5 Questions With… Sara Holoubek, CEO Luminary Labs

This post is part of a weekly series called “5 Questions With…” featuring Q&As with Social Media Week Global Advisory Board members and Event Partners.

Sara Holoubek is CEO of Luminary Labs. Sara founded Luminary Labs as a response to an increased demand for her strategy consulting practice. Read her full bio here.

Q: Tell us about your background with Luminary Labs and what the organization’s major goals are for 2011.
Sara Holoubek: Luminary Labs was founded to address the needs of industries in transition. As large organizations moved into a post-recession rebuilding phase, they sought to become more resilient in the face of change. In 2011, we will continue to help companies build these business models and introduced new, agile approaches to people, processes, and technology.

Q: When and why did Luminary Labs first get involved with Social Media Week?
SH: Last year we started to develop a strong point of view regarding the role that social technologies can play in the modern organization.

Currently, the majority of social media is focused on satisfying the upper half of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: like this, friend me, buy that. We feel strongly that the world has yet to explore how these same technologies can also serve more basic societal needs, such as our health and food systems.

One of the challenges is that those with the knowledge of how social technology works rarely interact with those solving for basic societal needs. We suddenly felt this obligation to introduce the various actors to explore this concept in a participatory fashion. And so Health | Tech | Food** was born. 

Q: What is a major trend you see rising in the social media space?
SH: We are starting to see organizations view social technology as an underlying system, as opposed to just a messaging tactic. This is a welcome change, but will result in significant organizational changes that may be uncomfortable at first.

Q: How do you use social media for both personal and professional use?
SH: Professionally, social media has become a core component of my company’s communication infrastructure. It has become completely interwoven in all of our interactions with the world.

Personally, I have to thank social media for safely delivering me back to New York during the December blizzard. On the eve the storm, I tweeted that I was about to be stuck in the Midwest with no flights, trains or rental cars available. A Twitter follower quickly connected me to a mutual friend in the same situation, but with a rental car on hand. She was just a few hours away, so yes; Twitter is directly responsible for a 16 hour road trip, including the requisite Cracker Barrel stop.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most during Social Media Week 2011?
SH: I look forward to seeing the output of Health | Tech | Food. As an open innovation event, we will publish all of the ideation output so that anyone can take a concept to the next level. 

**Health | Tech | Food is an event to discuss and innovate around the core health issues of New York through the lens of social technology, including four ideation workshops: open source health, food systems, the quantified self and mobile health.

Alysha Lalji is a contributing writer to the Social Media Week blog and works in digital communications at Deep Focus.