On October 8, the launch and first meeting of the San Francisco Tech Council took place, hosted in partnership by Healthcare Innovation Transfer and the Consulate General of the Netherlands. Leaders from across government, community and tech industry were present to share a vision and identify goals for ‘San Francisco 2020’.
The objective of the meeting was to collectively find the best approach for engaging older adults, those with disabilities and the broader community in the city of San Francisco through technology. This central topic was based on a research conducted through interviews with experts from public agencies, community organizations and technology corporations.
Hugo von Meijenfeldt, Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco welcomed everyone after which the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, through video presence, emphasized the importance of this subject and the bond between the cities of San Francisco and Amsterdam. Jay Nath from Mayor Lee’s office emphasized the Mayor’s will to increase free Wifi and getting de underserved better involved in the community.
During the meeting and a design group session, expert teams formed by the different attendees identified concepts, key steps and resources needed to address improvements in four focus areas: Access and Education; Isolation; Healthcare and Life Challenges;Diversity .
Examples like a multi-generational neighborhood concept, ways to cut healthcare costs, free WiFi for the city and to bring us to a more connected San Francisco. This requires that organizations are willing to collaborate and build a stronger network together. Working on a compelling vision for the city of San Francisco this may lead to a longer lasting public private collaboration.
With positive energy, call to action, and clear direction for 2020 the next step will collaborative group work and the planning of the second Tech Council Meeting early December this year.b
October 20th, 2014 by Bo-Peter Laanen
Dutch Business Conference in Phoenix, Arizona
Come back to stay up to date as the Dutch Business Conference continues.
October 16th, 2014 by Bo-Peter Laanen
Transcense launches fundraising campaign for conversing with and between those who are hard-of-hearing.
Transcense was recently interviewed and featured on the Holland in the Valley website as a Dutch-led company here in Silicon Valley. Now the company is fundraising through IndieGoGo in order to launch its mobile app that will allow those who have deaf or have difficulty hearing communicate easily and effectively with those of the “hearing world”. Below are some excerpts from the interview.
What does your company do and in what sectors do you work?
Transcense aims to lower the communication barrier between deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and the hearing world. Our goal is to provide solutions that help these people engage in meaningful conversations. To accomplish this, we are currently developing a mobile application that translates group conversations into text. The app connects to the multiple smart devices present in the group. Using speech recognition and speaker identification technologies, the app recognizes who is talking and what the person says, and displays this on your smartphone or tablet. It provides 24/7 autonomy to actively participate in any situation at any moment.
Can you tell me more about the technology behind the product?
We combine state of the art technologies, and build our own layer on top of those technologies. Basically we combine the best speech recognition technology with mobile computing capabilities to deliver a real time transcription that is less than a few seconds. As briefly mentioned, we use the smart devices that are already present in the space. The deaf person comes into a meeting and has the app installed on his/her device. The person will then request the other meeting attendees to join the conversation through their devices, enabling their microphones and creating a distributed microphone array that enhances the voice input signal and identifies speakers. The deaf person now sees a realtime chat with who is speaking and what is being said.
What are your ambitions for your company?
We want to make Transcense as easy and accessible as possible to ensure a seamless integration with people’s lives. When this is accomplished we want to build it out to serve more use cases. Transcense has to become a solution for everyone, at any place, and any time. Our goal is to provide it as a 24/7 service that gives autonomy to it’s user. Starting with the U.S, we want to expand our markets over the rest of the world.
You can read the rest of the interview here. Please support their IndieGoGo campaign!
October 15th, 2014 by Bo-Peter Laanen
Arizona Honorary Consul Siebe Vanderzee was recently featured on the newsletter and website of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
The following are excerpts from his report, explaining the purpose and work of the Consular Corps of Arizona. Read the full report here. Thanks to the work of Siebe Vanderzee, the Dutch Business Conference will be taking place this Thursday in Phoenix, Arizona, part of the region under the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco.
Consular Corps of Arizona
Career consuls are full time employees of their respective governments and a national of their country. Honorary consuls are generally appointed to provide consular services in areas not covered by a career consul and receive no remuneration for their services. Both career and honorary consuls are officially accredited by the U.S. State Department. Since honorary consuls are non-career diplomats, they also hold other full-time professions.
Foreign consuls represent the interests of their governments, in Arizona. Their primary focus is to look out for the well-being of nationals from the countries they
represent. Consular aide can cover a variety of activities including authentication of documents, processing and issuance of passports and visas, identity cards, and visits in detention facilities when applicable.
Moreover, Consuls promote international trade, tourism, and scientific, educational and cultural exchanges between their country and Arizona. There is a reason why foreign companies want to invest in Arizona. For foreign companies. another advantage (and easily overlooked!) is Arizona’s close proximity to California and Mexico (and Latin America). Using Arizona as a base to approach those two markets is less bureaucratic and far less costly.
As a growing state we need to take advantage of the available resources and assets we have here in Arizona. For example, in addition to the Consular Corps, we need to invite foreign companies based in Arizona to participate in this effort. Furthermore there are several bi-lateral trade organizations and many foreign born professionals present in our state who are interested in joining this effort.
For detailed information about the Consular Corps and its individual members please visit www.arizonaconsularcorps.org. We are here to serve and promote
Honorary Consul of the Netherlands
Chairman, Economic Diplomacy Committee
Consular Corps of Arizona
October 14th, 2014 by Bo-Peter Laanen
Kamphuis’ Journey to Brazil!
Nellie, the Chevy that took Kamphuis from SF to Brazil.
This is a guest post written by Pim Brouwer of NAF-Business
On Thursday, Oct 9th, The Netherlands America Foundation (NAF), in co-operation with the Consulate General of the Netherlands, hosted a great event with and around Ben Oude Kamphuis and his old Chevy pickup truck called Nellie, at the offices of the Dutch Consulate General.
Ben, with Nellie, drove 15,000 miles, from San Francisco, to Brazil, on paved and dirt roads, through valleys and climbing steep trails, to watch the Dutch team playing in the World Cup Soccer Tournament, last summer. Meanwhile Ben, while driving through countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Chile, Columbia, he meet the local citizens and especially the children, spreading the message of non-discrimination and using sports like soccer as the basis for respecting each other.
The stories were astonishing and both Ben and the 50+ people audience were surprised by the hospitality and welcoming of people along the road, inviting Ben & Nellie to stay at their humble places, share their modest food and just appreciates Ben’s mission to go for it. Happenings were organized in the mountain villages to celebrate Ben’s passing through. And…… Nellie made it all the way, without a single flat tire! Ben presented the summary in a very lively and entertaining way, mixing up pictures and video’s, with the right (Dutch) songs to present his story and to share his experiences.
A great story & experience, by a great man, with a huge heart. Welcome home, Ben!
October 14th, 2014 by Bo-Peter Laanen
Pictures from the presentation from Deputy Consul General Ard van der Vorst