Written by IEEE | June 6, 2017   |   Updated: December 15, 2020

On 25 May 2017, IEEE played host to a major event in San Francisco, CA—the IEEE Vision, Innovation and Challenges (VIC) Summit & Honors Ceremony.

The inaugural VIC Summit, which took place during the day, was emceed by Futurists Brian David Johnson (ASU) and Monique Morrow (Chief Technology Strategist) and drew in attendees from around the globe.

The event kicked off with a keynote, given by IEEE Fellow James D. Plummer (Stanford University). Plummer’s talk  focused on the future of engineering, and how the industry will continue to evolve from early exposure to STEAM and college-level courses and direction, to actual career opportunities.

Each session at the VIC Summit was interactive, with a portion of the time dedicated to a Q&A with the audience.

One of the most engaging sessions was a panel on entrepreneurship, moderated by Mario Milicevic, Past Chair, IEEE Young Professionals (University of Toronto). Mario guided panelists Samantha Snabes (Catalyst for re:3D), Kurt Petersen (Band of Angels) and Craig Barratt (Barefoot Networks) through a series of questions about their respective experiences as entrepreneurs, exploring issues that ran the gamut from talent retention and management, product innovation, engaging investors, and knowing when to take risks.

The event wrapped with attendees networking and buzzing about panel highlights before going from day to night to toast the honorees at the annual IEEE Honors Ceremony. Twenty-one awards were presented, including the IEEE Medal of Honor, for which IEEE Life Fellow and developer of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray, Kees Immink (Turing Machines, Inc.), was recognized.

Jim Plummer’s intriguing Keynote, “Engineering the 21st Century,” kicked off the IEEE VIC Summit

Masters of Ceremony, Futurists Brian David Johnson and Monique Morrow 

The panel discussion, “Entrepreneurship: Innovating and Challenges,” addressed many stimulating questions from the audience (L-R: Milicevic, Petersen, Snabes and Barratt)

Kees Schouhamer Immink brought the audience to tears as he graciously accepted the IEEE Medal of Honor: “To the class of upcoming engineers … Follow your heart, and make the world a better place to live in. You were not educated to sell sugar water. You were educated to change the world. You are engineers!”

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