Media & Press, Business Tips, Random Faves


Life Notion

I was recently scrolling twitter and found that my interests, favorite quotes, my workstream, slack, goal setting were all scattered between apps, tabs, notebooks, and my yet tamed mind. I decided to create a life notion portal to help myself and others better find success and inspiration in one place. Check it out, download and share!


Life Notion Template


Three Things

I do three things well:

  • Run Journey Foods
  • Coach people on innovation design
  • Help young filmmakers and screenwriters channel their entrepreneurial vision

I will improve these three things with more focus, repeated focus, mindful focus, joyful focus, intentional focus, and grateful focus

Eye by Duhrivative

duhrivative creates both original and custom digital portraits, also called neo-portraiture, in a contemporary and experimental style.

Food Tank Podcast: Riana Lynn – Partner Across the World, Across Genders for Food Change

Riana Lynn Innovation Food Tank Tech


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On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” Riana Lynn, founder of Journey Foods and the former Foodtrace Inc., talks about how technology, data, and automation can connect key players in the food system. “There are so many barriers and inefficiencies in our system today that boost up cost and reduce our accessibility to all these great ingredients from around the world,” says Lynn. “For me, its about not only creating data, but also creating partnerships that help us solve for a lot of these inefficiencies.”

I also discuss the environment for women in tech: “As part of the founding team of Women Tech Founders, a collaborative organization that empowers women in technology by connecting them to advisors, investment opportunities, and support networks, Lynn believes women-led companies are key to solving their community’s problems. “We women have very good ideas and we can run very efficient, fast-growing companies,” says Lynn. Yet in Chicago, women founded 30 percent of companies but receive less than five percent of venture capital to grow and support their companies. “Supporting one another is so valuable to make sure we’re making change within our communities and for the future of creativity.”

Read more:

Riana Lynn: Partner Across the World, Across Genders for Food Change

Information Technology Powers (Almost) All Innovation – Forbes


In the early 1990s I was living in Boston and reflecting on the relative progress of information technology and the life sciences. It appeared to me then that IT was sputtering a bit; the Internet hadn’t yet transformed commerce, and AI was in one of its winters. Life sciences, on the other hand, seemed to be at the beginning of a boom—at least in Boston and Cambridge. Genomics, personalized medicine, gene editing, and so forth hadn’t fully appeared in life sciences yet, but they were on the horizon. So I toyed with the idea that I should abandon my research, teaching, and consulting on IT to focus on life sciences. Not that I have the biochemical expertise to make fundamental contributions to that field, but I could at least focus on the business strategy and organizational effectiveness issues in the life sciences industry.

That would have been a big mistake on my part. To be sure, the life sciences have taken off in a big way. If you’ve visited Kendall Square in Cambridge recently you will know what a biotech boomtown it has become. But almost every person I meet in the biotech companies in the region have the term “informatics” in their title. IT has become a dominant force in almost every type of innovation. In fact, during a recent visit to Kendall Square for the 2019 Emtech MIT conference, I was confirmed in my belief that information technology, big data, and AI are powering developments in almost every area of science and technology.

The specific provocation for this observation was the “2019 35 Innovators Under 35” awards, which are announced annually by MIT Technology Review (which puts on the Emtech conferences). 31 of the 35 young innovators were present at the conference, and each one gave a short talk. The particular science or technology domains of the young innovators were quite varied, ranging from measuring moisture levels in harvested grain to mapping the human brain. Some, of course, worked in information technology fields like artificial intelligence. But I was struck that almost every one of these innovators used information technology to help achieve their goals.

Take, for example, the mapping of the human brain for the purpose of better understanding neurological disorders. That’s the focus of Archana Venkataraman, a professor at Johns Hopkins University. She’s using AI—deep learning models in particular—to analyze EEG data and to pinpoint the time and location of epileptic seizure onset in the brain. She hopes that will help to diagnose and treat epilepsy, as well as other neurological disorders like schizophrenia, brain tumors, spinal cord injury, and autism.

Similarly, measuring moisture levels in harvested grain in Africa wouldn’t seem to be an IT innovation. But Isaac Sesi from Ghana has a product called GrainMate that helps farmers and grain purchasers to measure moisture in their grains, which helps keep them from spoiling after harvesting. It uses an electronic grain-moisture meter and a mobile app.

There were many other examples of IT-enabled innovation. Riana Lynn uses nutrient data and AI to make more nutritious snacks.

Tim Ellis employs machine learning and automation to power a 3D metal printer to make rocket components. Silvia Caballero applies bioinformatics to identify gut bacteria that can control antibiotic-resistant infections. Himabindu Lakkaraju develops AI models to check for bias in important decisions. Between the innovators who develop IT itself—AI models, robots, user interfaces, quantum computing, cybersecurity, etc.—and those who use IT to help with something else—the great majority of these innovators are using information technology to solve important problems.

Of course, there were some exceptions to the prominence of IT. At least in the short talks I heard, there wasn’t much IT in materials science for textile-based building blocks, or a new approach to filtering dirty water. However, I’m guessing that those innovators used IT in some important way. And while I was at MIT on this visit I noticed there was a big effort in the Materials Science and Engineering Department to use machine learning to identify new materials.

Virtually every technological or scientific investigation today involves the generation, collection, and analysis of data. That data is too big and complex to be analyzed solely by the human brain—we need computers to chew through it and make sense of it. To research and develop new technologies in cognitive science, genetics, or medicine is also to research how information and computers can shed new light on those areas.

Founders Manage COVID-19 Impact, Get Smarter About Distributed Workforces – TPInsights

Black tech founders are managing the COVID-19 impact on their businesses by getting smarter about building culturally-responsive remote work cultures.


Thank you to Sherell Dorsey for the interview in these times.


Read more here:

These 10 CEOs’ Top To-Do List Hacks – Fast Company

I was recently interviewed by Fast Company as they asked 10 CEOs how they manage their own daily and weekly task lists. While all of them have different (and evolving) preferences, each has pinned down a workflow to suit their needs right now.

“In other words, be patient. Figuring out a to-do list system that works for you is a skill like any other–one that even the most productive leaders need to spend time honing. “Managing a day-to-day workflow and to-do lists takes months and years to become good at as a business leader,” points out Riana Lynn”

Forecasting future food trends in Food Business News

Thank you to the Hartman group for the opportunity to lead a panel for global food decision-makers on Food Trends and Culture Forecast.

Here’s more:

“CHICAGO — Scientific advancements are allowing for innovations throughout the food and beverage supply chain. It is no longer simply a farm-to-table story. It may start with the seed or in a petri dish. Success lies in understanding what consumers will accept and embrace, according to The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash., which held the Food Culture Forecast 2019 summit in Chicago on Sept. 12. Navigating the new playing field is not easy, especially with consumers’ evolving opinions…

During a panel discussion with several entrepreneurs who embrace food science, Riana Lynn, founder and chief executive officer of Journey Foods, Chicago, emphasized the necessity of infusing more science into the future to feed the world’s growing population.

Ms. Lynn, a biologist, believes the future of nutrition is micro foods. She started Journey Foods, an artificial intelligence-powered platform that helps support smarter research and development and efficient, data-driven production…”

Read the full article:

The Pot is Hot: Let’s Disrupt Food with More Data

Journey Foods Food Science Data AI
Food Data Ecosystem by Journey Foods

The majority of the foods we eat really don’t cut it. We know this, but it is a big challenge. In a global industry struggling to evolve; consumers spend 3 Trillion a year on packaged foods. There’s growing evidence that eating packaged foods is highly related to the increase in chronic disease around the world; cancers, diabetes, poor mental health. I believe that our current state of food technology is largely to blame.

People are consuming differently now. With plant-based products on the rise, dietary restrictions becoming more commonplace, and considerations about calories, sugar, and salt content-generating deeper concerns, consumers are conscientious about the way food affects their health and the environment. Further, the majority of people across the globe want to know what they’re eating and are more cautious about ingredients in the packaged foods they buy. That’s why we want to bring consumers and food companies the data they want, need, and deserve. Knowing what goes into your body isn’t only important; it’s vital to global health and our rapidly changing.

Journey Foods Food Science Data AIToday, there are about 37,480 people for every 1 food scientist on the planet according to global and US workforce estimates. A world without food science means no way to keep food fresh, nutrition would indecipherable, food would look and taste bad, cost of food would be higher, preparing food would take longer, food would be unsafe to eat, and food availability would be a major concern.

So you can imagine why, making great food is hard. And because we haven’t pushed enough to solve food and its state of digitalization, we run into a lot of barriers: finding ways to scale nutrition, wasted money, low insights and learnings, and wasted time from high inefficiency. Companies are STRUGGLING to find the way to meet consumer needs.

With a fast-growing 600,000 CPG businesses (and millions more in food in general) in the US food industry, there is a constant influx of data telling us what consumers want and need. But what are we doing with this data? Not enough. While companies do use these insights to inform their products, the current data companies receive isn’t cutting it because the right questions are not being asked. That’s why we need innovative tools to make nutrition and product formulation research and development processes better and faster, so food companies can bring better products to their constituents faster. The way to do this is by harnessing the data and trends across the industry into the best, healthiest products possible.

The future of food is simple: it’s using data to disrupt tired habits, slow processes, and less-than-ideal nutrient profiles.

With innovative tools, like our interactive dashboard that used AI/ML, that harness data in new ways we are seeing the future of food right now. The future is plant-based; the future is inclusive options for all diets; the future is data-driven product design that matches as closely as possible to what people need in real-time; the future is full of companies that don’t have deep compromises on health benefits vs. costs. The future is data. Come take a journey with us into the future.