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Hi, I'm Lisa Chau.

I'm a Writer in New York, NY. I've worked at Zicklin School of Business at Baruch, Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and a few other places. I'm interested in Technology, Business, and more. Check out my skills and interests below, then send me a message and let's collaborate!

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Forbes: Global Disruption by Social Media

By Lisa Chau


Over the last decade, social media has emerged as an innovative tool which has managed to disrupt traditional business models, governmental proceedings and news reporting. Web 2.0 has changed the way that business is conducted, facilitated mass mobilization of political protests and altered power dynamics in the media.
In the US, the Internet has been hailed as the fulfillment of democratic values in terms of free speech independent from any relegating authority. At the beginning of the millennium, we welcomed the emergence of common publishing tools such as blogging.

Technological advances have not only brought to fruition the possibilities of immediate, group and global communications never possible before, they subvert the stratification of the public sphere which had predominately been represented by a variety of mediating institutions such as radio, television, newspapers, and magazines. Public discussion on a grand scale is further enabled by the constant introduction of increasingly user-friendly publishing websites, expanding accessibility and drops in equipment price. Barriers to entry continue to fall. Publishing costs are virtually eliminated. Schools, libraries and community centers offer free Internet access. Previously, such widespread access to the public sphere was not an affordable possibility. Only those with vast amounts of money and/or the backing of established media outlet monopolies were able to address the masses. Now, anyone with an opinion and an Internet connection can share their thoughts with the world at large -- No editorial approval is necessary.

The media has lost its stronghold over the production and distribution of knowledge. Consumers of media are now also producers of media.

As Adjunct Professor in New York University’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, Clay Shirky explained in his Ted Talk , How social media can make history, the media landscape as we know it is has been profoundly impacted by social media. Our current generation is witnessing the largest increase in capability of human expression.

History in the making.

Shirky delineates the four periods of media revolution leading up to this point:

The printing press: Movable type. Circa mid-1400s.
A few hundred years ago, we discovered two-way communication, conversational media: First the telegraph, then the telephone.
About 150 years ago, we started recording media other than print: Photos, then recorded sound, then movies -- All encoded onto physical objects.
The twentieth century brought radio and television.

We are now living through the fifth revolution of media, where people are increasingly sharing, communicating and collaborating. Families trade photos; friends exchange opinions on the news and business teams execute massive projects globally without ever having met in person. Strangers group together for social shopping, and companies spring up to leverage these new opportunities for entrepreneurship. was founded by three newly-minted Tuck School graduates, Phil McDonnell, CEO; Fred Schwarz, CFO and Mike Cwalinski, CTO. As McDonnell explains,

“Our company provides a marketplace to buy and resell daily deals, and has been fundamentally shaped by the opportunity that social media provides. The entire group buying ecosystem has been built on top of Facebook and other social media channels. Our website allows friends to share deals and discounts with each other through the use of Facebook share and like buttons, as well as other integration pieces. It is the unique combination of easy shareability and the presence of something worth sharing that has enabled group buying businesses, such as Groupon and CoupFlip, to scale so quickly.”

Furthermore, The Washington Post announces, ‘Big data’ from social media, elsewhere online redefines trend-watching
More and more people are finding new ways to use the massive amount of data being generated constantly. They are taking data mining to a completely new level.

As chief executive of Derwent Capital Markets, Paul Hawtin uses a computer program to filter through hundreds of millions of Twitter posts on a daily basis. He uses information he gleans from public conversations to buy and trade millions of dollars of stocks for private investors. He buys when global sentiment is happy, and sells short when it is anxious. Ariana Eunjung Cha reports that Hawtin has seen a gain of more than seven percent in the first quarter of this year. His mathematical analysis of trends revealed by collective web insight harnesses the unprecedented amount of data online. Social media provides Hawtin with news quicker than traditional methods, and that translates into money.

Indeed, the World Economic Forum has classified “big data” to be a new economic asset, like oil. “Business boundaries are being redrawn.”

A social science professor at Harvard University and co-founder of Crimson Hexagon, a data analysis firm based in Boston, Gary King states, “This is changing the world in a big way. It enables us to watch changes in society in real time and make decisions in a way we haven’t been able to ever before.”

Lisa Chau ||

Alpha Vert Enterprises || New York City
Digital Strategy . PR . Social Media Marketing || 347.903.VERT

* NPR:
* US News & World Report:
* Huffington Post:
* TED Talk:


Huffington Post: Interview with HBR & Forbes Contributor, Dorie Clark

By Lisa Chau


Dorie Clark's new book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press) will be available in stores on April 9. Recognized as a "branding expert" by the Associated Press, Clark offers direct and clear advice for professionals at any stage of their career. The guide is especially relevant for our increasingly technological world, and emphasizes social identity branding online.

Clark, a former presidential campaign spokeswoman, is an adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. She has taught marketing and communications at Tufts University, Suffolk University, Emerson College, Smith College Executive Education, the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and HEC-Paris, which is ranked #2 worldwide in executive education by the Financial Times.

She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review Guide to Getting the Right Job and the Harvard Business Review Guide to Networking. Clark consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, Yale University, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the National Park Service.

At age 18, Clark graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College, and two years later received a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. For more information, visit Follow her on Twitter @dorieclark.

My interview with Dorie follows:

1. When did our professional brands move online and why? Is this better than what we had before?

In the past decade, it's become standard practice to Google people you meet -- not just when you're checking out a job candidate, but almost anytime you're introduced to someone. In the early days of the web, information about individuals was scarce and you were mostly looking to rule out negatives and ensure they weren't a criminal or someone with truly bad judgment. But today, thanks to blogs, Twitter, and platforms like YouTube, professionals have the ability to proactively shape positive messages about themselves -- here's my philosophy, here's what I'm working on, and here's where my skills lie. This ability for individuals to publish content at no cost is incredibly powerful and means you can shape your reputation to an unprecedented degree.

2. One can be an expert in his/her field without being an expert at writing. Even the most seasoned professionals are still frightened of public speaking. What are the best ways for executives to smoothly transition their offline persona into an effective profile online?

To showcase your expertise effectively, the bottom line is that you have to create content of some sort -- written, audio, or video. It's fine for professionals to prefer one vehicle over another; Gary Vaynerchuk, now a hugely successful social media guru, has famously declared that he's not much of a writer, so he made his name with web videos and dictated the books that he's written into an audio recorder. The key is playing to your strengths, but finding a way to get your ideas about there.

3. Please share the most interesting and successful alternatives you've seen jobseekers use to distinguish themselves from the masses. What are your thoughts on the creative resume?

The best job search strategy is ensuring that employers come to you - and the way to do that is by creating powerful online content that intrigues and impresses them. Emailing a resume puts you in the same stack as 200 other people; they're trying to turn you into an apple so they can compare you to everyone else. The way to win the game is thinking outside the box, like Dave Cutler, who created his own job search app that aggregated his tweets, blogs, and videos in one place -- a treasure trove of information for potential employers. It was so unusual, he even succeeded in winning mainstream media attention and got covered in the Boston Globe and his local Fox affiliate -- pretty helpful for a guy looking for a job (and of course, thanks to his efforts, he's now gainfully employed).

4. You write for top-tier blogs like Forbes and Harvard Business Review. What is your advice for the person just starting out?

The first step is ensuring you have good "clips," to use an old newspaper term. Basically, that means you need to be able to demonstrate your writing ability before other outlets will take a chance on you. So you can start your own blog and build up a track record for a while, or approach other websites that are always hungry for content -- your local weekly newspaper's blog, or the blog of an industry group you're involved in. Write for them, get your ideas out there, and then you'll be able to demonstrate your credibility as you approach ever-more-prestigious publications.

5. How can we simultaneously leverage virtual and in-person networking? Particularly when people don't respond or followup? Where do you draw the line between persistent and annoying?

If you're not receiving a response from someone, I'd stop after three tries (perhaps two times via email and once via phone, spaced out over several weeks, as they may be on vacation). And I believe the goal of all online networking should be, ultimately, to have a face-to-face meeting. Sometimes that's difficult -- if you're on different continents, say -- so you may need to content yourself with a Skype call. But in general, humans are still wired to respond best to in-person connections, so I try to merge online and offline relationships whenever possible. Once you've met in person and gotten to know each other, it's easy to keep up the connection online.

6. I am imagining a future three states away from my current home. How do I convince employers to hire me instead of a local?

We like to think geography isn't a barrier anymore, and in some ways, it isn't. It's far easier to keep up a personal or business relationship with someone overseas now, with free calls via Skype and a steady stream of emails. But proximity does matter, as research by scholars like Geoffrey West has shown. People seem to be more innovative in large cities (they spawn a far higher number of patents per capita), and people are far more likely to collaborate with colleagues who sit close to them. How can you overcome this natural barrier if you're applying for a job from several states away? Honestly, I'd advise a little subterfuge. Employers are going to worry on two counts: 1) Will she be a fit for this job? And 2) Will she like the city, or will she freak out and move back? I'd take concern #2 off the table and make it clear you've made the decision to move regardless, even if you're waiting on an offer to be able to do so. And I'd stress any pre-existing ties to the new city (perhaps you've lived there before or have family nearby), which they'll view as risk mitigation: she knows what's she in for by moving here.

7. What are the key essentials to building a meaningful mentorship?

The Center for Talent Innovation has done great research on mentorship and sponsorship (which is mentorship on steroids, where someone proactively looks out for you and tries to help you advance your career). The most overlooked piece, I think, is that by their reckoning, 70 percent of the effort in a sponsor relationship has to come from the protégé. Let's face it: the people we'd like to mentor/sponsor us are very busy people, so we have to make it easy for them to help -- and be sure to give back and make it worthwhile for them, by helping to advance their initiatives, talking them up on social media, providing them with information they wouldn't otherwise get, etc.

8. Any good stories about people who have reached out to you after reading your blog posts, Twitter, etc?

I'll answer the question two different ways. First, per the discussion about how creating content can establish your expertise, NPR reached out to me for an interview last year during the presidential primaries about Rick Santorum and his "Google problem" because I'd written a piece for the Huffington Post about how you can take control of your online reputation. They're pitched by dozens of PR firms every day, but like most media outlets, they prefer to find their own experts to interview -- and they do it by Googling relevant ideas and seeing who's written about them in a smart, accessible way. So if you do get in the habit of creating content, the world -- including other media outlets and potential clients -- will take notice.

Second, my book Reinventing You is about professional reinvention, which is a topic that strikes a chord for many people who are interested in shaping how they're perceived by others at work, or perhaps who have made a career change in the past. As a result of publishing it, I've heard incredible stories from people I didn't know about their career trajectories (like one man in Chicago who left a successful career as a doctor to become a management consultant) and have even learned new things about friends (like Susan, who found a new career as a writer and speaker after getting laid off as a teacher and -- in desperation -- started a series of career workshops for her fellow teachers ).

Lisa Chau ||

Alpha Vert Enterprises || New York City
Digital Strategy . PR . Social Media Marketing || 347.903.VERT

* NPR:
* US News & World Report:
* Huffington Post:
* TED Talk:


US News & World Report: Amsterdam Innovates

By Lisa Chau


Amsterdam is home to more than 2,500 international businesses which account for approximately 15 percent of the region's overall employment. In April, I met with Deputy Mayor Kajsa Ollongren during The Next Web conference in the Netherlands to discuss her activities cultivating the sharing economy, startup culture and the internationalization of business in the area. With more than 20 years of experience in Dutch politics, Ollongren is currently responsible for economic affairs; early this year, she launched Startup Amsterdam.

After our meeting in Europe, I conducted a formal interview with Ollongren via email:

How does entrepreneurship growth in Amsterdam compare with the rest of the Netherlands?

In general, we saw service-oriented businesses continue to grow in Amsterdam while agriculture and industrial production grew in the rest of the Netherlands. As far as the startup ecosystem is concerned, different areas in the Netherlands have different strengths. For example, Wageningen leads in food and agriculture innovation and The Hague leads in security. Amsterdam's strong points include the sharing economy and mobile and internet applications.

How does Amsterdam compare with the rest of Europe? The world?

In 2014, 139 new international companies established offices in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. International companies in the area include the European headquarters for Tesla, Uber and Netflix. The increase in the number of new businesses shows that Amsterdam is living up to its ranking by Price Waterhouse Coopers as the fourth most competitive city in the world.

As a startup city, our ambition is to secure a place alongside London and Berlin. Amsterdam's central location is an excellent connection to the 350 million potential customers in the European marketplace.

Amsterdam is Europe's best test-bed. It is a city with lots of curious and tech savvy people in their 20s and 30s. If something works in the Netherlands, it works anywhere on the planet. The government actively provides early stage startups a fertile breeding ground. Adyen, Elastic, Usabilla and WeTransfer grew their businesses out Amsterdam, into Europe, then the rest of the world. Leading multinationals such as KLM, Philips, Heineken and are also based here.

WiFi and Bluetooth are Dutch inventions. Amsterdam attracts the best engineers from all over the world. That's why scale-ups open their European headquarters here, and fast growing tech companies keep their development teams here. Examples include Uber, Travelbird, Peerby, 3D Hubs, Blendle, Optimizely, Atlassian, Revinate, AVG, ServiceNow and DoubleDutch.

What is the future of the business in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is, and has always been, an innovative city that adapts to new developments. This means we want to continue to strengthen our startup ecosystem, and we're open to international companies that want to come to Amsterdam. Sustained growth within the start-up ecosystem benefits start-ups and "traditional" companies because it leads to innovation and creates jobs.

Our efforts are focused on attracting more R&D facilities, knowledge driven companies that can lead innovation. We're keen that everyone joins the thought process and actively participate in Amsterdam's future.

Please tell me about Amsterdam's sharing economy.

Last February, Amsterdam was the first in Europe to be named "Sharing City." We were the first municipality in the world to develop regulations around Airbnb. Amsterdam's citizens are closely involved in the subject – research shows that 84 percent of Amsterdammers are willing to participate in the sharing economy. This new way of thinking potentially has a significant impact on matters as sustainability, waste management, energy and transportation.

What are the strongest industries in Amsterdam? Is this changing?

For the last decade, the economic growth in the Amsterdam metropolitan area has been driven more by services than by production. There is a continuing trend toward a more service-based economy. At the moment, the strongest industry in the Amsterdam metropolitan area is wholesale. When it comes to international companies investing in Amsterdam, we see that our area is especially attractive to sales and marketing offices. Growing industries are software development, financial services and we also see that more data centers choose to establish in Amsterdam.

How is the government supporting the growth of entrepreneurship in Amsterdam?

We focus on talent, capital and visibility. Also worth mentioning is our new regulation which allows ambitious entrepreneurs to apply for temporary residence permits to launch innovative new businesses in the Netherlands.

What is the level of diversity in your growing population?

Amsterdam has always been a diverse city. This goes back for centuries; we have long been attracting immigrants and free thinkers from all over the world. As true entrepreneurs, we have crossed borders for hundreds of years as well. We are now a city where over 178 nationalities live and work together. Approximately half our citizens have a non-Dutch background. We celebrate diversity.

What are the most disruptive industries in Amsterdam now?

There are several examples, from several industries. Blendle changed the publishing industry, while and Travelbird transformed the tourism industry. Adyen did this for the payments industry. Peerby and 3D Hubs are important companies for the sharing economy, and WeTransfer for data transfer.

In the fight against youth unemployment, how is traditional vocational education being supplanted by tech instruction?

We start early. Children in elementary school learn how to code. Programming skills are valuable to all kids, no matter what they want to be when they grow up. The programming language is called Scratch, and Amsterdam will host the seventh international Scratch conference this August. As part of the conference program, parents are encouraged to attend with their children. Teachers are given access to scholarships for programming skills to be taught in their classes. Another project worth naming is Make IT Work. This project aims to retrain 180 highly educated professionals to become software engineers.

We also look to craftsmanship as a solution to the unemployment problem. This is where vocational education comes in. We aim to improve job opportunities for young Amsterdammers by aligning education better with the needs of the labor market. We do this in close collaboration with companies in the area.

Lisa Chau ||

Alpha Vert Enterprises || New York City
Digital Strategy . PR . Social Media Marketing || 347.903.VERT

* NPR:
* US News & World Report:
* Huffington Post:
* TED Talk: