Yesterday, we welcomed Ellen Levy, Managing Director of Silicon Valley Connect, for this month’s Speaker Series event here at SurveyMonkey. She’s been described as the most connected woman in Silicon Valley and it’s definitely not hard to see why!
Ellen’s career began with a stint at Apple in the 90s–right before Steve Jobs’s return to the company–and has since taken on many different roles in the tech and business world. She’s held positions running corporate development and strategy for startups such as WhoWhere, (acquired by the search engine pioneer, Lycos) and joined the advisory boards for a number of startups and companies, including for Linkedin. Ellen also spent five years working in venture capital before leaving to run the groundbreaking program, MediaX, at Stanford University.
If that’s not enough to make one’s head spin, she was also a deputy chair of the Global Health Working Group of the Clinton Global Initiative before officially joining Linkedin as an employee after having already been on their advisory board. She served as their VP of Corporate Development and Strategy and was VP of Strategic Initiatives until last year.
Somehow during all of that, Ellen managed to find the time to give herself an ambitious project to complete–chronicle her daily life for one year in the form of a photo journal. In 1999, she set herself the task of taking a photo of every single person she met each day. She kept a daily journal about the experience and by the end of the project, she had 3000 single-spaced pages and over 1800 photos collected. She’s described this project as being instrumental in helping her understand how social networks operate in today’s world.
Our VP of Product and Engineering, Selina Tobaccowala, sat down with Ellen to chat about this experience and some of the lessons she’s learned along the way:
Ellen currently devotes much of her time working with organizations and entrepreneurs on opportunities for “networked innovation”, on the dynamics of social networks within “the enterprise”, social media and the consumer Internet, innovation ecosystems and supporting organizational models.