//The Fallacy of Neutral Spaces

The Fallacy of Neutral Spaces

Meeting for the week of November 18 – November 24, 2019

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: The Fallacy of Neutral Spaces

Speaker: Bob Dillon

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

To properly attend this meeting, please:

  1. Read and watch the content below in its entirety.
  2. Complete the attendance survey.

Everyone is also encouraged to leave a comment in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Tzviatko:

Greetings Rotarians and Guests,

We are now in the second half of November. Wow, where has this year gone?!

Members, if you haven’t yet responded to Ferheen’s message about Thanksgiving please make sure you send her a couple sentences and a picture of something or someone you’re grateful for, by Nov 23rd.

This week’s speaker Bob Dillon will talk to us about the importance of learning spaces and how to make them better for everyone.


President, Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!


🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾
Happy Birthday!!

Linda Tangren (Nov 19)

From around the world,
Wishing you all the best, on your birthday and always!

🎂 🎈 🎉 🎁 🍾

Members and guests, consider donating in their honor in our Happy Dollars section below.

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

We all know that breakfast is the perfect time for laughs because the eggs are always cracking up!

A piece of toast and a hard boiled egg walked into a bar.
The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve breakfast here.”

What is an author’s favorite breakfast food?
Synonym buns!

What did the egg say when it ran late?
I gotta scramble!

Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

In many parts of India, baby boys are favored over girls, who—due to the dowry system—can be seen as a financial burden on families. But the people of Piplantri are fighting this prejudice. In Piplantri, villagers celebrate the birth of their girls by planting 111 trees for each infant.

The ritual began after Shyam Sunder Paliwal lost his teenage daughter, Kiran, and planted a tree in her honor. Today, he is leading the charge to ensure the girls of Piplantri are protected from harm and educated so they can grow up to be independent and self-sufficient. The trees are now becoming a source of beauty, sustenance and growth for the girls and the village as a whole.

This Village in India Plants 111 Trees Every Time a Girl Is Born

Member  Spotlight

This week’s Member Spotlight is Angela Hoang! Here is what she has been up to lately:

Recently I’ve been busy with our baking side project which I run with my business partner and general life partner in crime Brett Sham. Lately we’ve been asked to create a baby’s 100 day birthday cake (this is a hugely celebrated milestone in some Asian cultures), a hens party and a ladies high tea next week.

We keep a portion of the money that we make through our business aside for Rotary because we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had amazing clients and pretty steady work and it’s only fair that we pass on some of our proceeds to help others all around the world.

Here are some photos from our recent events (pardon the slightly naughty one).




World of

Better together: the beauty of Rotaract twin clubs

Learn more at https://blog.rotary.org/2019/10/04/better-together-the-beauty-of-rotaract-twin-clubs/

Movember fundraising

Are you interested in growing a mustache for the month of November? The  fundraising committee is looking to host a Movember fundraising effort where we find volunteers from our club willing to grow a mustache for the month and then create a financial pledge to the Rotary Foundation for their efforts. If you’d like to donate to the effort to do so via the Happy Dollars spot.   

Ps: please send your pictures to the club’s Slack or Facebook pages and we’ll collect them each week and post a collage of our works-in-progress!

Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. In this section Member Keith Marsh shares his incredible photography!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

I spent my birthday a few weeks in Southern California. My Google search of photo ops suggested the Scripps Pier at La Jolla north of San Diego.

I planned to be there at and after sunset for ideal lighting conditions. Compositionally, this photo deserves several comments.

Usually, putting the subject dead center is not a good idea, but it works in this case for dramatic, symetric and geometric effect.

I also used the 2-1 aspect ratio that I am finding more appealing. The best part of the image for me is the curve in the stream at the bottom. It not only breaks up the straight lines of the pier, but leads the viewer’s eye right into the image.


Learn Something New

This section is curated by members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley and aims to teach our members and guests something new, fun and useful! If you have any ideas on a fun trick or skill you’d like to share please contact Rushton or Shags.

(Grand) Parenting Hacks

Now that there’s a little one in our life, we’ve had to learn some ways to adapt! Here’s a cute short video with some ideas that may help you or someone you know.

Parenting Hacks | Good Parenting Life Hacks by Blossom

Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Nan from Penngrove, CA, USA reporting on a chat with Maxi from Mountain View, CA, USA

It was wonderful to connect with Maxi for my October CWR. Maxi is an ambitious and adventurous computer engineer/entrepreneur who works at Google,at least for the moment. He is from Argentina, and is just about to celebrate his 4 year anniversary in Silicon Valley.

He has had fun throughout his career, and did a previous internship in Switzerland. He loves the fun perks of Google, and loves his team and the work, but is a bit sad that the night life is lacking, so he stops over in New York City from time to time.

Maxi and I both love to travel. He gave me some ideas about where to go when I visit Argentina next year, and he took notes when I was describing my passion for the Grand Canyon.

Maxi is also a wonderful son. he visits his parents frequently and is building a nice house, complete with pool, for his parents in Argentina. As much as he enjoys his life, he imagines that at some point he will create his own company and likely move back to Argentina to use his skills toward making a difference in local politics, education or social justice work.

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

Club Announcements

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Past Events:

November Online Social


Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

District 5170 Events

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
We are in for a cold spell tonight! Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.

Tatiana LaGarde made a $10 donation.
In support of our club fundraising efforts for the Annual Fund #movember

Nick LaGarde made a $10 donation.
Happy #movember! To our annual fund.

November is Rotary Foundation Month, so all Happy Dollars donations made in November will go to the Annual Fund (unless otherwise indicated)

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Tzviatko Chiderov said:

Happy birthday Ferheen! And congrats on the PHF recognition May!
Brett, so great to hear from you again. Thanks for being vulnerable and honest in sharing some of the ways you feel are important to lead life of purpose and service, which keeps you healthy and happy.
Question about Omella: do you plan on making it available to organizers outside the US at some point? I know there can be issues with payment processors that only support certain countries, but also I’m sure the challenge you are working on solving exists outside of the US as well.

May Yam said:

Thanks, Brett, for your honesty and speaking from your heart. Everything you said was spot on. I started 2 company’s this year and am trying hard to work an honor the balance in life. I would love to try your product and be a beta tester 🙂

Rebecca Fry said:

Great talk thanks Brett! Appreciate you sharing your experiences as an entrepreneur with us!

Angela Hoang said:

Thank you for your presentation Brett, it couldn’t have come at a better time for us because we’ve been re-evaluating our values following some challenges we’ve had lately. Thank you for your vulnerability in talking about your experiences – it was so affirming and inspiring!

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: The Fallacy of Neutral Spaces

Speaker: Bob Dillon

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

If you have an idea for a cool speaker, please feel free to reach out to them directly
or submit THIS FORM so our Program Committee can contact them!

Where we learn matters? Where we design solutions matters? Where we gather in community matters? Every space impacts our humanity, and this is experienced in schools and work spaces across the planet. We are humans that crave connection. We are humans that need quiet. We are humans that are neurodiverse and need choice and agency in where we do our work in service to the greater good. This presentation looks at the questions that all of us should consider as we lead ourselves and others through the noisy world of work and life.

Dr. Robert Dillon is an author, speaker, educator, and lifelong learner. He has served kids and families for more than two decades as a teacher, principal, technology director, and innovation leader. His primary focus is working to bring synergy to instructional design, technology infusion, and learning space design. He believes that in this synergy is the educational gold that students need to be successful citizens in a modern world. He works through an equity lens and looks to bring excellence to every classroom. For this work, he has been honored by Common Sense Media, The Center for Green Schools, the dSchool at Stanford University, the Buck Institute for Education, and Future Ready Schools.

Dr. Dillon has had the opportunity to work with teachers and leaders throughout the United States, and he continues to speak at local, regional, and national conferences. Dr. Dillon is the co-founder of ConnectED Learning, a Saint Louis non-profit dedicated to affordable, quality professional learning for teachers. He is the author of five books. He is supported in his work by his wife and two amazing daughters.

Members and guests, please welcome Bob Dillon!

Dr Robert Dillon The Falacy of Neutral Space

Additional Resources

Learn more about Dr. Dillon’s work at:  blog: https://drrobertdillon.com/
resources: https://bit.ly/dillonresources

Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to programs@siliconvalleyrotary.com.

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

2019-11-17T14:12:51+00:00November 18th, 2019|0 Comments