Social Innovation with Smita Satiani

Season 1, Episode 47 | Eugene Leventhal

Welcome to this week’s episode of Heinz Radio, I’m your host for the week, Eugene Leventhal. Back in April, we had Smita Satiani come to campus to give a talk at Heinz College on moonshots. Smita is the head of Innovation Policy on the F-SOC or Free Space Optical Communications project at X. If you haven’t heard of X before, they are the moonshot factory under Alphabet.

I enjoyed this conversation with Smita where I got to ask her about the approach towards innovation they take on at X. We talked about some of the differences between innovating within the government, within nonprofits, and within the private sector. We also touche on the FSOC project at X and how they’re basically using lasers to help extend internet connectivity in Andhra Pradesh in India.

Just a heads up – we recorded this conversation over Hangouts and there were some minor connectivity issues at random points, but I think all of Smita’s point make it across clearly.

This is a great conversation for anyone interested in social innovation and I hope you enjoy the interview.