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Ex-Etsy CEO to deliver Milstein Program ‘In Focus’ talk

Chad Dickerson, former CEO of e-commerce website Etsy and a Cornell Tech Fellow, will share his story in “The Journey Up: From English Major to Etsy,” Oct. 28 at 4:15 p.m. as part of the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity’s fall 2020 In Focus Speaker Series.

The talk, hosted by eCornell, is free and open to the public; registration is required.

In conversation with Milstein Program director Austin Bunn, Dickerson will discuss his journey to Etsy – an online marketplace specializing in handmade and vintage items and craft supplies – as well as his career post-Etsy, including his executive coaching practice and role on the Milstein Program advisory council.

Chad Dickerson

Immediately following the talk, Dickerson will judge a speed pitch fest, where five undergraduate individuals or teams will have three minutes to pitch their business concepts to Dickerson for feedback and the chance to win $500.

Dickerson received his bachelor’s in English literature from Duke University, where he concentrated on the works of Shakespeare. Prior to his career at Etsy, Dickerson held several leadership positions in the technology sector, including CTO at Salon.com and senior director of Yahoo!’s Brickhouse project development unit.

 Dickerson served as CTO of Etsy from 2008-11, and CEO from 2011-17. During his tenure as CEO, Etsy was named a Certified B Corporation for its commitment to social responsibility, and was included in the Great Place to Work Institute’s “Best Places to Work” list for three straight years.

The Milstein Program’s In Focus Speaker Series features industry leaders talking about their careers, the time between college and their first big breakthroughs, and how they got to where they are now.

Next in the series is Courtney Cogburn, associate professor of social work at Columbia University and lead creator of 1000 Cut Journey, an immersive virtual reality racism experience developed in collaboration with the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University. Cogburn’s Zoom talk is Nov. 4 at 4:15 p.m.

Launched in 2017, the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity offers a multidisciplinary curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences, with workshops in design thinking, community engagement and technology topics. Participants spend two summers at Cornell Tech in New York City.

Aidan Kelly is program assistant for the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity.

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Rebecca Valli