On Friday morning we packed up the vans and headed to SRI International in Menlo Park, CA. The Stanford Research Institute was established in 1946 by trustees at Stanford University to encourage commercialization of research in order to support economic development in the area. Since then SRI has continued to work towards creating world-changing solutions to make people safer, healthier, and more productive. We were lucky enough to meet with Dr. Dennis Tsu, the Executive Director of corporate strategy at SRI. Dr. Tsu went through some of the largest challenges facing civilization today and what research projects they are exploring to address these challenges. He spoke about population growth, antibiotic resistance, the water crisis, and the necessity of renewable energy sources. As we are all preparing to launch our careers into various industries, it important that we keep in mind that macro needs of our global community and remain committed to furthering the common good.
Following the presentation, many were eager to speak with Dr. Tsu and others raced off to flights, trains, and meetings. Dave, Niall, Eoghan and I packed up my car and drove up to San Francisco for an interview that Dave had at noon downtown. What started as a leisurely trip up the 101 quickly turned stressful as I missed turn after turn and Dave watched the “arrival” time tick closer and closer to 12 PM. We crawled through traffic as we approached the building and at 11:59 Dave hopped out of the back and ran down the block to arrive on time.
Although none of us felt very rested after our “break,” we all left the week inspired to use what we had learned throughout our time in ESTEEM to contribute to meaningful work being done in the Silicon Valley or in our own communities.