Alison van Diggelen is an award-winning Silicon Valley journalist, and commentator. She is available as a moderator, interviewer and lecturer for seminars and groups. Her favorite topics include:
Drinking the Kool Aid in Silicon Valley: entrepreneurship lessons from the center of tech
Entrepreneurship and clean tech in Silicon Valley
Here is a selection of recent events:
September 2013, Alison joined Tesla Founding Board Member and Qualcomm Executive, Laurie Yoler for a conversation about Innovation and the Democratization of Power at the Churchill Club. You can watch the video here.
August 2013, Alison interviewed The Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek at the Commonwealth Club live on stage in Silicon Valley. Listen to the podcast here.
March 2013, Alison interviewed former Hewlett Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina on stage in Silicon Valley. The lively event covered climate change, women in tech and Fiorina’s legacy at HP. It aired on KLIV radio. You can listen to the podcast here.
January 2013, Alison interviewed Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. The event was part of the celebrated Revolutionaries Series, a partnership with KQED TV. See video and summary here
August 2012, Alison moderated the event: The Green Economy: Where are the Opportunities? The event took place at Adobe’s Headquarters in San Jose, CA
Parag Chokshi, Clean Energy Public Affairs Manager, Google
Josh Green, General Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures
Linda Keala, Vice President Human Resources, SolarCity
Nanci Klein, Deputy Director, Office of Economic Development, City of San Jose
February 2011, Alison van Diggelen interviewed best selling author and environmentalist, John Robbins at the Commonwealth Club, Silicon Valley
“Alison van Diggelen is a marvelously engaging interviewer who brings genuine curiosity, insightful perceptions and stimulating information to the dialogue. I’ve been a guest on many national shows, and been interviewed by Oprah, Terry Gross and many others of national renown. Alison is fully in their class. She is a true master of the art of conversation.” John Robbins
To read more TESTIMONIALS, click here
Alison interviewed tech evangelist and best selling author, Guy Kawasaki in front of a full house at UC Santa Cruz Extension in July 2010.
Here is a link to the animated one hour interview and Q & A.
Alison plans to teach a 5-week class in Green Entrepreneurship at University of California Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley Extension. (Dates & times TBC)
This course introduces Green Entrepreneurship and outlines the opportunities and challenges in this thriving area of enterprise- from idea, to pitch, to execution. Informed by research and the real world experience of Silicon Valley green entrepreneurs, this course provides a practical introduction to the green economy: what makes it unique and how to evaluate green opportunities. Students will get access to some of the top names in Silicon Valley clean tech who will share their expertise and wisdom during the five week class. NB: Speakers TBC.
Kevin Surace, CEO of Serious Materials (the green building products manufacturer), renowned speaker on climate change and the built environment (TED, World Economic Forum etc), and Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2009.
Laurie Yoler Managing Director of the investment bank GrowthPoint Technology Partners and Founding Board Member of Tesla Motors.
Marc Gottschalk, clean tech startup advisor and cofounder of the Clean Tech Open, a nationally renowned business plan competition, whose alumni has raised over $160 Million in private sector funding.
Guy Kawasaki, the venture capitalist and marketing guru will share his wisdom on defining and defending your market niche; no cost promotions; and why chasing venture capital is less important than building a user base.
Elise Zoli, a leader in Cleantech initiatives at Goodwin Procter LLP, and a lecturer in Cleantech at MIT’s Sloan School.
Here’s a summary of the event
Panelists include, from the left: Diana Chen (Mountain View) , Veronica Hume (St. Francis), Katherine Nasol (Notre Dame), Emily Gran (Menlo Atherton) and Daniel Brusilovski (Aragon) and not photographed: Emily Munoz (Mountain View) and Nathalie Hon (Los Altos). Moderator: Alison van Diggelen
Photo Credit: DJ Cline
In December 2009, Alison moderated a panel of top New Media entrepreneurs at the SDForum Business of New Media Conference at the Microsoft Campus in Silicon Valley. The panelists included Pandora’s Tom Conrad, Zynga’s Jonathan Flesher, Philipp Schloter of Nokia Point & Find, Mike Sego of Gaia Online and Joel Toledano of Krillion.
“Your insightful questions reached multi dimensions and flew smoothly throughout the discussion. It was the best session.” Debra Brinsmead
Photo credit DJCline
In February 2009, Alison was invited to give a series of lectures and seminars at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland
“Alison delivered excellent realistic stuff and is a great ambassador for Silicon Valley. All great Scots have to leave Scotland to achieve their best potential.” Jay, Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club
“Alison willingly let us work her to the bone as she delivered a series of 4 excellent talks and interacted with over 100 people during these teaching episodes. The first two teachings were delivered to students, and Alison had specially interviewed 3 different entrepreneurs to provide varying perspectives on the same topics such as networking or public relations. The next day she led a Masterclass on Green and Cleantech to 10 or so startup entrepreneurs from Scotland. A lively and informative discussion followed her excellent presentation as we learned about what Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists were doing about greening their businesses — and investing in others.”
“That evening Alison gave a very inspiring talk on “Drinking the Kool Aid” in Silicon Valley. This was especially enlightening to people as they not only learned about what made the Silicon Valley a special place, but how they could use evangelism to better their own businesses. Excellent feedback was received from the audience that evening. ” Michael Clouser, Associate Edinburgh-Stanford Link
“Your visit and presentations were a well made timely reminder that failure should not be ignored or shied away from but embraced when it comes and a necessary stopover on the road to success. That we should not underestimate the importance of failure in the discovery process and that we can and should reflect that all our paths and choices should be seen as part of the process in bringing us to where we are today – it all has value.” Dr. Steve Ewing, Senior Business Development Executive, University of Edinburgh Informatics
“I liked the structure of the talk and the way you used the narrative of success (from a student to a millionaire) which found resonance with our students and worked quite well. The new element for students was the reported accounts of entrepreneurs in your case studies. In my view, you managed to give a social or human aspect to the process of becoming an entrepreneur. You gave an anthropological account of entrepreneurship to our students which they can relate to, even if they cannot relate to the technology or field of that entrepreneur.” Aghlab Al-Attili, Informatics Ventures
“It was definitely one of the most informative talks I have attended, especially since it covered multiple startups from the same viewpoints (this is not something I have seen in any other talk). The things you mentioned about the new PR machine (Twitter/Facebook/etc) have also prompted me to begin using my Twitter account again. I now know that I should be allocating a sizeable proportion of my time to publicity in my future ventures too!” Ali Eslami, Founder KeepMeOut