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Alison van Diggelen
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Alison van Diggelen is a Silicon Valley based journalist and commentator who's been described as "one of the most respected interviewers on the web."

She's host of the Fresh Dialogues interview series and contributes to the BBC World Service, Public Radio International's The World; and National Public Radio's KQED.

Her notable interviews of business leaders and celebrities include Elon Musk, Meryl Streep and Martin Sheen.

Alison has been a guest on BBC's Business Matters and NBC's Tech Show Press:Here; and moderates events for the Commonwealth Club and the Churchill Club. California State Senator Elaine Alquist nominated Alison for a Woman of Achievement Award in communication; and she has also been honored by U.S. Congressman, Mike Honda.

A native of Scotland, Alison has a Master's from Cambridge University and enjoys indulging her passion for tech and sustainability in the Valley of Heart's Delight.

Entries by Alison van Diggelen

Michael Lewis: 'Moneyball' Prequel Arrives December 2016

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 3:40 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

This week, I had the pleasure of meeting the talented and influential author, Michael Lewis. You probably know he wrote Moneyball, The Big Short and The Blind Side and has been compared favorably to literary genius,...

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Sebastian Thrun: AI Pioneer Seeks Education Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 6:04 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues


This week, artificial intelligence (AI) reached a significant milestone. For the first time, Google's DeepMind unit beat the legendary champion of Go. Machines are now being built...

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Donald Trump's Racism: Influential Mexican-Americans Respond

(5) Comments | Posted March 1, 2016 | 7:27 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues


As any Fresh Dialogues follower knows, we seldom cover politics, but given Donald Trump's seemingly unstoppable rise in popularity, he can no longer be ignored. He's channeling...

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Nest's Tony Fadell: The New Steve Jobs?

(2) Comments | Posted February 26, 2016 | 10:13 AM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues


This week, I met the "legendary" Tony Fadell at SVForum's Visionary Salon in Palo Alto. Fadell has been called "the father of the iPod," Google's $3.2 Billion guru, among other colorful...

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14-Year-Old Gets Lessons in Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 12:39 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues


This year a teen delegation from the United Kingdom won a trip to Silicon Valley, courtesy of Silicon Valley Comes To UK (SVC2UK), the transatlantic brainchild of...

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What's it Like to Work In Silicon Valley if You're Not in Tech?

(43) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 4:47 PM


By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

If you're a techie in Silicon Valley today, chances are you have a six figure salary and a pretty comfortable living situation. But what if you don't work in tech? What's...

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BBC Report: Will El Nino End California's Water Saving?

(10) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 1:35 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues


Anticipation is building that El Nino will bring much-needed relief to drought-stricken California this winter. But will it end the drought? And how will it impact the Golden State's...

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Tesla's Elon Musk Gives VW a Lesson in Clean Air at Model X Launch

(2) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 2:34 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues


Last night, the long awaited Tesla Model X was launched and Elon Musk took great pleasure in underlining its clean air qualities. He couldn't contain a smile, as he talked about...

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Steve Jobs' First Love: Why the Whole Truth Matters

(1) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 8:45 PM

"I am a modern Mary Magdalene, the truth of who I am was blacked out. Steve fancied himself a Christ figure, but hated women, was a delusional contemporary business, religious fundamentalist who spread a culture of reality distortion." - Chrisann Brennan

Steve Jobs is a hero, even a saint,...

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California Drought Official Tells Techies: Get Your Hands Dirty

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 9:46 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

California's drought has spurred everyone to pay close attention to their water use. Farmers are especially thirsty for water-saving ideas, but where are the innovative tech solutions?


I recently joined Fergus...

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They Shot the Wrong Girl Says Malala's Favorite Author, Khaled Hosseini

(3) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 12:15 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

The name Malala is now synonymous with courage, passion and hope after a gunman shot Malala Yousafzai in the face; and she didn't back down. Malala is the...
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Cynthia Breazeal: Will Robots Like Jibo Take Your Job?

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 12:25 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Many people worry about the consequences of tech innovation, in particular: will automation and robots take our jobs? I sat down to explore the impact of robots and the chance of "robo-apocalypse" with social robot pioneer...

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What You Can Learn From Elon Musk Book: 6 Tips

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 1:59 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Today, the Elon Musk biography by Ashlee Vance is finally available. It will "likely serve as the definitive account" of the most successful entrepreneur in the world, writes Jon Gertner in the New York...

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What's Musk's 'Missing Piece?' Tesla Insider Shares Insights

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 12:26 AM

This evening, Elon Musk announces details of Tesla's new products: not cars, but battery storage for the home and for the business/utility. As Musk teases, "For the future to be good, we need electric transport, solar power and..."

So why does Musk call battery storage...

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'Eat, Pray, Love for Families': Wide-Open World Book Review

(1) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 3:16 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, Host of Fresh Dialogues


The book's website had me at Eat, Pray, Love and passed the ultimate test at page 244 when it made me cry. I'm talking about Wide Open World by...

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5 Lessons for Successful Entrepreneurs: A VC Perspective

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 11:16 AM


Heidi Roizen has been on both sides of the entrepreneur funding divide, so her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is particularly potent. She's an operating partner at venture capitalists group DFJ, a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford University and a...

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Daydreaming Helped 13-year-old Auschwitz Prisoner Survive

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 1:27 PM


Seventy years ago today, the prisoners of Auschwitz were liberated. Irene Weiss is one of those survivors. She was 13 years old when she was captured, her long blond braids shaved off and her family killed in the gas chambers. Weiss sat down...

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Fear Is Not An Option

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 10:25 AM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Diane von Furstenberg says that the greatest gift she's ever received is the lesson that "fear is not an option."

With 2015 off to a fearful start in Paris and its impact reverberating globally,

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Why Isaacson's Rewrite of Tech History Is So Timely

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 3:41 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, Host of Fresh Dialogues

Last Tuesday was the kind of evening when you just want to snuggle up with a good book and a warm mug of Earl Grey. But I rallied and zipped up my winter boots to go...

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Chelsea Sexton Explains Why Getting Butts in Electric Cars Is Top Priority

(1) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 7:06 PM

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh Dialogues

Chelsea Sexton is famous -- among electric car fans, at least -- for her role in the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? I caught up with Sexton at this summer's Plug-In Conference in...

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