It started when...
Lindsay was building a marketplace company, One ilk, and looking for a work mentor. Werner, the CTO and VP of the largest marketplace in the world, Amazon, decided to step-in.
After vetting One ilk, he suggested Lindsay shadow him for a year to better understand how you run a company at Amazon’s scale. She agreed. Throughout the year of shadowing, they had many debates about the ethical responsibility of individuals and companies within the technology community.
Their mental sparring sessions led Werner to propose they combine forces and start a company to solve for unethical realities in the technology community. Summer 2017, they co-founded Sapientia. It focuses on technology and ethics with impact.
Who are Lindsay and Werner?
Known to get agitated at social injustices, and having to sit in one spot for too long. She spent the first part of her professional life working off Parliament Hill in Canada helping change federal legislation themed to human rights and the cessation of genocide.
Changing federal laws is slow. Craving pace, after six years, Lindsay left the hill and entered the technology world to freelance as a curator and consultant. This translated into building and leading teams, typically global in scale, and executing projects rooted in human rights policy. Some of her collaborators included the Canadian Government, TED, Google, the World Economic Forum (WEF), Eames (Herman Miller), Black+Blum, and more.
She sat on the board of Open North, an organization that uses open data and technology to engage citizens in the political process. Then moved to Indonesia to help run three companies. Upon returning to Canada, she devised and led the Global Shapers community’s first international project involving over 250 cities for the WEF.
Following this, she moved to New York, where she started One ilk. Simultaneously helping launch the first global Makers Digest, and curating New York’s publication for a year. She’s also a self-taught designer, has created products from concept to market, including bags, rugs, shoes, digital fun, and supported the complete gutting and re-design of an old loft in New York. Now she’s building Sapientia, training to become a death doula on the side, and trying to spend less time in planes.
Dr. Werner Vogels
Werner is currently the CTO and VP of Amazon, where he drives the company’s technology vision.
This vision is anchored in innovating for and with Amazon’s customers. Given the company’s reach and international community of customers, Werner spends a fair deal of time travelling globally to meet with customers, and more.
Werner’s computer science wiring is strong. In this, he intentionally dedicates energy to meet and work with many of the engineers at Amazon. During his break in the summer, he ritualizes taking intensive time to learn new computer science skills.
Before working at Amazon, he was a researcher at Cornell University. As the principal investigator for several research projects, he dug into the scalability and robustness of mission-critical enterprise computing systems.
He has held positions such as the VP of Technology, Research Engineer, and CTO in companies that deal with moving academic technology into industry. Alternatively put, helping theoretical realities become actualized, marketable, and usable in industry.
Werner has a Ph.D. from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. To that end, he’s authored a number of articles for journals and conferences. The majority of which are themed to distributed systems technologies for enterprise computing.