Hurriyet – March 2016
Dunya – March 2016
A GAZETE – March 2106
HABER EKSPRES – March 2016
BURSA KENT – March 2016
”I attended the opening panel of Uludag Ekonomi Zirvesi, the top summit for decision makers in Turkey. The summit takes place at the top of Uludag, a favorite ski destination in Turkey. It was snowing outside; but inside a really heated discussion took place how Turkey could take place in the transforming and ever changing world economy. The discussion topics revolved around digitization; a smart future and how enterprises will survive in the NEW ECONOMY.
My guidance to the industry was to stay ahead of everyone else through constant innovation. 1-build up your innovation centers and R&D not close to your manufacturing divisions or where your HQ are; rather in cities and countries where you intend to leapfrog to, in order to protect the new and genius ideas. 2-invest in start up relevant for yoru industry but leave them alone so they can thrive. 3-develop walls around new divisions you form and give them measurable other than just profit so they can thrive and make mistakes and they take risks. One of my comments made it to a bunch of headlines in next day’s newspapers: ‘promote people who take risks and fail businesses; because they learn the fastest.”
The fast-growing field of “wearables” — apparel and accessories that contain some sort of connected technology — is forcing chipmakers to find common ground with the fashion world.
It’s a learning process, according to Ayse Ildeniz, who is vice president and general manager for business development and strategy with Intel’s New Devices Group. Engineers have had to learn about fashion and clothes, and accessory designers have had to learn about technology.
But the collaboration already has produced the button-sized Curie module, based on an energy-efficient Intel chip called the Quark, which can be programmed to take on a multitude of tasks for the burgeoning Internet of Things.
Ildeniz spoke with this paper recently. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Q You have spoken a lot about the role of technology in women’s lives. What are the main issues that you see as a woman in technology?
I think we need to make sure, when we’re providing technology, that we cater to the needs of different segments of the market. Women are very, very important as far as wearables are concerned. Women do care hugely about what they wear and what they put on themselves. We need to make sure as technologists we provide cool usage models. Aesthetics is important.
Q How would you go about it?
The way we decided to go about it is through partnerships. Instead of ourselves sitting in a lab insularly, to go out and talk to people who have been making these things for years. Two years ago, when we kicked off the New Devices Group, we went after Luxottica, Fossil — 15 brands in all. We went out and partnered with (the Council of) Fashion Designers of America. We got together with these people and we picked their brains as to what do they think women would wear.
Q An example?
We came out with a smart bracelet, MICA — an Opening Ceremony brand — which is sold at Barneys instead of at a tech store. The bracelet has been overwhelmingly loved by women because of its aesthetics.
Q This must have been a learning experience.
A huge one. First, it was working with a fashion house, then working with Oakley, part of the Luxottica Group, and then a product with TAG Heuer.
Q What went into designing the smart bracelet?
The way we approached it is this: We got together with fashion designers, creatives and innovators, and we asked them about our first design, which was what we imagined a bracelet might be like. It was a rectangle, and it was huge. The Opening Ceremony folks said: “You got to be kidding me, it needs to be rounder and much thinner.” The first design they faxed us from New York City was all metal and thin. Our engineers said: “It’s not possible. How can you embed a radio in something that’s fully metal? It’s not going work.” So there was an amazing back and forth between New York City and Silicon Valley about what’s possible, what do they want, how could we do it as engineers.
Q Since then you have done a dress and a sports bra with a cutting-edge fashion house, Chromat. How did that go?
They (Chromat) understand tech very well. They’ve done 3-D printing and LED light stuff. They understand material. This dress, or the carbon fiber in back of the dress, takes a shape like an hourglass when the wearer’s adrenaline gets high.
Q What about the sports bra?
I can’t tell you the why. I can tell you the what and how. Our Curie module, which is so small, came out of our partnership with the fashion world which told us, “Everything you guys are doing is great, it’s just too big.” So we went back and did this little button-like thing with sensors for perspiration and body temperature. If it gets too warm and you’re perspiring, it opens little vents (to) help the body breathe a little better.
Q What else is coming?
By 2020 and 2025 there are going be 50 billion connected things which we call the Internet of Things, and we are trying to make that a reality. Everything in the world, from the lamp to the desktop you’re using to the shirt you’re wearing will have some kind of intelligence. Only then can the Internet of Things dream become a reality. Intel is invested in making this happen. You’re going see many more things.
Q So engineers and fashion have finally merged?
It’s a journey. There (are) a lot of mechanical issues, mechanical design problems to be fixed. These are questions we never have to worry about in technology. We’re all for function in technology and the fashion world is all about aesthetics and beauty.
Five Things To Know About Ayse Ildeniz
I was awarded as the third most influential Turkish-American woman in a ceremony in New York by TurkofAmerica magazine focused on successful Turkish women. The event took place in Manhattan Marquis Marriott Hotel with sponsorship from Turkish Philantropic Funds, and NGO raising support for causes in Turkey and other reputable Turkish organizations. It was a fantastic event celebrating all those accomplished strong women who made a difference in US.
I spoke at Harvard Business School over the weekend. Not only I got to meet with and spoke to 200 incredibly bright women, I was with two outstanding Turkish women I was so proud to meet. It is so inspiring to meet these smart young women who are at the very beginning of their careers but will persevere and do great things for others and our country!
Harvard Business School hosted me as a speaker at the Dynamic Women in Business Conference on February 20th. Organized for the past twenty five years by the Women Student Association, whose mission is to connect, empower and celebrate the next generation of women leaders, this amazing conference brought together highly accomplished women CEOs, journalists, academicians in every field you can imagine, and connected them to the leaders of the future. I spoke on ‘’How can Women Make a Difference in the Tech World?’’ where I shared my personal story as well as other inspiring stories of women I have met around the world who have brought their unique skills to the technology sector.
I met two fabulous future leaders there. Yonca Kumsar was the organizer for the technology track; she is working on her Harvard MBA after a great start for her career in Turkey; and already holding the flag for the women in business. Other young lady I met is Cansu Colakoglu. Cansu and I did book shopping at Harvard Yard like I used to do many years ago and discussed politics. It was such a delight to discuss her ambitions how to impact gender diversity and human rights issues around the world as well as in Turkey.
We are discussing still such similar issues compared to the years I lived in Boston; and I know there is some pendulum change for women; but we have a very long way to go still. No stopping now.
I made it to Atacama. It had this enormous lure with it. A desert so high up, at 2400 meters altitude. A desert that resembles the face of the moon; and had salt fields. A desert that had flamingos in a lake and free reigning llamas. A desert which is the driest place on earth. So dry that you can watch the sky better than anywhere else in the world that they founded one of the biggest telescopes on earth, the ALMA. A desert which oldest mummies of the world from 9 thousands years ago were found. I was parched. The whole place was parched. But I found what I was looking for.
I watched ‘Nostalgia for the Light’ at Istanbul Film festival in 2011. It was a documentary about Atacama desert in Chile, the driest place on earth. The documentary was a showing on the explorers of the history of the desert: the astronomers looking through the biggest telescope on earth, the ALMA, to see the stars and universe form millions of years ago; the archeologists exploring the pre-columbian people’s lives and their history through the perfectly preserved bodies they have uncovered in the desert; and the mothers and sisters looking for their lost ones’ remains, perished under the Pinochet dictatorship in the seventies.
The life in the small village of San Pedro de Atacama went on serving tourists, expanding with new small hotels, more cafes, raising sheep and llamas in past many years. It acts as an oasis (which it is!) to welcome and provide anyone. It is shielded from the astronomers researching what happened millions of years ago on top of the mountain nearby; not weary at all of the nearby tragedy of detention camps and relatives search for bones in the desert. But village folks are aware of their ancestors ruins and customs from 500 years back; the forts made against the Spanish conquistadors, and the now semi abandoned rituals. They actually live a very similar life of past in the mud houses and provide themselves food with llama meat and yarn in Atacama. They also express big disdain on demonstration in a museum of the mummified bodies found in Atacama, dating way back to 7020 BC.
This desert is able to witness to the past history of the heavens; host political atrocities for the people who came from modern cities; and provide an oasis for its own indigenous people alongside the flamingos, birds, mice, llama and other animals. I thought it was a demonstration of short history of time and what earth actually looked like before we as humans existed and what it will look like after we exist too.
I am in my sabbatical break. In past recent years I seldom dared to dream how this would turn out to be. It caused a big anticipation, mix of stress caused by the unknown as to what you discover after so many decades of yourself with an almost unlimited time with no plans and no structure. I always thought it would be a scene from Julio Cortazar’s Blow-Up story: I would be sitting in a Buenos Aries apartment looking at a park and repeating as the main character goes, ‘I think I understand what I see’. And then the reality would part my imagination and I would really see and understand.
I am sitting in a Buenos Aries apartment today. I have done Patagonia, Atacama, Casablanca Valley, Santiago de Chile, Iguazu, Salta and the North plains. Past few days the folks in the hotel, the taxi stand and the breakfast café staff started to call me by my name ‘Ildeniz’. The neighbourhood of Palermo Hollywood almost feels like I am in Izmir somewhere; small residential feel with old eighteen century houses renovated recently with gentrification in Palermo Hollywood; small shop owners and neighbours in their daily routines. The corner stores are always closed, maybe owners went for summer holidays. I hear the noisy motors of the 80s’ taxi cars passing by.
Finally the chaos, adrenaline, logistics, the heat is normalizing. I am trying not to admit but time to see and understand has come. Just like the time to go home nears close; uncomfortably so.
South America remained to be ‘conquered’ in my head. Although few prior forays into Peru and Mexico gave some glimpse, I knew it was immensely big and varied with so much to understand. I find it so fascinating because it is almost an executive summary of what would happen in a short period of fourteen thousand years if a handful people got to an uninhabited land, leaving the other side of the earth we been evolving for almost five million years or so… And they got disrupted by a major wave of almost ‘aliens’ just five hundred years ago which almost wiped them out entirely and eventually they changed and adopted with the flow of immigrants from old world.
Today it is as vibrant, fascinating and nonsensical as any other emerging country including my own, class and racial segregation rampant, amazing culture and arts, politics dominated by corruption but kept alive by hopeful masses who largely speak politics and soccer, amazing untouched beauty and vast lands, repressive religion as anywhere else, fabulous food which life is built around, and colors and colors and colors.
One night, I was sitting on a restaurant porch in Mendoza with a doctor lady who I befriended on a flight from Santiago to Mendoza. The biggest mistake anyone can make whilst travelling is compare countries or people. But it is human nature to do so. So no surprise, we find ourselves discussing the very common issues we both faced in our countries: women forced to pregnancy by husbands and no proper birth control; religious institutions having a say on women’s own bodies; lack of education for girls and lack of opportunities for women; wars started by men, designed by men, fought by men; poverty rampant in our suburbia and small villages barring any breakthrough. She talks about how she sees same problems in few generations in the government clinic she works in and how she wants to help and change things. I talk about what I do and want to do to make change. Her family came from Lebanon few generations back, and we exchange Middle Eastern food recipes. We start driving and on the sidewalks there are hundreds of young men walking with similar colored uniforms. They are going to a summer tournament game to support their local Mendoza football team. They look happy and chanting songs with flags on their hands. It is very very hot although sun is about to set. Yet the walking squad seems determined. They probably will scream away their angst, frustrations and cheer for their happiness through the football game tonight.
Then she takes me to a milonga, a type of a tango party. This milonga is taking place at a park in Mendoza. Someone brings few speakers and a music system just voluntarily and folks gather around to dance with whomever is there. She takes out her tango shoes from her bag, beautifully designed in Buenos Aries, and starts to dance with an old gentleman who asks her to the dance. I am so blown away how natural and spontaneous this dancing ceremony is. But apparently it is not! There are so many rules. As an example, if someone asks you to dance two times, it is possible that he is interested in you! It is so graceful and amazingly powerful that I don’t dare accept an invite to dance, rather observe. When my friend and her husband come to San Francisco, I will not be able to take them to dance in a park I am afraid; then again everything would be possible in Cesme! I promise her to start taking tango lessons and promise myself to bring the entire friend crew to Mendoza to visit the spectacular Bodegas if not to share the problems of the world…
And as soon as I get to Buenos Aries, I go to the famous tango shoe store and buy two pairs! I will dream that I will start tango lessons. Or worst case walk comfortably in them!