The Socratic Supper Club

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—About

A structured supper club started by Lindsay Aranoff and Werner Vogels to build a community of humans who care about technology and ethics.

This is one of Sapientia’s projects. Sapientia is a company Lindsay and Werner co-founded summer 2017. The company focuses on technology, ethics, and impact.

W H E R E
In cities around the world. To date, dinners were held in China, Israel, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

W H O
In its inception, Lindsay and Werner shared the curation of the guests. This means the participants were a mix of CTOs, Founders, and wildcard people from the TED or World Economic Forum (best known for their Davos conference).

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Dr. Werner Vogels is the CTO & VP of Amazon. Something many people don’t know about Werner, is before expanding his computer science brain, he contemplated becoming a chef. Much like the intentional rigour that goes into engineering, Werner has a deep appreciation for thoughtfully sourced, prepared, and shared food.

Combined with his desire to encourage the technology community to address and take action on ethical issues within the industry, Werner led by example and co-hosted the first year of Socratic Suppers. He’s now inviting other executives to spearhead their own structured dinners with a younger protégé.

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Lindsay Aranoff spent a year shadowing Werner to better understand how you run a company at Amazon’s scale. Previous to executive shadowing, Lindsay spent over half a decade working off Parliament Hill helping change legislation in support of human rights and the cessation of genocide.

Post policy work, she moved to Indonesia to help run three companies. Upon returning to Canada, she freelanced as a curator, creating and leading international teams on projects addressing human rights issues. During this time she worked with brands like TED, the World Economic Forum, Google, Black+Blum, to name a few.

Lindsay’s social justice wiring led to challenging Werner on many ethical realities within technology companies and the community as a whole. This prompted creating structure around some of those conversations, which ultimately led to the this supper club.