At its core, film is thought-provoking, idea sparking, and a critical tool in understanding the human condition. For those of you wanting to explore feminism and feel that rush of inspirational, unifying girl-power, here's a curated list of streamable movies.
Our fearless leader Lizelle, self-defined movie nut, was asked by one of the members for a few movie recommendations (other than Hidden Figures) that highlight the goodness and grit of women. Here's her brain dump with the streaming locations (as of Jan 2017)
We recommend viewing at least one per weekend to reach the desired effect (total confidence in female-kind and yourself). Do you have a favorite girl-power flick that you don't see listed? Let me know!
Joy (2015) stars Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire who created her own empire. Based on a true story, you can view Joy on HBO Go.
Suffragette (2015) centers around the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement. Starring Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, and Helena Bonham Carter as women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. Suffragette is available to stream on HBO Go.
Whale Rider (2002) is the story of a young Maori girl who fights to fulfill a destiny that her Grandfather refuses to recognize. You can purchase Whale Rider on Amazon.
The Color Purple (1985) stars Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Danny Glover. It follows a black woman in the South who's struggling to understand her own identity after suffering years of abuse. This film is available to rent on Google Play.
Ghostbusters (2016) this female-driven remake of the cult classic portrays a group of four fabulous ladies (Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Melissa Mccarthy) who save Manhattan from mass destruction. You can rent this movie on Vudu.
Tracks (2013) is about a young, Australian woman (Mia Wasikowska) who ventures on a 1,700-mile trek across the desert, it's an adventure flick full of reflection. It's streamable via Netflix.
Eat Pray Love (2010) tells the story of a recently-divorced woman (Julia Roberts) who journeys around the world in search of herself. You can rent Eat Pray Love on Amazon.
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) is all about storytelling. It follows an unhappy housewife as she befriends an elderly woman who entertains her with incredible tales of her youth. Rent it now on Amazon.
Brave (2012) Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. Again, available to rent on Amazon.
Mona Lisa Smile (2003) follows a free-thinking art history professor (Julia Roberts) who teaches conservative 1950s Wellesley girls to question their traditional gender roles. Grab some friends and view on Netflix.
G.I. Jane (1997) stars Demi Moore as a female trainee in the Navy SEAL selection program amongst only men. Check it out on Amazon.
She's Beautiful When She's Angry (2014) is a documentary that resurrects the buried history of the women behind the feminist movement from 1966-1971. It's on Netflix!
Makers: Women Who Make America (2013 - ) is actually a PBS series which documents the stories of the women who've shaped America such as Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep, and of course Gloria Steinem. It's available to rent on Amazon.
Miss Representation (2011) explores the underrepresentation of females in mainstream media, as well as media's limited view on what it means to be a woman. Miss Representation is streamable on Netflix.
Got any more? Please leave in comments and I'll add them in a follow up post!
By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist
Congratulations! You've officially lasted two weeks in 2017, doesn't that feel marvelous? The fresh feeling of a New Year is bound to wear off soon, but let's see if we can keep it going for just a little while longer with some newfangled Currant Clicks.
By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist
By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist
Hey there techies! This week our currant clicks have taken a turn for the festive. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or really anything...December is THE month for gift-giving. In fact, the National Federation of Retail expects all retail sales to increase by 3.6% in December of 2016! Whew. Here are our the techy gifts and gadgets on the top of our wish-lists.
By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist
Thanksgiving. For some, it's a day of shoving obscene amounts of food into their mouths in order to avoid conversation about the new President Elect. For others, it can be a day of familial bonding...and shoving obscene amounts of food into their mouths. Just because.
This family bonding usually takes place in the form of board games. Board games have been a staple pastime in various societies for years (and years and years). Technically, since Predynastic Egypt! And for a good reason. Board games can revive and exercise your creative thinking skills and problem solving abilities, in addition to decreasing screen time and engaging in something that's arguably fun for the entire family.
I spoke with my good friend - and burgeoning young professional - Amelia Windsor about a two hour game of Settlers of Catan that she played with her parents and her two younger sisters over Thanksgiving.
"It's typical for us to play either board games or card games during the Holidays, depending on everyone’s mood" said Windsor, "It tends to be an easy way for everyone to keep from fighting about religion or politics, this time we decided to go for Settlers of Catan."
If you've never played Settlers of Catan, you're seriously missing out. It's intense, to say the least. The concept is that each player is a settler establishing a colony on the island of Catan. The players build colonies, cities, and other settlements in addition to roads that connect them as they settle. Collecting the resources to build these settlements is the big challenge here, as there are many obstacles in your way. But whoever scores 10 victory points (building a settlement gets you one points and a city gets you two) is the victorious winner!
The dynamic of Windsor's particular Thanksgiving Catan-athon was competitive, but it was the enjoyable kind of competition. The sort that challenges one's ordinary instant gratification that's ever-present in the technology age.
"All of us are extremely competitive, so the usual board game antics ensued. Overall it was a really nice way to pass time while engaging in something thoughtful with family members. Getting to spend constructive time with my family - without the distraction of electronics, work, or other obligations is a rare treat that's always memorable."
Windsor wasn't the only one of my peers playing board games on Thanksgiving.
Friend and local musician, James Lockhart, sat down with his three younger siblings for a 2.5 hour session of the classic game, Monopoly - and I got to see the entire thing unfold via Snapchat. This put a new lens on things.
"I decided to Snapchat the game because I thought it would be funny to try and make something as objectively boring as Monopoly seem really, really important and exciting" said Lockhart, "I also think the dynamic between my younger siblings is hilarious, and I wanted to share that with people."
For the Lockhart's, Thanksgiving Monopoly is a three-year-long tradition that they intend to keep up with.
"It's been a tradition for the last three years or so that we all play Monopoly after our extended family leaves our house on Thanksgiving Day. It's been really fun to watch my siblings grow up and get better at the game. When we first started, my brother John (now 10) wasn't able to focus long enough to finish the game but now he's just as competitive as the rest of us. I hope the tradition continues for a long time" said Lockhart.
This particular game of Monopoly even ended with an original Christmas gift idea, which is a solution to a problem we all face this time of the year.
"My sister Hannah (12) ended up winning this year and I think I'm going to give her a trophy for Christmas to commemorate it" said Lockhart.
It seems that board games serve as the perfect way to share an experience with loved ones, and despite their reputation, millennials still have a soft spot for off-screen entertainment. So ,come Christmas Time, go ahead and grab your clan, light the fireplace, dust off that game board and revel in one of the last, true forms of universal and interactive entertainment.
By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist.
Is it just us or is November flying by at an abnormally fast rate? No complaints here, though. Adults tend to complain about the stresses of the Holidays (rightly so) but really, we all get a twinge of excitement when window displays turn into winter wonderlands.
Anyway, we here at Currant Technology Group have an exceptional round-up of apps, podcasts, and other tech fancies for you to try out.
1. Calling all freelancers! Workfrom is the app you've been searching for. Using this platform, you can find and share the best coffee shops, co-working spaces, and other work-friendly places with wifi in your area.
2. Invisibilia is one of NPR's finest (in my opinion). This podcast grapples with the invisible forces that control human behavior, in a very accessible way. If you're a newcomer, check out an episode with raving reviews, "The Problem With The Solution", in which hosts Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin, and Alix Spiegel bring up why sometimes, trying to solve a problem can in fact make it worse.
3. Not to harp on, but Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! That means it's prime time for board games. Junk Art is timeless fun for the entire family. The concept is simple: 60 colorful, wooden pieces, a few guidelines, and you can create whatever your heart desires!
4. On a serious note, it's been really freaking hot for November. Thanks, global warming! If you're environmentally conscious - which you should be - consider grabbing an Amphiro for your shower. This sleek gadget lets you know exactly how much energy and water you have been consuming. Additionally you can link this technology to your smartphone to keep track, set goals, and even share your good work.
5. Long work week? Ready to settle in, snuggle up, and binge watch something this weekend? Us, too. Be sure to stream The Crown on Netflix, ASAP. It's part drama, part history lesson, and pretty darn hard to switch off.
By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist
If we could describe the first week of November in three words, it would be Election Day Mania. We researched, we decided, we voted, and we reacted to the outcome. Whether we were disappointed or not, we're staying positive. But for now, back to our regularly scheduled content. Aka - the links we are loving. Which podcasts are keeping us sane in 5 o'clock traffic? Which albums make the day a little brighter? And what random app did we discover this week? Keep scrolling for some A+ recommendations.
1. Ever finished a movie and wonder, How Did This Get Made? Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas created a hilarious podcast in which they examine, deconstruct, and mock objectively terrible movies. They bring along a different guest every week for added fun.
2. Stephen Colbert Signs Off on Election Night I think we can all agree that Stephen Colbert is a brilliant man. So brilliant, in fact, that in his election sign off footage he said the thing we all needed to hear. Click to find out...
3. Easy, Free Photo Editing Designing an image for your blog post, social media efforts, or even an invitation sounds pretty intimidating. But Snappa is the solution. I promise it's the easiest thing you'll ever use. For example, it took me five minutes to create the image at the top of this post!
4. New STRFKR Album rejoice! Indie pop/electro band, STRFKR just released a new album titled "Being No One, Going No Where" (it's way more uplifting that it sounds). Check it out for foot-tapping, easy listening.
5. whatthehellshouldiwatchonnetflix.com is the best thing I've discovered in months. Instead of spending two hours trying to find a movie or a show to watch, let someone else decide. It's just like rolling a dice.
By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist
When it comes to publishing content, there's (way) more than meets the eye. Brainstorming, for one, can become a deeply extensive paradox if you're not careful. I'm talking hours of focusing on an idea, backtracking, despising yourself for doing this, etc. Realizing that there is a full-on process behind the content we produce is the first step toward productivity and even inspiration in this area. Finding a useful tool that incorporates that process is the second step. We here at Currant Tech have been using DivvyHQ and we love it! Not only does Divvy incorporate the process behind content strategy and creation...it is, essentially, a digital duplicate of it.
Divvy emphasizes the importance of strategizing, ideating, planning, and producing. In their words, they have a "unique focus on the beginning of the content process" rather than the promotional and analytical side (which most of the content platforms we are publishing to already provide). It's user-friendly and has pretty much any organizational feature that you can think of, but I love it because it has everything that I'm working on in one, perfectly methodized, transparent place. It's incredibly easy to see what's on my plate, what's on everybody else's plate, and the method behind the madness. Plus, there really isn't one set, "correct" way to use it. You can use Divvy in whichever way that you want to. Basically, Divvy has made sure that all of the best workplace practices are rolled into one.
With the wonders of DivvyHQ you can:
Organize An Idea
I know that sounds nearly impossible. Divvy can't literally go into your brain and stop it from spinning at 100 mph, but it sure can provide you with a specific place to store all of your wonderful (or not) ideas. They call it the "parking lot". Your idea can either stay there, move into production, or you can scrap it all together. But having a low-pressure area to place your ideas, without referring back to a ratty notebook or scrolling weeks into your inbox, feels like a safety-net of sorts.
Then Get The Ball Rolling
Once you have a content piece that you're ready to develop, you can move it from the parking lot to "planning" and then to "in production". I'm actually writing this post in the production phase. How meta. Here, you can choose a deadline and post it on the calendar, share it with your team members, select a target audience & the category your piece falls under, plus you can even add an entire production schedule. Whilst establishing my content I can also start finding pictures, videos, graphs or links to other content, and store it all right here in Divvy. I love this because I don't have to have a million tabs open.
Coordinate Your Team
In Divvy, there is a wonderful emphasis on team work. Different team members can assign themselves or others specific tasks. You can also invite team members to edit your work, and you can edit others work - but only if they want you to. Everybody has their own title and job description in this digital workplace, much like your in-person office experience. Users can either be an admin, editor, contributor, or an internal reviewer - each of which has different capabilities (and responsibilities). Another important thing to add is the calendar aspect - depending on what kind of work your business is up to, you can have one calendar, 17 calendars, or even a calendar within a calendar - it's totally up to you. That's the best thing about Divvy. If you don't see yourself using a few of the features, you don't have to.
Publish Your Genius
I'm not exaggerating when I say that you can accomplish everything from Divvy. If you're an administrator for your team, you can go into Divvy and connect to all of your social channels so that with the click of a button...your content is published on multiple platforms all at once. Or, you can schedule your content to be sent out into the world at the exact time that you think your audience will be the most susceptible to it. You can also create the image to accompany your post and an enticing blurb that will pop up on the actual social post, convincing your audience to click and read the rest.
And Stop Living Through Email (yay!)
Rejoice! By using Divvy as your content and project management platform, you are seriously reducing the amount of time spent on often confusing email chains. Divvy just stores everything on this one website. I know I've said that a lot here - but it's important and stress-reducing! Also, unless you want it to, Divvy won't send you 89,760 emails a day. No daily progress reports that you won't read, no notifications every time someone types a single word into a template...no problems.
Currant Technology Group firmly recommends DivvyHQ as your go-to platform for content ideation, strategy, production, and publishing. It's easy, it's stress-reducing, freeing, and therefore it's made the content process a truly enjoyable one!
If you’re anything like me - then the notion of a personal data security breach sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. In other words; like something pretty far outside of the realm of possibilities. Luckily, I had the ignorance metaphorically slapped out of me last week at an Arkansas STEM Coalition event. Dr. Rhonda Childress, Chief Technology Officer for IBM Security Services and an IBM Fellow, spoke about many of the ways that people can have their information hacked. Childress informed some of the less aware people (me) that in 2014, data associated with 500 million Yahoo accounts were stolen in one of the largest cybersecurity breaches, ever. That’s terrifying. Hackers are everywhere. Ever taken an embarrassing picture of yourself and immediately deleted it? I know I have. Well - bad news. Somewhere out there, that picture lives on...just waiting to be accessed. And you think a picture is bad? How about literally everything in your email account? That means social security numbers, bank details, credit card numbers, and more. And it gets creepier. Apparently, it’s extremely easy for hackers to access the web-connected cameras on your laptop and cellphone - and your baby monitor. Yikes.
Luckily for us, Dr. Childress also spoke about the best practices when it come to protecting your personal data. So dig in, folks. Protect yourself.
1.Research Privacy Laws
As of yet, the U.S. doesn’t have any one, centralized, formal legislation at the federal level regarding the issue of data protection. Great! But...our government does insure the privacy and protection of data through the United States Privacy Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. First and foremost, Dr. Childress suggests reading up on this legislation in order to know exactly what you’re at risk of.
2.Look At Permissions
Most applications, as we all know, include a list of permissions that you can either choose to allow or ignore upon download. This is not something to be taken lightly. I had no idea, but most applications ask for permission to access things like your camera, microphone, or network for absolutely no reason. Dr. Childress used the Fitbit app as an example. Fitbit (along with many other fitness tracking applications) has nothing stopping it from releasing the personal information that you store there such as your weight and other personal health information. Since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed back in 1996, technology has outgrown the law. With this in mind...
3.Make A Risk Based Decision
Do you really need a fitbit? Or that random flashlight app? (check this out for more information on that). Dr. Childress suggests figuring out the risk involved in downloading an app, before you actually do it. Something a little more serious to consider is the risk behind filling out a medical form. Do you necessarily have to provide your social security number? Or your spouse’s social security number? Actually, no. You are under no obligation to hand over that information. More on that here. In general, it’s best to put some thought into these decisions and downloads (which are often mindless, in my case).
4.Change Your Passwords (or don't?)
Here is where there’s a little bit of dispute. Dr. Childress told us that she changes all of her passwords, every 30 days. She also has every one of her family members do the same thing. Additionally, Dr. Childress suggested purchasing a password vault which basically stores all of your passwords in one place, offline - so there’s no chance of a hack. This sounds extremely secure to me, especially if your passwords are vastly different every time you change them. However, upon further research, I found out that the Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist, Lorrie Cranor, discovered that forcing people to change their passwords so often (think office life) actually caused people to come up with easy-to-guess, useless passwords. So I suppose, just come up with an impossible to guess password! Easy.
5.Cover Your Camera
If you don’t already do this, you definitely should. Dr. Childress told us a story about a 10 year old who was asked to hack into someone’s webcam and could do it in under 10 minutes, with zero prior experience. According to Mashable, “Hackers can access these cameras through malware. If you accidentally click a bad link or download the wrong file, that malware could contain executable code to turn on your webcam and send that video feed to a website or save it somewhere else. Worse, often this kind of malware can even disable the camera's LED light, so you'd never know your camera's been hijacked just by looking at it.”
Women in Technology is a phrase we have heard a lot lately. From viral social media campaigns to full-blown initiatives addressing the increase of female representation that we’ve been begging for...we here at Currant Tech are thrilled. To add to this excitement, The NWA Tech Summit (this Friday!) is including a Women in IT panel which, of course, we’ll be front and center for.
Here is each and every #girlboss that we’ll be hearing from at the panel:
Channing Barker, KNWA NEWS, FOX24 News, Senior Reporter – Moderator
If you’re a local, then you you might (definitely) recognize Barker from her nightly news spot on KNWA where she never fails to keep the community up to date on all political and investigative news. Barker got her start with KNWA while she was still in college, as a producer. Knowing that reporting was her calling, Barker gathered public policy experience in both NYC and Washington D.C and took a reporting position with KNWA in 2012. Being a news reporter is not a job to be taken lightly. The days are long and the work can’t always stay at the office. Plus, the stereotype painting female journalists as a lesser facet is ever-present. But Barker defies the odds. Considering the fact that female journalists had difficulty breaking into the news field until the 1970’s, are still very underrepresented (only 36.1% of on camera journalists are female according to the Women’s Media Center), plus female journalists are typically thrown into “soft” news roles, it’s important to acknowledge that NWA has an intelligent female reporting the need-to-know stories and therefore is influencing our community in a very positive way. She’s the perfect person to moderate the Women In Technology panel at the NWA Tech Summit.
Sarah Gelbman, Global Technology Sales Manager for Walmart, Oracle
When it comes to generating value for her customers, Gelbman is a professional in every sense of the word. She is an enterprise technology sales executive with 15 years of success under her belt. Currently, Gelbman is the global technology sales manager running Oracle’s Walmart account. Oracle specializes in developing and marketing database software and technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products - particularly database management systems. Not only is Oracle a highly successful tech organization, but they have a company culture that should be celebrated. In 2006, Oracle founded Oracle Women's Leadership (OWL) which is a professional development program that engages and develops future and current female leaders at Oracle. With over 70 different OWL communities worldwide, Oracle is making a huge difference in the way that people are viewing opportunities in tech. In 2014, OWL hosted 18 women from Tunisia as part of the Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program, which is designed to build women's leadership around the world with an initial focus on women in the Middle East and North Africa. The participants visited Oracle headquarters and heard from Oracle women leaders about career paths and opportunities in the corporate world. How stinkin' cool is that? We are excited to have a female, Oracle ambassador of sorts to touch on this great work alongside her own impressive career.
Jennifer Glasgow, Chief Privacy Officer Emeritus, Acxiom
Jennifer Barrett Glasgow has served as Acxiom Corporation’s Chief Privacy Officer since 1991, developing their global approach to information governance, compliance, consumer affairs, government affairs and related public relations. Now that’s what I call a #girlboss. Glasgow joined Acxiom after receiving a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Texas and developing a criminal justice highway safety information system for the State of Arkansas. Prior to stepping into the privacy role at Acxiom, she developed marketing systems, managed account services and lead business development activities for the company. Dang. Outside of her extensive work with Acxiom, Glasgow takes part in advising policy makers about the ethical use of information and serves on the U.S. Direct Marketing Association Board of Directors and their Privacy Shield Arbitration Committee. Glasgow has truly challenged the norm by being a female executive officer- did you know that only 14.1 percent of executive officers today are female? Just something to think about.
Bethany Halford, CEO, Whoa Brand
Have you ever had an exchange with a friend that begins with them exclaiming, “wait, that’s from Walmart?”. Well, Bethany Halford has monetized that comment with her microblog, Whoa, Wait. Walmart? By utilizing social media and creativity, Bethany (alongside her partner, Amanda Jenkins) has managed to create and sustain a blog that has captivated one of the largest audiences there is - Walmart shoppers. The concept is simple. Bethany goes digging at Walmart's across NWA for gold in the form of a good product - then posts the product on Instagram and her website. She’s basically a personal shopper for those who are in the market to buy something fabulous, without breaking the bank. In my mind, Bethany has taken the stereotype of stay-at-home-mom-Walmart-shopper and flipped it on it’s head.
Rachel Mushahwar, Head of Americas: Retail, Hospitality & CPG Global Sales & Marketing, Intel
Arriving in NWA all the way from Intel in Phoenix, Arizona - Rachel Mushahwar will have a lot to say on a subject we care deeply for: girls and women in STEM (obviously). Intel has recently launched the Intel Global Girls and Women Initiative which intends to close the gender gap in education access, inspire more women and girls to create technology, and connect them to opportunities via technology access. Music to our ears. Rachel herself is a known transformational global leader with 22 years of experience under her belt in everything from retail to supply chain and consulting. Her focus is on enabling retail, hospitality, and consumer packaged goods companies to realize the value of innovative retail and hospitality offerings that leverage the technology in stores, hotels, casinos, and dining establishments to provide new insights. Phew. Individually, Rachel is an active supporter of STEM education and even cofounded a women’s group when she worked for PetSmart. Hopefully, hearing about the steps that both Rachel and Intel have taken to inspire women and girls in tech will encourage everyone at the NWA Tech Summit to keep doing the same.
Kristen Williams, Senior Director eCommerce, Walmart Technology
If one thing is for sure about Kristen Williams, it's that she is extremely passionate about encouraging young women to seek careers in the STEM field. Go Kristen! As a high-up with Walmart Technology and a board member for Springdale High School Academics, she has the opportunity to do just so. Throughout her time with Walmart Technology, Kristen has held many roles such as Senior Director of Corporate Systems, Senior Director of Global Point of Sale, and many other leadership roles. She is responsible for delivering technology solutions for services such as Walmart Online Pickup (my savior) and Pickup Today. This is truly a lady who knows how to get things done and inspire women and girls along the way.
Tomorrow we get to hear from a well-rounded group of intelligent and successful women, but that doesn't mean the tech industry has an equal playing field. Women make up 50% of the workforce yet...women make up less than 25% of STEM professionals. Are we doing enough to encourage young (and even older) women to pursue a STEM based career? To explore creation through technology? Not, not quite yet. But, with organizations such as the NWA Tech Council making sure that they're recognizing some of the leading women of STEM - we are definitely breaking ground.
By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist
Due to reasons unknown to me, Northwest Arkansas has become a major hub of innovation, development and creativity. I know that I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for this rise in modernity. As a fresh-out-of-college content creator (I cringe at this self proclaimed, extremely general title) and Fayetteville enthusiast I have seen this growth affect my peers, my alma mater and my own personal opportunities. Not only is NWA home to Walmart, Tyson, and J.B. Hunt (duh - old news) but it is a breeding ground for startups and locally owned businesses. Think highly successful restaurants, museums, advertising agencies...you name it - NWA probably has it. With this in mind, it’s simply a matter of fact that technology has, will and does play a considerably extensive role in the infrastructure of these companies and our community.
Now, let’s get real for a second, in no way do I have any knowledge of engineering, computing, or really even advanced math. But, I understand and appreciate that I can do whatever I want to do because of technology. From engaging shoppers, to eliminating risks and creating pretty much anything you can dream up - technology always comes into play and I believe that it’s valuable to be educated on the possibilities that it holds. That’s why I am getting ready to spend an exciting day at the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit.
The Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit will take place on October 7 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, Arkansas and although I’m a little intimidated, I’m also pretty excited. Even though, as I mentioned, I most likely won’t be developing software anytime soon, I’ve always had a penchant for learning about new things and have never understood the kind of person who would shrug something off and say, “that doesn’t pertain to me.”
With influential keynote speakers Kevin Turner (former Microsoft Chief Operating Officer) and Dr. John Cohn (Fellow at IBM and Chief Scientist of Design Automation at IBM) this summit is bringing in the best of the best for a full on edification. Cohn, in particular, seems to have had a fascinating career and I’ll definitely be attending his “mad scientist” talk in hopes that he’ll speak about the 58 days that he spent inventing and living in an abandoned steel mill for the Discovery Channel’s show, The Colony. Yes, he really did that.
I will also get the opportunity to hear from many NWA superstars including Sam Dean (Executive Director of the Scott Family Amazeum), Greg Garner (Principle Engineer of Roku - my favorite streaming device), and Kristen Williams (Senior Director of e-Commerce at Walmart) - to name a few. As I said, NWA is home to numerous successful people and businesses so I'll be on my toes all day long to try and gain some insight from all of them!
It can't go without mentioning that I am especially excited to attend the Women In Tech panel. When I was scanning the agenda, I couldn't help but grin when I noticed that this panel was included. I firmly believe that equal representation should be a top priority and I applaud the NWA Tech Council for making sure that this panel exists. From CEO's to Senior News Reporters (the journalism major in me is so ready for that) these women are doing it all and doing it well. Bethany Halford of Whoa, wait. Walmart? will be speaking and I cannot wait to hear about how she created such a successful microblog that appeals to the everyday shopper.
Thanks to the NWA Tech Summit, I'll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with tech influencers, professionals and enthusiasts, immerse myself in a day of tech, and (hopefully) walk away feeling inspired and itching to create something wonderful. What more could I ask for on a Friday?