Hello, I am Usam Shen, the founder and CEO of BoardX. Welcome to BoardX. I was asked many times why I created BoardX. I bet you may have the same question. I would like to take a few minutes to share with you on this question.
The direct reason I started BoardX is because of Covid 19. In early 2020, I was still working for Steelcase as innovation leader. Because of the pandemic, everyone started to work from home and travel was not allowed. So I had lots of time at home and then thinking about what is the meaning of life, life is short, if I could survive, what is my passion and where I would like to dedicate my time. The result is BoardX.
And here are three stories about myself and make me decide to start BoardX.
- Creativity and education
I was born in China and grew up there. When I was 16 and in high school, I realized that creativity is a lot more important than memorizing textbooks and passing exams. I thought there should be a better way to teach or learn. My parents wanted me to become a teacher, but I don’t think that would make any difference. I also thought that software would change the world, so I decided to become a software engineer. But I didn’t want to follow the traditional path, so I quit high school and taught myself enough to finish high school courses and pass the exam to go to college for a computer science degree. I became a software engineer in 2003. I think the future of education will be totally different from what we have now. It should be about activating human creativity.
2. Furniture and workspace
In 2005, I joined a company called Ultra, it was soon acquired by Steelcase. I never thought I would work for an office furniture company for such a long time, but that experience opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects of furniture and workspace design that I had never considered before. Furniture is more than just furniture, and the people who design and create it are more than just carpenters. It's about behavior of humans, it's about culture, and it's about collaboration and innovation. Office furniture is about using space to shape behavior and culture in a team, and connecting individuals and teams to their full potential. I realized that the most advanced technology is not software, it is our bodies and our brains.
3. Design thinking and innovation
In 2010, I joined an effort to start a team in Steelcase called innovation management office. One of the major goals is to promote design thinking and innovation in the company. And I had a chance to join and facilitate a variant of innovation workshops. I became a big fan of design thinking. It is a structured process to cultivate innovation culture for teams and cultivate creative confidence for individuals. And sticky note and whiteboard are the key tools supporting the process.
We are entering a new era of collaboration, one that is accelerated by the pandemic. The digital whiteboard will be connected to physical object in a space somehow, it is still a piece of furniture, but it is not just a simple piece of technology, with the new capabilities of AI and Web3, it will be smart, it is a transformative media that can help us to be more creative and innovative.
This new era of collaboration is exciting and full of potential. I believe that the digital whiteboard will play a vital role in shaping the future of work and education. With its help, we can achieve greater things than we ever thought possible. At BoardX, we are committed to creating solutions that leverage the AI powered digital whiteboard to augment human performance and creativity.