “It’s not because they’re having babies.”
- “You think, ‘If only I was better… smarter… more connected.’ They will promote him over her. That is world we live in.”
- “You will find that you have to be fearless… It is possible to do amazing things.”

Girl geeks were then able to mingle a little while longer, create a FlipBook and check out more Palantir demos before leaving with a water bottle and canvas bag.

If you’re a female in technology and you haven’t had a chance to check out these events, I highly recommend them. They’re my favorite meetup in the Bay Area right now.

Have you attended any of the Girl Geek Dinners? Which one stands out as your favorite, and why? Tell us in the comments below.

Paulette Bleam

Paulette Bleam

Director of Community at Sumazi
Paulette Bleam is the Director of Community & Operations at Sumazi. Prior to Sumazi, she was a journalist, working as a writer, editor and television news producer at some top-tier publications and stations in the country, including ABC News and ESPN. Outside of Sumazi, she’s a world-level competitive salsa dancer and former professional figure skater.
Paulette Bleam
Paulette Bleam
Paulette Bleam

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