OPEN Forum 2008: Leading Through Change

Posted on June 13, 2008
Filed Under >Shahab Riazi, Economy & Development, Pakistanis Abroad
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By Shahab Riazi

We all hear about high performing Pakistanis in their respective industries and areas all around us but we rarely get to hear about success stories for Pakistanis as a community. There will be an opportunity to do exactly that this weekend at the OPEN Forum 2008.

OPEN Forum Silicon Valley 2008

OPEN, the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (see earlier post on OPEN here), will hold its 5th Annual Business Conference, called OPEN Forum 2008 in Palo Alto, CA, on June 14, 2008. The theme of this year’s conference is “Leading through Change.”

Past conferences have attracted business and social leaders such as Imran Khan, Fmr. California Gov. Jerry Brown, Pervez Musharaf and Syed Babar Ali, Founder of LUMS. This year the speakers and panelists are no less impressive.

A star attraction is this year’s keynote speakers Gov. Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former US Presidential candidate. But the other speakers in teh lineup are equally inspiring. They include Green Energy poster child Steve Westly and Mike Moritz of Sequioa Capital who was #1 on the 2007 Forbes list of top Venture Capitalists and was the man behind upstarts like Google, EBay, YouTube etc.

The conference agenda also features some leading lights of the Pakistani-American community. Prominent amongst them are Munawar Hidayatallah, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Allis-Chalmers Energy, and Sohaib Abbasi the Chairman and CEO of Informatica and who spent 20 years at Oracle Corporation where he was most recently a member of the Oracle’s executive committee and was senior vice president of two major divisions, Oracle Tools and Oracle Education. His gift to Stanford Univeristy created the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford.

These are just some of the luminaries that will be brought together in a jam-packed program of intellectual stimulation and entrepreneurial inspiration. If you are planning to be in the Bay Area this weekend, then this is an event not to miss. If you are not there, follow-up on the proceedings at the conference website. Conference will be held at the SAP Campus, 3410 Hillview Rd, Palo Alto, CA; all day, Saturday, June 14, 2008 (8:30 AM to 6:15 PM).

14 Comments on “OPEN Forum 2008: Leading Through Change”

  1. hank says:
    June 14th, 2008 3:34 am

    Wow. Thats impressive. You have some real heavy hitters in the lineup there. Getting someone like Howard Dean at the height of the election season is quite something. And, also, Mike Moritz is a huge huge name in this business. Wish I could be there!

  2. KASHIF ALI says:
    June 14th, 2008 3:57 am

    I hope you will video record the presentations and put them up on the web.

  3. legaleagle says:
    June 14th, 2008 4:49 am

    Go for it OPEN, all the power to the Pakistani Business community in USA to make a difference for the betterment of Pakistan & its international interests.

    P.S – Guys, please do not crib openly about whats so good about the US and whats so bad about Pakistan! Remember, you all have to come back one day or the other!


  4. Eidee Man says:
    June 14th, 2008 7:57 am

    Unrelated: I can see Owais right now; watching the game and not being able to wait to write a post about Pakistan’s impending victory!! Enjoy the match!

  5. daktar says:
    June 14th, 2008 10:45 am

    Sohaib Abbasi is one of the great Pakistani success stories. While his success as one of Oracle’s earliest employees and corporate leaders is commendable, the charitable works by him and his wife, including for opening schools in Pakistan are even more impressive. As mentioned, he has also endowed (I think with a 2 million dollar gift) the Islamic Studies Program at Stanford University. This is really an impressive Pakistani.

  6. Eidee Man says:
    June 14th, 2008 1:25 pm

    Yes, these people should be appreciated; they’ve been very successful. Although one wonders if the money was best spent on the second-richest university in the world (Stanford’s ridiculously large endowment is second only to Harvard’s, and they probably have more money than the governments of small countries.)

  7. libertarian says:
    June 14th, 2008 4:34 pm

    Eidee Man: Stanford

  8. Give me a break says:
    June 14th, 2008 5:47 pm

    Eidee Man, Libertarian, so what is your point. Are are you just in a mood to keeray nikalna? Finding faults just for the heck of it. I guess you guys just gave you 2 mil to Burkina Faso!

    There are some types of Pakistaniat we should try to keep away from. Such as never having the ability to praise any other Pakistani and trying to smear and ridicule other Pakistanis!

    By the way Libibertarian, the position you imply here is singularly non-libertarian.

  9. June 15th, 2008 4:47 am

    Emails addresses of all the prominent pakistani intelectuals in all fields residing abroad well settled there and also who residing in pakistan and struggling to make real pakistan of our dream may be given on your website for our information knowledge and unity.

  10. Kareem says:
    June 15th, 2008 6:23 am

    Impressive line up. I would also love to see videos of these presentations. I hope someone can post them.

    I think something like OPEN should also be created in Europe.

  11. Tina says:
    June 15th, 2008 10:35 am

    Give me a break–I think that’s a fair criticism from Eidee Man’s side. Stanford doesn’t need the money, and Pakistani institutions could do a great deal with it (to put it mildly). But no, it has to be thrown at a program to promote “Islamic studies” in a Western university, where it will do nothing except pay some ivory tower faculty to write papers twisting the history of Islam to fit their romantic Orientalist notions.

    Meanwhile kids in Pakistan grow up ignorant of the basic principles of science and technology, and fall continually behind, turning to the most barbaric mullahs out of ignorance and poverty. Lacking access to decent education, parents send their children to be radicalized in madrassahs, so they can use learn to shout Allah’s name as they detonate their vests in marketplaces all over the world.

    So is a huge gift to Stanford for “Islamic studies” really a service to Islam or Pakistan? You decide.

    I think it’s precisely the opposite.

  12. libertarian says:
    June 15th, 2008 11:49 am

    Tina, So is a huge gift to Stanford for

  13. PAKISTANI says:
    June 13th, 2009 10:29 am

    This year’s OPEN Forum is about to happen. I do hope people in the area will visit.

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