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Innovation Heroes

Author: SHI

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Innovation Heroes is a podcast exploring the people and businesses driving change in our drastically disrupted world. Host, Ed McNamara leads listeners to explore some of the most inspiring stories of business innovation in a post-pandemic era. Conversations with leaders from Cisco, Microsoft, Intel and more help listeners understand how we can move forward and thrive, by innovating through crisis.
25 Episodes
The Internet can be a hotbed for some of the worst aspects of digital society, but there’s lessons to be learned from the data we create in these unsavoury interactions. Network Visualization is an advanced analytic technique that can be used to turn the vast, intimidating mountain of our social data into stunning pictures of online communities. This kind of analysis can help us do a better job of parsing out the truth from the rest of the background noise, and maybe even show us the tools we need to help make the Internet a more hopeful place again.  Host Ed McNamara sits down with Alexandra Pavliuc, a doctoral researcher who’s using this kind of network visualization to make sense of the bigger picture. Examining everything from tweets by state-run political accounts to targeted sexism propagated by trolls, she says that this kind of analysis could be the first step in figuring out how to make the Internet a safer and more equitable place for all - and how to help both individual users and the leaders of these networks figure out what it means to do their part.    Featuring guest Alexandra Pavliuc, Doctoral Researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute.   This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by Women in SHI. Visit to learn more. 
The team running Rutgers University’s supercomputer cluster has been busier than ever since the start of the pandemic. Today, they’re supporting the advanced computing needs for over 350 projects for hundreds of users all around the globe. From Dentistry to Astronomy, the work they support is truly changing the world – and sheds light on the real potential of today’s most powerful computing machines. But the real heroes are the IT staff, who not only maneuvered through the massive boom of pandemic demands, but continue to help make high resource computing accessible – and equitable – for a vibrant and varied research community.  Host Ed McNamara sits down for the last episode of 2021 with an expert from the Office of Advanced Research Computing, who’s fighting to give credit to the unsung heroes behind this amazing tech – because innovation is nothing without communication and a focus on equality.   Featuring guest Barr von Oehsen, Associate Vice President of the Office of Advanced Research Computing at Rutgers University.  This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by the Samsung Galaxy Book. Visit to learn more. 
It’s American Thanksgiving tomorrow... a time to reflect on everything that’s happened in the last year. For the Innovation Heroes podcast team, that means thinking about the semiconductor shortage that’s been generating headlines – and with good reason. These little chips are in pretty much every electronic device you can think of, and there’s just not enough of them to go around. But COVID-19 isn’t the only reason we’re experiencing shortages; really, it’s just the last domino to fall in a cascade that’s spanned the last decade of technological development. But regardless of the true cause of the shortages, we need answers as to how exactly we’re going to get ourselves out of this mess. Host Ed McNamara sits down with two experts who say we have to start making the best of what we have, and finding ways to make sustainable maintenance make economic sense. Because the fate of not just the supply chain, but the world as we know it, depends on it. Featuring guests Sumit Puri, CEO & Co-Founder at Liqid, and Camberley Bates, Managing Director & Analyst at Evaluator Group. This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by Intel’s Evo vPro platform. Visit to learn more.
Hitchhiking robots were just the beginning. Ed meets with Dr. Frauke Zeller and Lauren Dwyer, two leading social robotics scientists at X University in Toronto. Together, they go over the inspiring and viral story of hitchBot and all the amazing work Dr. Zeller and her team have been up to ever since. They discuss the latest and near-term use cases of robots in society and uncover a series of fascinating insights. From building the perfect robo-companion, to fundamentally altering our industries and what it means to be human, you will never look at your Roomba the same way again.  Featuring: Dr. Frauke Zeller, Associate Professor and Director of The Creative School Catalyst & CCK at X University and Lauren Dwyer, Doctoral Candidate in Communication and Culture, Technology in Practice at X University.     This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by HP Inc Notebooks on the Intel Evo platform. Visit to learn more.   
Intel’s Stacey Shulman returns to talk about the one thing every innovation hero needs right now: More passion! After more than a year of the pandemic blues, Stacey talks with Ed about the projects she’s working on and explores the power of making tech more fun, meaningful, and human. From healthcare to retail, not only will it lead to better outcomes for the people you work with – it actually creates more profits, too. Stacey is Intel’s Vice President Internet of Things Group and GM Health, Life Sciences and Emerging Technologies.   This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by Lenovo Intelligent Computing. Learn more at  
It’s the spookiest time of the year – Cybersecurity Awareness Month! For the Season 3 premier, host Ed McNamara explores the rising threat of ransomware supply chain attacks, the future of security and what conversations you need to be having, right now, to avoid being the next target. Featuring resident security expert, Michael Wilcox, the field Chief Information Security Officer at Stratascale. Discover more research and thought leadership from Michael and Stratascale at    This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by Windows Autopilot. Unbox, log in, and take off with Window’s Autopilot today. Visit for more info. 
SHI's Innovation Heroes is back for a third season of exploring the people and businesses giving us hope in a drastically disrupted world. With new host Ed McNamara at the helm, we’re breaking ground - and stories - in even more unprecedented ways. In the last year of the show, we’ve explored huge innovations that are helping us to stay afloat and start down the road to recovery: technology to transition us to the hybrid working world, AI that developed the COVID-19 vaccines, how the father of VR, Jaron Lanier, is making virtual meetings more human...and that’s just to name a few.  This season, we’re looking forward with hope and finding the hero stories that will define our industries and society in the years to come. Featuring amazing returning guests like Stratascale’s Michael Wilcox and Intel’s Stacey Shulman, as well as new voices from universities, businesses, and maybe even some robots, Season 3 premieres October 14th with new episodes every two weeks after that. Be our hero – like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. You won’t want to miss it!  Innovation Heroes is an original podcast from SHI and Pilgrim Content.  For more on SHI, visit 
WTF are NFTs?

WTF are NFTs?


Peter is joined by Costa Kladianos. Costa is the Vice President, Innovation and Technology at Canlan Sports and an expert on NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). NFTs have been causing a buzz in mainstream media recently. Peter and Costa discuss how they are fundamentally transforming the Internet in terms of creative ownership and distribution, from art to baseball cards and music. Are NFTs just for the avant-garde, or will they become the economic foundation of the Internet’s next generation?     This episode is brought to you by The Hub, the new central resource for insight, thought leadership, and news from SHI. Visit to learn more.
On this episode of Innovation Heroes, Peter is joined by Omar Elawi of Tiny Mile Robotics, a company in Canada that is making robots mainstream with what they dub “Canada’s cutest delivery robot”, Geoffrey. They discuss real life use cases of robotics, both in present day and looking to the future. Plus, we go on a journey exploring the wide and wonderful world of robots across industries and use cases.   This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by SHI Esports. If you're in the education industry and want to bring Esports to your student body, visit to learn more.
The concept of AI we are fed through pop culture makes it out to be something far more mystical than reality — but that’s not to say there isn’t lots of magic going on. In this episode, Peter sits down with Sr. Director, Global Head of Developer Programs at NVIDIA Will Ramey to debunk some of the myths surrounding AI and deep learning technologies, and explore the current and future applications of this exciting tech. This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by NVIDIA and its groundbreaking RTX technology. Visit today to give your team the fastest, most powerful computing tools on the market.   LINKS IN THE EPISODE
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated workplace modernization. Unfortunately, it has also left businesses exposed to more cybersecurity risk than ever. During the first three months of the pandemic, the FBI reported cyber attacks had quadrupled. On today’s episode, Peter sits down with Michael Wilcox, Stratascale’s Field Chief Information Security Officer. They discuss the increased importance of good cyber hygiene and how individuals and corporations can keep themselves safe in the age of the pandemic. Discover how SHI and Stratascale can help. Visit or to get started 
In today’s episode, Peter is joined by Sonny Hudson, Collaboration Specialist of Partners at Cisco to discuss the ground-breaking work being done on the new Cisco Webex and how it’s changing the way we interact with each other and our work. Plus, Peter meets up with two linguistics professors from Rutgers University to find out how artificial intelligence is being used to help machines “talk” — and just how long it will be until AI can compete with human language acquisition. The implications for the future of tech, business and society are massive. This episode is brought to you by Cisco Webex. Visit to learn more.
Peter is joined by Microsoft's Director of Mixed Reality Strategic Partnerships, Eric Kamont, one of the first people Microsoft hired to run business development on the HoloLens headset and platform six years ago. Since then, mixed reality has advanced leaps and bounds and today there is no shortage of powerful new use cases as we grapple with the pandemic. Discover how MR is becoming a key tool across industries like medicine, space and communications.   This episode is sponsored by Microsoft Azure. Visit to learn more
Our current transportation system isn’t sustainable. Threats of climate change, stuttered fuel production and more contribute to the growing need to reimagine our standards – globally. Yet, there are major challenges to rebuilding this infrastructure. Peter is joined by Keegan Tully, Director of Business Development at Ontario Power Generation, the largest energy creator in Ontario, and General Manager of the Ivy Charging Network, a company leading the way in the shift to electric vehicles. From cost, to implementation, to creating solutions for those known in the industry as "garage orphans,” Keegan breaks down the challenges and reflects on the solutions innovators like The Ivy Charging Network are working on behind the scenes.  This episode is brought to you by PureStorage. Visit to learn more.
The cloud has become fundamental in scaling business, and not getting left behind in our modern world. And while the democratization of cloud was well underway before the pandemic, that shift is being accelerated exponentially. On today's episode of Innovation Heroes, Peter is joined by Google public cloud expert, Omar Dajani. They reflect on what open source and increasing access to cloud means for business leaders. They discuss the emergence of new cloud strategies, the results they are driving (cloud tech played a key role in development of the COVID-19 vaccines), and what the future holds. They also dig into the news around open source and hybrid cloud, and share some inspiring stories of innovation heroes using cloud to drive change. This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by Android Enterprise Essentials. Visit to learn more.
The urgency brought on by COVID-19 sparked revolutionary changes in the healthcare industry -- and they’re going to change the way we fight diseases and elevate care, long after the pandemic. In this episode, Peter Bean is once again joined by Stacey Shulman, Intel’s Vice President of the Internet of Things Group and General Manager of Health, Life Science and Emerging Technologies. Together, they explore the impacts COVID-19 has had on driving progress, why collaboration was the secret ingredient, and what the future has in store for this new era of AI-driven healthcare.    This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by Intel vPro® Platform 11th Gen   Client Devices, delivering the highest performance and most comprehensive hardware based security. Learn more at  
We’ve seen countless examples of how innovation is helping us all stay connected and productive in this new remote everything world. But there are a few things business and IT leaders are still struggling to get right – like building a vibrant, meaningful workplace culture at distance. There has to be a better way than the virtual happy hour, right?    To find out, Peter Bean meets with Wavy co-founder and CEO, Shawn Hewat. Since the start of the pandemic, she’s been on a mission to build meaningful, engaging experiences at a distance that promote healthy and purposeful office culture – and better business as a result.    Plus: Peter shares his favorite pranks you can pull on your colleagues – at distance – for April Fools.     This episode of Innovation Heroes is brought to you by Windows 10 Pro devices, powered by the Intel vPro platform. It’s time to rise to the challenge with modern devices, so we can all go forward together. Visit to learn more 
Welcome to Season 2 of SHI's Innovation Heroes — a podcast exploring the people and businesses giving us hope in a drastically disrupted world. In Season 1, we saw entire industries transform in the face of COVID-19. Now, as our world continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, host Peter Bean will be looking to the future, exploring stories of hope, perseverance and achievement. New episodes coming every two weeks starting March 25, featuring the unsung heroes of the digital world, such as Intel’s VP of IoT Stacey Shulman, Google public cloud evangelist Omar Dajani and Wavy co-founder Shawn Hewat.
Ben Chodor is an entrepreneur, innovator and pioneer of social video, digital health and interactive, streaming content. As President of Intrado Digital Media, Ben leads the organization in expanding best-in-class solutions for more than 12,000 global customers with their mission-critical communications. He is also the author of the new book, “Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events: How to Create, Adapt, and Market an Engaging Online Experience.”    He met up with Peter to discuss the upheaval taking place in the billion-dollar corporate events industry -- and what the future holds for online, physical and virtual events. The bottom line: Virtual events are here to stay. But organizers will need to throw out the old playbook and start with a fresh, human-first perspective if they want to be successful during and after the pandemic.    SHI’s Innovation Heroes will return in 2021. Subscribe now to be the first to hear our Season 2 trailer.
Jaron Lanier is a musician, computer scientist and renowned technology philosopher who has enjoyed a colourful career in art and technology. He is the author of “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.” As one of the forefathers of virtual reality, he is also the inventor of the Nintendo Powerglove and Microsoft Team’s Together Mode. He was recently featured in Netflix’s The Social Dilemma, exploring the dangerous impacts of social media on our daily lives.   On today’s episode of Innovation Heroes, Peter and Jaron explore how social media’s dark side is creeping into the enterprise, the future of virtual reality and Jaron’s work with Microsoft through-out the COVID-19 pandemic, including Microsoft’s Together Mode.   You can learn more about Jaron at
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