2023 Knowledge ∞ Continuum

May 12, 2023

The 2023 Knowledge ∞ Continuum, the Center for the Management of Information Technology’s (CMIT) signature event, was held at the McIntire School of Commerce in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday, May 12, 2023.  This marquee executive engagement provides a day-long opportunity for technology leaders and UVA alumni to gather, network, and learn from experts, authors, and researchers. The program is designed for business leaders focused on contemporary IT topics, ranging from project and product managers to consultants and C-suite executives.  View the archived event website.

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During the May 12 program, Professor and CMIT Director Ryan Nelson presented the Center’s annual IT Leadership Award to Virginia Evans, Vice President and CIO, University of Virginia (retired).  This award recognizes leadership in the field of information technology with a focus on delivering business value using IT, while simultaneously demonstrating the core attributes of vision, innovation, and integrity.  He also presented the CMIT Emerging Leader in IT Award to Marco Centanaro Garcia, a UVA fourth-year student who has exhibited tremendous academic performance within the Commerce School while simultaneously demonstrating the core attributes of an emerging leader, including being an excellent communicator and innovator and displaying quiet confidence, integrity, and respect for others.  Finally, the Center recognized the class of 2022 recipients of the M.S. in the Management of IT Award for Excellence in Leadership and Technology, Kristus Ratliff and Mary-Hunter Sanders. Recipients of this award understand how IT contributes to business value and serve as an exemplar of the program’s objectives.  The award also recognizes outstanding scholarship and contributions to the learnings of their peers.

Featured Speakers:

Mary C. Gentile Ph.D. is a veteran of Harvard Business School and UVA Darden, where she was the Richard M. Waitzer Bicentennial Professor of Ethics from 2016 to 2022. Dr. Gentile is the creator of Giving Voice to Values (GVV), a cross-disciplinary curriculum and an action-oriented approach to values-driven leadership.  Giving Voice to Values: The ‘How’ of Values-Driven Leadership Development fills a longstanding critical gap in our understanding of how to enable ethical practice. Rather than a focus on ethical analysis, GVV focuses on ethical implementation and asks the questions, “What if I were going to act on my values? What would I say and do? How could I be most effective?”

Case Study: Does Facial Recognition Tech Enhance Security? in Harvard Business Review: A new security system in a daycare center produces biased results, with false alarms disproportionately affecting people of color. Even after the vendor worked to improve the system’s accuracy, the director of the daycare center must consider if this technology would really make the center safer and if it would open the business to further problems. This fictional case study is by Mary C. Gentile, David Danks, and Maralee Harrell.

Theresa Payton is the first female White House CIO, adviser to Fortune 500 boards, author, global speaker, media contributor, and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Regional finalist. Before serving as White House CIO, Payton was a technology leader in the banking and finance sector. She went on to co-found Dark3, a company later acquired by Celerium. Today she is the founder and CEO at Fortalice Solutions, a world-class consulting firm recently named to the lists of “The Global Hot 150 Cybersecurity Companies,” by Cybersecurity Ventures, and “The Top 5 Most Innovative Cybersecurity Companies” in the Washington, DC, area. In 2020, she received our own 2021 CMIT IT Leadership Award.  During this program, Theresa presented Predictions for 2024 and Preparing for the Triple Threat and discussed planning for living and working in the metaverse, an excerpt from the new release of her book Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Recognizing Threats, Defending Your Rights, and Protecting Your Family.

Mark Schwartz is an outspoken advocate for Agile, Lean, and DevOps methodologies and espouses a continuous improvement philosophy. He collaborates with enterprise leaders to create innovative cloud-based strategies, and his experience is wide-ranging and well-demonstrated. While the CIO of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, he brought Agile and DevOps practices to the federal government. As the CIO of Intrax Cultural Exchange, he was the first to use business intelligence and supply chain analytics to place au pairs with host families. As an Enterprise Strategist for AWS, Mark is on a never-ending quest to articulate and substantiate the critical role that the cloud plays in today’s enterprises.  Mark discussed his book A Seat at the Table, an examination of the role of IT leadership as it is now and as it should be—an integral part of the value creation engine. After Mark’s talk, he and Professor Nelson held a Fireside Chat on IT leadership with the audience.  We recommend bookmarking Mark’s AWC Cloud Enterprise Strategy blog here.

Professor Stefano Grazioli is the Director of the M.S. in the Management of Information Technology Program, which has a mission to develop managers who deliver greater business value through information technology. Program participants are seasoned professionals with an average work experience of 13 years. The M.S. in MIT Program has been in existence for over 20 years, and Professor Grazioli has directed it for the last decade. Dozens of his students have achieved C-level positions in business and nonprofit organizations.  Professor Grazioli has taught management of information technology, digital innovation, enterprise architecture, databases, financial engineering, and business process modeling to undergraduate, graduate, and executive education classes in the United States, Europe, and South America. His contributions as an educator have been recognized with the UVA All-University Teaching award (2009), the 12th annual Faculty Award from UVA’s Order of Claw and Dagger (2018), and the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching (2022).

Stefano wrapped up our day-long program with an engaging and entertaining presentation on the “state of AI” with a focus on generative AI tools like ChatGPT.  After providing a background on how the technology has developed and is currently being used by businesses, he described several use cases like conversational shopping, text processing, coding, and UI – and how the current technology is limited and prone to making up facts, and even bad at math!  Balancing the current constraints of AI against its disruptive promise and potential requires determining its impact and value to specific businesses, industries, and operations.

Time Activity Location
9 a.m. Breakfast Room 113
9:30 a.m. Welcome Remarks Room 123
9:40 a.m. Giving Voice to Values with Mary Gentile Ph.D. Room 123
10:45 a.m. A Seat at the Table with Mark Schwartz Room 123
11:15 a.m. Fireside Chat with Professor Ryan Nelson Room 123
11:50 a.m. CMIT IT Leadership Award Room 123
Noon Luncheon – including UVA student leaders 4th Floor
1:30 p.m. Preparing for the Triple Threat with Theresa Payton Room 123
2:45 p.m. Generative AI Briefing with Stefano Grazioli Room 123
3:45 p.m. Closing Remarks Room 123