Team Tuesday: Vivek Chaturvedi, Chief Innovation Officer
This post is part of our Team Tuesday series, where you can meet members of the WIRD Team, learn about what they are currently working on, and what excites them about the future of distributed ledger technology. Enjoy!
Thanks for being the first WIRD team member for #TeamTuesday, Vivek. You’ve lived an interesting life, dare I say several lives, and I cannot wait to learn more about your background. Would you mind starting us off with three words you believe best describe yourself and tell us why?
Probably, radical, innovative, and innocent. Radical because I’m constantly seeing, exploring higher potential for myself and every step along that path is usually a major deviation from the norm, whether in thought or action; innovative because in my eyes, the current system offers a million points to apply a more integrative, human positive, intelligent design system to all our dissonant creations; lastly, innocent because being in that state alone allows you to be radical––reckless if you will. Also open to all potential and possibilities.
Why don’t you tell us a bit about your background–what have you done professionally?
I spent my early years in the Indian Navy, getting a master’s degree in Electrical/Weapons Engineering from the Naval College Of Engineering in India. After various tours of duty, I closed my Naval Career with a stint as the Aide-de-Camp to the Governor of one of India’s most industrialized states, Karnataka. While with the Governor, I got to participate in many high profile diplomatic initiatives with various international governments and companies.
Upon leaving the Navy, I decided to launch what would become a successful environmental consulting company but left that in 1995 for the opportunity to pursue higher studies in the United States at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in New York State. There I completed my MBA, with a focus on technology management and entrepreneurship.
After completing my graduate degree, I joined United Technologies as a member of their Corporate Technology Strategy group and, while there, became heavily involved in technology sourcing for fuel cells. It was incredible work, but I left UTC to join a startup, Octane Software, in Silicon Valley in 1999.
While at Octane software, I held a variety of roles, including sales engineering and business development. For a while, I was the director of business in Asia-Pacific for our fledgling international presence. In 2002, Octane was acquired by Epiphany Inc. for $3.2 billion, which was, at the time, the largest ever acquisition of a privately held software company. After the acquisition, I came back to the U.S. from Australia and spent time managing Epiphany’s strategic business development efforts here, especially the tech-heavy West Coast region.
Sometime later, I lead the Indian-arm of Zero-Sum software as Chairman and CEO, Japan’s first pure-play company in India in the mobile space, to a strong position in the Mobile VAS market. After this, I decided I wanted to focus on my work undesigning everything.
Where were you before coming to WIRD?
I was exploring, writing, making music, undesigning, building electric vehicles, and trying to break world records.
Can you tell us briefly what you mean by “undesigning”?
My take on this technological world we inhabit is that it is mostly dystopian in its current form and, as such, is a deeply designed world. So undesign, is simply working from an elevated understanding of the human form and it’s true, torsionally balanced structure. An evolved view of biomechanics, because of today’s technology wrap–if you will–in many spaces is detrimental to the human in contact with it. This current swathe of technological design is energy extractive and yet not vivifying. My question is and has been, are we shaping technology or is technology shaping us? And if it is shaping us, do we like the outcome?
Fascinating take. You have already touched a bit on this, but could you tell us more about what you are passionate about?
The potential at this tipping-point moment, its’ historical significance, the opportunity to effect change on a global scale with paradigm-shattering innovation, the Interwebz, Network Effect….. the entire kitnkaboodle of this current and in my eyes, messy technology landscape and our misfit with it.
Why did you join WIRD?
WIRD’s core reason for being–our support of greater, un-common good. Also Gregory’s infectious passion for it. I see vast future potential, both in monetary terms and impact.
What are you working on (for WIRD)?
Innovation, in every sphere. Design innovation in UI/UX, innovative partnerships, innovative strategies (market entry, growth hacking, etc.), also bringing specific IP to the WIRD World platform once it’s launched. We are also going to be a start-up mentor once we get going in that direction.
How does your work at WIRD meet a real need in today’s world?
I am focused on providing a more humane experience when it comes to crypto token usage experience and believe this will lead to wide-spread adoption and usage of DLT technology.
What does your family think you do?
*Laughs.* I’m starting to believe that IS what you do. Last, is there a trend in tech that excites you? What about it most excites you?
The high rate of change and pace of technology adoption. The systemic instability allows for giant leaps forward, personally and for humankind…