On 10/12/2017, I had the privilege of attending the AZ Tech Summit sponsored by DesTechAZ at The Camelback Inn.
The highlight of the night was Steve Wozniak’s big announcement about Woz U Academy…
I live in the Phoenix West Valley (City of Litchfield Park), so for me, it was a drive across town during rush-hour to hear the news. But honestly, I would have driven through San Fransisco traffic to be there.
The event started at 5 PM, and I showed up at 4:15 just in time to get a great parking spot and walk in to watch Steve Wozniak take pictures with guests. I wasn’t so lucky to get a pic with Steve, but I made the best of the opportunity and took a picture standing next to the cardboard Woz (see pic below).
I even got within a few feet of Steve before he was ushered away to the front of the room as several VIPs spoke about plans that were coming to Arizona.
Steve Wozniak Gets It
The room was charged with excitement about innovation and technology and how Arizona, under Governor Doug Ducey, was becoming a leader that provides opportunities for people and businesses.
You know, with all the chaos going on in the world I felt lucky to be in a place where there were people talking about hope for our future.
I was invited by a friend and wow, was I surprised to see all the dignitaries who showed up. There were several city mayors, council members, and even Senator Jeff Flake was on hand to rub shoulders with if you’re into that type a social networking.
You could feel the energy!
There were a lot of influential people in the room but honestly, I admit, I was there for another reason. My interest was pure geek related, and I wanted to hear the big announcement Steve Wozniak had about Woz-U.com.
If you’ve been reading VMinstall recently, then you know I’ve started offering career insight into virtual reality jobs, artificial intelligence trends, deep learning training, and big data planning because I see them as emerging opportunities that are full of positive potential.
And if my experiences in IT with innovation and technology have taught me anything, then Woz U Academy will be ahead of most schools in providing the “RIGHT” type of education in all of the emerging technologies I’ve listed above, and more…
— Woz U (@TheWozU) October 13, 2017
So for me, this event was a validation of my intuitions about where innovation is going. Although – I still enjoy learning and writing about infrastructure technologies such as VMware and Cloud even if I see servers and networks as platforms where the real magic happens.
Think with me for a moment.
What innovations are yet to come as smart people like Steve Wozniak and Woz U start educating a new breed of human intelligence who are trained to think outside the box, in many ways like “The Woz” does?
When the rest were zigging, The Woz and Steve Jobs were zagging…
What I took away from the evening with The Woz
My evening was filled with conversations about technology. I was surrounded by business owners from around the valley, and I spent most of the night chatting with Charles Schultz from Valley Systems and snacking on all the goodies. Wow, was anyone else blown away by the little cup made of chocolate, filled with fudge and creme?
BTW, if you need category 6 cabling installed, then Charlie is the man to contact. I also want to thank Shelly from Southwest Higher Education Services for the invite! And I don’t want to forget to thank the awesome people at The Camelback Inn.
It’s happening in Arizona!
I don’t remember the exact statistic I heard someone say (it was in the thousands per month) so I’m going to play it safe and hope that AZ Family get’s it right. In 2016, AZ grew 222 people per day (that’s 6752 per month a year ago).
Also, did you know Apple recently opened a new plant in Mesa, and other prominent companies are looking seriously at AZ as a player in the Tech game?
But here’s the truth, regardless if you decide to move to Arizona, you can still be a part of the future technology revolution because the “Internet breaks down the boundaries for learning” (credit goes to one of the summit speakers for saying that).
Woz U will offer a large selection of online courses that will open doors for you. And if you’re lucky enough, you may be fortunate to attend The Woz U Academy, which will have a campus in Phoenix and other cities.
In full transparency, I couldn’t resist taking a picture standing next to the cardboard Woz.
What a night to remember!
At the end of the evening, probably the most important insight I walked away with was how clear Steve was about his motives. And how he is not in it for the money.
Here’s a guy who’s given away millions of dollars in stock to people he worked with just because he felt it was the right thing to do. And he’s spent years giving back as a 5th-grade teacher.
No, with The Woz involved, I don’t expect Woz U to become like so many other edu-commerce businesses that pump out people with degrees who end up buried in school loan debt and jobless because they don’t have any work experience.
Maybe it’s too much to expect but I want my kids to get an education that will empower them – an education that helps them to be a POSITIVE change agent in society.
What’s So Interesting About Woz U Academy?
Let me conclude by saying I’m excited because Woz U brings hope to Arizona and the education system. I look forward to hearing success stories about kids and businesses that change the world using innovation and technology! I agree with Steve’s final statement of the evening, “Let’s change the world, again!”