A Path to Product Design

This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: A Path to Product Design
Speaker: Seth Carlstrom
Meeting for the week of January 9, 2017 to January 15, 2017

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page. 

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Message from President Mitty

Celebrating 2 Years of Service & Friendships.

Are you a new visitor? Then I want to welcome you to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s online meeting! Every week we curate inspiring and educational content in an online format like the one you’re seeing here. As you continue reading, watching, and scrolling, our hope is that you’ll leave feeling a little bit more inspired. As an online Rotary club, we have these asynchronous meetings online, but we also meet in-person in the Silicon Valley / San Francisco bay area for service projects and for social events. Keep reading on, and feel free to also join us for one of our in-person events if you can make it!

Members and returning guests, welcome back! This month our club celebrates our two-year club anniversary!

It’s hard to believe that just two years ago, our Rotary club officially started meeting every week. Since then, our club has grown significantly in every aspect: from how we run our meetings to our membership to club benefits. What I love about our club is that we are always continuing to grow, to evolve, and to improve.

I want to give special thanks to every person who has helped support and grow our club. Our club wouldn’t be here growing without our members and our supporters. As you read through and watch this week’s meeting, let us know in the comments what you’re thankful for and what your goals for 2017 are. One of the core beliefs of Rotary is that working together to achieve goals is better than working alone. You never know when someone in the club or one of our guests might be just the right person to help you achieve some of your goals this year.

And members, I also encourage you to ask yourself what more can you do to step up and help our Rotary club this year, and how our club can help you. I mention this every month, and I do mean it — our club is here to help our members, and we always have more opportunities for members to get involved. Reach out and let’s make 2017 amazing!

To the new year, and to the continued growth of our club and all of our members!

Yours in service,
Mitty Chang, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

P.S. I hope to see as many of you as possible out to this Saturday’s Stop Hunger Now service project event at Monta Vista High School! See the events section of this meeting for more details.

Photo of the Week: CES 2017

We know a good photo is worth a thousand words. We also think that photos can have the power to inspire and to awe. Every week we try to bring to you a photo that we think will do just that.

Originally taken by AP photographer Jae C. Hong and published for The Atlantic‘s photo of the week, this photo is of a woman is silhouetted against a wall made with small light bulbs at the Honda booth at CES International in Las Vegas last week.

Weekly Inspiration: Polio Survivor Dennis Ogbe

Every week we bring you videos of innovation, inspiration, and entrepreneurship. This week we are featuring a video from Rotary about polio survivor Dennis Ogbe.

U.S. Paralympics champion, father, and polio survivor Dennis Ogbe‘s story of dedication and perseverance inspires us to #endpolio. endpolio.org

Incredible! Special thanks to member Rushton for suggesting the video!

Laughing Out Loud (L.O.L.) with our Lady of LOLs

yvonnebubbleWe believe that laughing a little every day keeps you healthier. Every week we try to share with you something that will make you smile! This section is curated by Rotarian Yvonne Kwan, our club’s “Lady of LOLs.”

From Yvonne: “A few movie-inspired (kind of) jokes for you since I just finished watching the Golden Globes. Hope everyone is having as wonderful of a start to their 2017 year as ‘La La Land’ is!”
Have you heard of the movie “Constipation”? No? That’s because it hasn’t come out yet.
Did you see the movie about the hot dog? It was an Oscar Wiener!

Coffee with a Rotarian: Kristi introduces Catherine

This new segment of our meeting is dedicated to featuring stories from members about other members! We pair our club members with other club members for one-on-one coffee sessions either digitally or online. It’s an opportunity to get to know your fellow Rotarians better. After the coffee session, each of our members records a short video message about what they learned about their fellow Rotarian, and we feature those videos here.

This week’s featured Coffee with a Rotarian video comes from member Kristi Govertsen about what she learned from talking to member Catherine Liu.

The Coffee with a Rotarian project is chaired by member Tzviatko Chiderov. Thanks Tzviatko!

For Members: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

Election Nominations Opening up

Club elections/nominations will be opening up over the next week! Members expect to receive an email. If you have not yet paid your membership dues for the January 2017 to June 2017 term, you will need to do so before being eligible to run for office and/or to vote.

Reminders – Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Monthly photo challenge is ongoing!
  • Coffee with a Rotarian is still ongoing! New month, new pairs!
  • Secret Santa should be completed! Looking for some photos and videos!

Service Blotter for January on-going below:

Members, want to get your service update into the next service blotter? Please share what you’ve been up to, as it allows us to get to know each other better in the process! Just click on the link below to let us know!

For Members Only: Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we hold regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
99 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Next Meetup

Join us and Rotary Clubs in Area 8 packaging meals for STOP …

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017, 8:30 AM
8 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

THIS WEEK: Stop Hunger Now Service Project (Cupertino), Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 12 PM

Come assemble Stop Hunger Now food packages with Rotarians from Cupertino and Sunnyvale during our Rotary Area-wide service project on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Monta Vista High School, 21840 McClellan Road, Cupertino, CA! There will be two separate shifts – one from 8:15 AM to 10:30 AM, and another from 10:15 AM to 12:00 PM. Guests are welcomed but will need to check-in with our club. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life with a hands-on service project while getting to know some of the other Rotarians in our area! Want to go?

Make sure to sign-up on Meetup by clicking here.
Once you have signed up on Meetup, be sure to also sign up on this Google Form. Indicate “Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley” for the club affiliation. See you there!

Event chair: Mitty Chang (please check-in with Mitty once you arrive)

Rotary Wilderness Expedition to Big Basin (Boulder Creek), Sun. Jan. 29, 2016 from 11 AM to 3 PM

Join fellow Rotarians and friends for an adventure expedition into the gorgeous redwood giants of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We will be meeting at 11 AM (exact location to be announced) and will aim to return to our cars by 3 PM. Please pack your own lunch and water.

Event chair: Andrew Taw

Rotary Area 8 Talent Show (Cupertino), Sat. Feb. 4, 2016

Join Rotarians from through Cupertino and Sunnyvale for an area-wide social featuring talent from every club! Details to be announced.

Happy Dollars

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.

Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Last week’s happy dollars went towards funding club projects! Here are messages from last week’s happy dollars:

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his $15 donation, to be donated to Rotary’s PolioPlus! Rory had this to say:
“My family and I made it through the holidays ok. Since today is a legal holiday and I am off from work, I will be going to the nearest Apple store to use my Apple gift cards. Please apply my Happy Dollars to Polio Plus, por favor!”

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his generous $15 donation! Brian had this to say:
“Looking forward to the Club’s Jan 29th hike in Big Basin, down in beautiful Santa Cruz County (my county).”

Thank you to member Monique Ziesenhenne for her generous $20 donation! Monique had this to say:
“Happy for the New Year! Best of luck to all in 2017.”

Thank you all for your donations last week! The money from the donations last week went towards funding club projects. Thank you!

This week’s donations will go towards the general club fund to power club projects!

So what are you happy about? Share with us below!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting about the JW House:

Member Ferheen Abbasi (Osaka, Japan) had this to say:
“Anne Marie, thank you so much for your wonderful presentation. And thank you for sharing your story about your son. So powerful and inspiring. His memory lives on in such a wonderful way. Thank you for all that you have done to help families. For my “Something New” picture, I want to showcase this photo I took at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. My brother came to Japan on the 1st and I’ve been taking him around places I’ve already been. But together, we went to Hiroshima for the first time, and it was the most powerful experience I have had in a while. The museum was phenomenal – I highly recommend it to all of you if you have a chance to visit Japan. There were many photos I took that day, but I think this is the one that captures my feelings the best. President Obama is the first serving US President to come to Hiroshima and he gave a poignant speech about how the memory of Hiroshima must never fade.”

Member Raquel Juncal (Costa Rica) had this to say:
“Anne Marie, thanks for your presentation. I hope to have the opportunity soon to visit JW House and learn more about the project. As a medical doctor, I do not share social security management (in Latin America) in its task of supporting the general population. Although there are good things, there are others that could improve, and projects like yours brings a different vision to address the issue effectively.”

Guest Fernando Morales (Honduras) had this to say:
“I’m checking in to my first meeting here as a guest and I was pleased to see members share so much with each other.
I enjoyed hearing about JW House, thanks for all the information Anne Marie. It is great that you can provide support to those offering their own support to a loved one and often neglecting their own wellbeing. It gives them the strength they need to relay on to their loved ones. I’m from Honduras and this topic of families traveling hours to the city for medical care and having to stay overnight, sometimes even outside, often comes up as options for support are limited. It’s great to see a program address this issue so effectively. Best wishes on your plans for expansion!”

Member Richard Knaggs (South Africa) had this to say:
“Thank you for the kind Birthday wishes. How innovative is the growing furniture video… Wow…. I wonder how much it costs. Thank you Anne for your presentation and condolences on the loss of your son. What a beautiful idea and such a valuable service. It is amazing how ones passion can sell a dream. This dream is definitely the future of health care.”

Member Rushton Hurley (California, USA) had this to say:
“Anne Marie, it is wonderful to have our members learn about JW House. My wife and I have been part of several groups who have volunteered by preparing and serving meals, and talking with the people there who are caring for loved ones at the hospital is truly powerful. In Rotary, we are dedicated to finding ways to be of service to others, and what you and the JW House team show that beautifully. Thank you all for what you do!”

Member Heather Shaw (California, USA) had this to say:
“Anne Marie. I love how you turned such a difficult situation into a positive endeavor. Your Son sounds like he was pretty amazing too during hard times. I had to take advantage of similar services while on the East Coast and know how much it helped. Thank you!”

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: A Path to Product Design

Every week we bring to you a program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest speaker is Seth Carlstrom.

A little known fact, the Kauffman Foundation has ranked the state of Montana #1 for startup activity for four years running, and our speaker this week is one of the state’s examples of this culture of design in action. Seth Carlstrom, from Bozeman, Montana, is currently a design product consultant for Salient Technologies, and co-founder of Second Nature, a startup focused on designing products for making life better for our aging population.

Born and raised in Billings, Montana, Seth Carlstrom story of how he navigated through college by being one of the first students in the Montana State University DSEL Program (Design Sandbox for Engaged Learning). A program that allowed Seth to combine his aptitude for engineering, his love of art, and passion for hands-on learning and “making stuff.” A program that also empowered he and his Second Nature co-founder to become the team that won the most prize money at the 2016 John Ruffatto Startup Challenge.

Members and guests, please join me in welcoming Seth Carlstrom!

Special thanks to member Kristi Govertsen for introducing Seth to us!

Related Links:

Meeting Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 to 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice. (Sometimes speakers cancel on us!)

Upcoming Recordings:

  • Friday, January 13, 2017 at 8 AM PT – Recording of Nelson Kwaje, Founder of Web4All & Design2Transform (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 7:15 PM PT – Recording of Crystal Huang, Founder of xPollinators
  • Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 12 PM PT – Recording of Thuy Nguyen, President of Foothill College

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, please email [email protected] with your request. Requests will be checked up until 5 minutes prior to the recording time. Please note the timezone is all California, USA time.

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
  • Rory Olsen


    Thank you for an informative program.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Rory, thank you for listening.

  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Seth, thanks for an entertaining and informative session. I wonder if you can tell us a bit more about the production process for the things you make? Do you use 3d printing?

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Hi Tzviatko! I love entertaining/story-telling. It is something that makes me very happy.

      In my work, design consultancy, I rarely produce multiple identical units of any one item. I usually create unique prototypes of varying fidelity to investigate design aspects like fit, ergonomics, relative size, and function as development proceeds from ideation to production design. When working in hard goods, and integrating hard goods with soft goods, I do use 3D printing quite often. For soft goods, our prototype shop is well-equipped to handle most fabric applications, and I produce those by hand.

      • Tzviatko Chiderov

        Great! Thank you for the extra info!

  • Jayprakash Deshpande

    Seth a good presentation . Mitty , congrats for 2 nd Anniversary of the Club … Great going !

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you very much! I am glad you liked it.

  • Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne

    Seth, really entertaining and interesting program, thank you! Happy 2nd Anniversary – I’m proud to be a club member.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Monique! Thank you. I love telling stories and amusing people. I am glad you liked it.

  • Juan Carlos Young

    Thanks a lot to Seth, Kristi and Mitty and the whole Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley for the presentation! I think Seth nailed it when he said that for him going to work every day is like playing when he was a kid. The value of achieving that in our lives is priceless and hopefully is something we can all achieve or have achieved in our lives.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you for the support, Juan Carlos! I hope to maintain that attitude as long as I live; I count myself blessed to be experiencing it now.

  • ShagsCA

    Fun meeting and interesting program!

  • Andrew Taw

    Thanks, Seth, for your presentation! Great to listen to your journey. Your enthusiasm is contagious

    • Seth Carlstrom

      I am glad you liked it, Andrew! I love “performing” as some call it– I’m glad I was able to communicate my excitement to you.

  • Nathan Gildart

    Seth, that was an interesting and laid back presentation. You’ve touched on a number of lessons we all need to learn, particularly finding our passions and making them work for our own happiness, and even better when it benefits others. Great stuff!

    Love the video of Dennis Ogbe. What a strong mind.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you, Nathan! I hope it wasn’t too laid back, but then again, that’s proven to be my style over and over again. I will continue to work out how this passion of mine can last until my dying day, and I hope to keep expanding the ways that I can help people just as long. Thanks again.

  • Thank you Seth, I appreciate how your insights on how the intertwining of education, learning and life experiences have brought you to this place in life.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Mark, thank you. I find it very difficult to separate everything into their different times and places, and I think it allows me to offer at least a different perspective. It isn’t a perfect perspective, but perhaps no one perspective is… Thanks again for you kind words!

  • Roger Plested

    Thank you Seth for an interesting presentation.
    Coffee with a Rotarian is an innovative idea which allows club members to get to know someone else in the club.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you for listening, Roger. I hope it was valuable in some way!

  • Brett Sham

    Seth, great to hear about your journey and learning a bit about the design process.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you for listening, Brett!

  • john lozano

    Seth, thanks for sharing your story. I always find it interesting to hear the stories behind careers, products, and peoples’ life paths.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you for listening, John. I anticipate adding to the story, and I appreciate the support!

  • Seth thanks for the fun journey sharing

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you Heather! Sometimes it didn’t feel so fun, but I love telling the story. I’m glad you liked it!

  • Richard Knaggs

    Hello Everyone. I am thankful for everything that I have, my family, my friends and that I am privileged enough to be able to help others. My goal is to take the time to listen to people more carefully, to be successful in the planning of the new school wing we are opening in 2020 and to launch our Makerspace successfully. Catherine Liu I would love to chat to you about the coding incubator we have at our school. Oh my goodness Seth, this is exactly what we are trying to do at our school. I agree with you school that should not just be about information – ” If you need information just browse the Internet”. We want to inspire invention and inventors at our school. We want our students to make things and we are especially successful with doing this through our Robotics programme. We have learner teams who have designed: the following:
    1. Team Infinity’s solution is a fully autonomous boat, the size of a small oil rig, that, given a set of coordinates to set boundaries via GPS, will patrol an area as within those boundaries, scooping up litter on the surface of the water. Returning to a collection point to empty its container as soon as it has reached capacity. They have created a small prototype that is simple yet works amazingly well.
    2. Team HyperionBots designed a horse bit that massively reduces the damage to horses’ nerve, bone and cranial structure caused by the use of horse bits by jockeys, whilst still retaining its effectiveness.
    Would you be able to speak to our students some time? It would be a real privilege.
    This is what I love about this Rotary club – the people that we can meet.

    • @richardknaggs:disqus – Send me an email and I’d be happy to connect you directly with Seth! You should also have Catherine’s contact info already, but if not, just let me know too. 🙂 Let’s get you someone to speak to your students!

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Richard, you are doing more to add value to your student’s minds than perhaps anyone understands right now… In my experience, more important than the information is knowing how to use it, when to use it, and when to know you do not have all of it. The internet has obviously revolutionized access to information, but I think that we can agree information is not education… I see students flagging the information they receive in lectured instruction as “oh, that’s out there (and I can look it up again,)” rather than “I know how I can use that,” “This will be useful when I’m doing _____,” or “I wonder how that affects _______.” Back to your point, invention is the departure from what exists, and inventors must be confident to step out in confidence to receive yet-unknown information, deduce its usefulness, and act! Obviously, some invention (some of the best) is just dumb luck, so maybe I am speaking more to innovation…. anywho, your robotics program sounds absolutely fabulous. The projects that your students are working on are not only relevant, but the fact that they function is remarkable. I am born and raised in Montana, land of the cowboy, and I appreciate a better bit– I have yet to meet a horse that willingly accepts a bridle. I have to imagine it’s the discomfort.

      I would love to speak to your students! It would be a privilege for me as well, and an honor. Mitty can connect you with my email, or we can figure it out another way. Talk soon!

      • Richard Knaggs

        Hi Seth. Apologies for my delayed response, I have been travelling. 🙂 I will get in touch soon.

  • Fernando Morales

    Hello all, thanks again for another valuable presentation. The video of Dennis Ogbe, in just a bit over a minute delivered some great motivation. Seth, it was great to hear your story and what motivates you.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you for listening! I hope it was valuable in some small way.

  • mahmood khan

    Thanks Seth for sharing your story.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you for listening!

  • Ferheen Abbasi

    Seth, thank you so much for your presentation! You are hilarious and an amazing storyteller. I appreciate your journey through college trying to find what you’re the best at. Good luck with all of your endeavors!

    • Seth Carlstrom

      I’m so happy you liked it! I realize it probably wasn’t ‘formal,’ but my strength doesn’t really lie in formality… Thank you for the well-wishing, and I wish you the same!

  • Nicole Pham

    Thank you so much Seth for speaking to our club! I enjoyed your presentation. Yesterday I was able to participate in the Stop Hunger Now event in Cupertino! I had a fantastic time and loved working alongside other rotarians, high school students, and more! We packed 10,000 meals in two hours. I also was able to meet a rotarian in our club for the first time. Hi Heather if you see this!! I’m so thankful to be in a club with the coolest and kindest people around.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      I am glad you enjoyed it, thank you for listening! It’s great to hear about the service you are doing.

  • Paul Mosso

    Thank you Seth for sharing your story with our Rotary Club. I was also a part of a hands-on learning program while I was in my undergraduate. I completely agree there’s a lot of value on having the classroom meet the real world. Those experiences truly teach you how to perform work in the real world.

    • Seth Carlstrom

      It seems like too many people end up with a diploma in their hand, and a glazed-over look in their eye; real world and real stakes mean real engagement in your work and your own life, as I think you will agree. Thank you for taking the time to hear my story!

  • Raquel D. Juncal

    Seth, thank you so much for sharing your story!

    • Seth Carlstrom

      Thank you for thanking me!

  • Thanks, Kristi, for bringing Seth in as a speaker – what a fun talk!

  • BDL

    Kudos to Kristi for getting us Seth: this was [email protected]

    • Seth Carlstrom

      This was addressed to Kristi, but I would still like to thank you for the kind words!

  • Excellent. Really enjoyed.


We'd love to hear from you! You can use this form or send us an email directly at [email protected]

Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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