The first annual Churchill Club Awards were held last Thursday in Santa Clara in honor of the Club’s 25th anniversary. The Churchill Awards acknowledge outstanding achievements in innovation, social benefit, collaboration, and leadership. With these awards, the Churchill Club seeks to ignite conversations and encourage innovation and economic growth in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Legendary Silicon Valley author, speaker and advisor, Geoffrey Moore, presented the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox team with the Churchill Club 2011 Magical Team Award for collaborative breakthroughs resulting in an irresistible product. The Magical Team Award was accepted on behalf of the Kinect team by Mihai Budiu, Microsoft Research and Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president of Hardware at Microsoft.
Many teams worked together to make Kinect a reality. Holmdahl emphasized that Kinect brought energy to the individuals and teams who worked on the project; people wanted to be part of it. What had once seemed like an impossible challenge turned into a fun, exciting adventure that was self-rewarding. This breakthrough technology is not only used for gaming, but also for major medical advantages. For example, Kinect uses motion sensor, skeletal tracking, facial recognition and voice recognition technology to interact with the Xbox without using a remote control.
Other award recipients for the night include Facebook for the Game Changer Award in indispensable technology and business innovation. Salman Khan earned the Global Benefactor Award for irrepressible vision and positive impact on society, and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, was presented with the Legendary Leader Award for inspirational leadership and contributions to others’ innovation and success.