Luminaries to Tackle the Tech Skills Crisis on International Flight

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 28, 2013

Can a group of 100 certified tech innovators, including Silicon Valley CEOs, venture capitalists and analysts, sit down together for a few hours and solve the world's crisis in tech skills? That's the question that a British Airways program called UnGrounded is asking, and the way the program intends to get an answer is quite swashbuckling. Through Ungrounded, 100 tech luminaries will board a flight on June 12 in San Francisco, headed for London, where they will tackle the tech skills problem in a challenge sponsored by Ideo, a technology design firm.

 If the idea sounds a bit like a flash mob, it is. But it has a certain panache to it. Just look at some of the digerati who will participate:

 Todd Lutwak of Andreessen Horowitz

Leor Stern of Google

Celestine Johnson of Innovation Endeavors

Duncan Logan of RocketSpace

Gerald Brady of Silicon Valley Bank

Marguerite Gong Hancock of SPRIE, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Rhonda Abrams of The Planning Shop

This program is part of a larger initiative by British Airways to open the door to collaboration with the start-up community in Silicon Valley. On the flight, UnGrounded participants will discuss solutions for the growing lack of tech skills globally, which helps to curb innovation.

Upon landing in London the group will present their work to a like-minded group of global thought leaders to decide how to put ideas into action. 

"Innovation is a contact sport," said Marguerite Gong Hancock, Associate Director of SPRIE, Stanford Graduate School of Business, in a statement. "With 100 innovators from Silicon Valley together at 30,000 feet, anything is possible. Our research shows that building talent networks is at the heart of creating high value and high velocity innovation. I'm delighted to be part of this ambitious initiative that has the potential to impact the next generation of innovators around the globe."

“Our understanding is that the talent crunch is a real issue for companies and organizations in major tech hubs around the world,” said Amir Dossal, Chairman, Global Partnerships Forum, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General of ITU, United Nations. "We need to give people the opportunity to discover and be discovered, to grow skills, provide experience and uncover new ideas globally.”

This sounds interesting. We will follow up with a report after the flight, and hopefully some of the luminaries in the UnGrounded program will have ideas about leveraging open source in solving the tech skills crisis.