TueNight 10: Adaora Udoji

“I am utterly obsessed with all things emerging tech; that means a lot of artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality, and augmented reality, among others.” Adaora Udoji proves that it’s never too late for career reinvention. She started in the law, transitioned to broadcast news, corporate strategy to digital startups, to venture capital and “well, now I’m looking forward to working from a bigger platform in the near future, stay tuned.”  

She is loving her recent appointment as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at WeWorks Lab in NYC.  “I consider myself truly fortunate to be working and consulting with extraordinary entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, and corporations who are at the cutting edge or trying to be.” What is her greatest lesson so far? “I can’t be different from who I am and that’s all good. I’m perfectly imperfect just like the next person. I do myself a favor every time I remember that and allow myself to follow my gut even if it’s taking me down an unconventional path. I gain something truly with each experience, whether I enjoyed it or not.”

1. On the nightstand: I am a crazy book fanatic, so that’s what is on my nightstand. No One Tells You This by Glynnis Macnicol, who is a brilliant and brave thinker when it comes to being a woman in the 21st Century as she shares in a memoir the choices she’s made that have have brought her to a happy life; hint it doesn’t have to mean a spouse and one’s own children. The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate by Fran Hauser, who is blazing a trail for a different kind of leadership, such a game changing book by someone who rose the ranks in corporate America. The Signals are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe is Tomorrow’s Mainstream by Amy Webb.  Brilliant. If you want a filter for understanding the future of technology, read this book. What would my list be without some serious badass heroine always trying to save the world and winning? I’m a super fan of the urban fantasy Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews (a wife and husband writing team). It’s always on my nightstand. Best ever!

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Talking, writing, thinking, speaking about emerging technology; emerging technology and women; and emerging technology and people of color. Yes. We are right now at a node in human history with so many converging technologies changing every single way we work and live. It must be collaborative. Technologists, yes. Domain experts, yes. Every day people, yes. All of us have a role to play in optimizing the greatest potential of these tools. Now is the time. Coding is good, and if not, it’s important to engage, become tech literate. Technology is no longer in the tech department, it’s everywhere and we all have a role to play in shaping how it works and will shape our lives. This is a once in a century opportunity to influence how this goes, there is a place for you and me — all of us!

3. Jam of the minute:  Insight Timer, the best meditation app in the world.  It has thousands of choices from a timer, to music, to guided meditations from 1 minute to 1 hour.  Check it out, and it’s free.

4. Thing I miss: Living in London, and the ability to travel to half a dozen countries or more in under a few hours. The world is a big place, and having lived on four continents, I like having a finger on the pulse.

5. 80s crush: The band, Journey was my first concert.  Steve Perry is da bomb!

6. Current crush: I’m utterly obsessed with Chris Stapleton, his wife, Morgane Stapleton and their band. Traveller is a soul moving album.

7. Will whine about: Self Care (SC). It’s real and it takes a lot of practice. I — and most of my gal pals — really have to work at this. So I will whine, talk, engage and all that when it comes to SC.

8. Will wine about: Um, not much. Smile.

9. Best thing that happened yesterday:  I had the glorious gift of a wondrous hike in the Green Mountains of Vermont with my amazing ten year old daughter, Siobhan, who is radically observant. She showed me so much I might never have seen, including the light shining between the trees. If you haven’t been, they are mystical and full of magic.

10.Looking forward to: Today. Right now, this moment and the one after that. Being, feeling in the present is a superpower I aspire too.

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