Posted by Leigh Carpenter on Sep 21, 2017
Dr. Shiva delivers a powerful presentation to a captured audience 
Nashoba Valley Rotary Meeting September 21, 2017
Moment of inspiration
  • Rich shared its Rosh Hashana and relexed on this time to start fresh
  • Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai (inventor of email and polymath) & his assistant Miles
Opening remarks/upcoming events
  • Welcome to Steve D’Agostino who was installed at last weeks evening meeting
  • We will soon welcome another new member, Ellen Kendall (Howards wife)
  • Lottery is live on district7910 website to attend an invitation only End Polio event at for Gates Foundation in Seattle.  $25 donation gets you 1 drawing.  Lottery winnet receives a trip for 2 including round trip airfare and hotel for 3 nights.  Event October 24th (lottery deadline ends September 30th)
  • Purple Pinkie Day is set for Lancaster.  Hurricane help is a focus right now for some schools which means they are stretched for other causes.  Stow school has bowed out for now (postponed until February perhaps).  Lancaster school also includes a dictionary which Rich is working on
  • Request for help at eye & ear screenings from Stow Lions with events in Lancaster, Hudson & Stow.  Many of our members are helping (Mary, Rich, Laura & Bob).  We think Bolton may be involved as well
  • Repair Café, 9/23 in Bolton.  Many towns joining the trend!  Cambridge, Northborough Junior Women’s Club (10/14), Wellesley Rotary (10/14).  Go to our club website > repair café for a list of upcoming events
  • Wine Fellowship lead by Carl Gomes – today is the last day to register.  No cost for now just getting people together to have fun! 
  • Healing Garden event on 10/1.  If you’ve had enough of fundraising events but want to help we have volunteer posts in Lancaster & Littleton to hand out water.  Thank you to Laura who is helping with parking and Jacky, Carolyn & Brian who are participating.
  • Saturday, October 14 (9-4pm): Ribbon Cutting at Stow Airfield for the new runway (activities include a paper airplane contest, run on the runway, airplane rides, food and more).   Free admission but entry fee for the 5k
  • Worcester Hockey game, 10/14
  • Interact Club is just getting underway.  We hope to invite them to a meeting and lead us, become more connected
  • Service opportunity at Dismas House in Oakham, 10/27 opportunity to bring food, cook & have dinner with the group.  See Mary to sign up.  Cancelled that weeks meeting to participate
  • Visioning – get out your phones and save the date!  November 2, 5-9pm at Emma’s.  An opportunity to be together to talk about the future with a focus on membership, service projects, rotary foundation & leadership.  More to come.
  • Global project for this year brought to us by Carl Gomes!  At the last morning meeting Pastor Samuel spoke to us about an orphanage in Kenya for children whose parents have died from AIDS.  Board approved the grant to ensure a healthy environment through this grant.  Carl updated us that water is flowing as of 3 days from the well.
  • Laura shared that we’re doing a LOT of service, not fundraising, just service above self.  Let her know what you’ve been doing under Rotary for tracking purposes.  Ex. Dinner for Ari’s family, dictionary work by Rich, repair café work by Rich, etc, etc.
  • Snow Angels (Ray & Richard): seniors sign up who need salt/sand.  We need a champion to work with Mary Boyd & Lisa from Bolton are contacts.  Jacky, Nanci will take it on
Sad/Happy Fines
  • Carl looking forward to a happy event this weekend
  • Laura happy that Ari’s new house is coming along & concerned about all the horrible things happening in the world right now
  • Katie happy that RFK has big bike event this weekend
  • Brian shares a birthday with Bruce Springsteen & George Costanza
  • Steve happy for tomorrow’s wine fellowship
  • Jacky concerned about weather, realtor stopped annual conference to do volunteering
  • Carol knows we will do whatever is best to help during weather destruction
  • Leigh happy to be here
  • Nanci tentatively going to Mexico for a wedding, right now hotel building is standing
  • Ray sad about weather and thrilled with repair cafes blossoming
  • Rich is happy to be here, sad for all the weather
  • Richard happy to be here and looks forward to repair café, sad/happy about response to restoring the islands.  “Out of heartbreak comes courage.”
  • Glen looking forward to repair café, came back from Caribbean and sad for those affected
  • Bob sad about Caribbean destruction  
Having fun during a quick break! 

Guest Speaker
Dr. Shiva Innovation Anytime, Anyplace by Anybody

(Very enlightening and complex information that I found difficult to capture in its entirety.  Here is my best effort!)
  • Dr. Shiva has 4 degrees from MIT, among many accomplishments including invention of email.  Also working on a way to connect western & eastern medicine
  • Dr. Shiva grew up in India – where the population ranges from modern cities to small villages (compare Mississippi to NYC). Hundreds of villages make up the lifeblood of India. 
  • Grandmother trained holistically.  She could study a person’s face to know what was happening in the body (now west has that intelligence so it must be true)
  • In India, all treatment is covered by healthcare
  • Western medicine came from war time to put soldiers back on field. It waits until you get sick. Not about prevention.  Their model in India is about treating body as a whole and doing things much earlier on. 
  • Dr.  Shiva came to the US in 1970 with his family (considered untouchables)
  • In 1978, he was one of 40 students who were selected to go to NYU Mathematical Sciences to learn software (at age 14), graduated and then worked full time at records medical school with a focus on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (wrote a paper on this).  During this work, people saw that he could program well.
  • In those days, a system of communication/collaboration was telephone and interoffice mail.  Shiva was given the challenge of creating a system to convert to electronic version. 
  • Wrote 15,000 codes which became EMAIL (not an obvious term.  Only made based on # of characters allowed)
    • Only way to protect this in 1976-1980 was copywriting because you could not patent software. 
  • Fast-forward to 2011 mom was dying from polinary fibrosis b/c she worked in a factory when she moved to US.  3 months she gave Shiva all artifacts of his email work and gave to Smithsonian which set off a bomb. 
    • Time Magazine wrote an article in 2011 The Man Who Invented Email
    • Smithsonian contacted him to get materials
    • Not an occasion for celebration because it’s Shiva
    • Raytheon & academic experts got threatened & called him all sorts of names; claiming he was a fraud.  Shared that @ symbol was crated and misconstrued as email.  showed us comments of horrible things that people said about him and made out to destroy him.  This was in 2012!
    • What was really going on?  Facts are obvious that he invented email.  Why so much vitriol? Unravel it and see what we think of as an Inventor; nerdy white men with pocket protectors are considered inventors
    • (Very difficult to share this in writing what he shared with us!)
  • In 2007, he went to India on Fulbright to look at eastern/western medicine.  During this time, he experienced great backlash when he came back to America, rather than stay in India to innovate, and learned to become a fighter.  Amazing innovators there but feudal system made it so no one could actually innovate and due to corruption.  Left India under death threats.  
  • Shared examples of activism – people don’t think a scientist/inventor are activists
  • Came back and had to fight for himself, that he did invent email.  Wasn’t out for fame & fortune but it was about defending his work and all innovators.  Ultimately won the fight
  • What is the point of this story about email?  
    • A book “Innovators for the Digital Revolution” did NOT mention email at all – slides shown depicted innovators majority white men which implies that no one of any other color or race have been innovators.
    • Encourages us to deny where innovation can come from. 
    • Not always about big military, big universities, big corporations & wealthy kids.  It’s about a loving family & a mentor. 
    • A lot of smart people in this country but a set of people control the narratives of where these ideas come from
    • Goes down to depths of deep narrative of where innovation comes from; what we think innovators look like
    • Being human is being innovative and creative.  If you deny where innovation comes from that is wrong.  No one should experience the backlash he did.
    • Innovation can occur ANYTIME, ANYPLACE by ANYBODY without insidious nature of those who try to suppress that truth