Grateful Digital Trailblazers Reflect on Innovation and Lifelong Learning

I love this time of year in the United States when we have a brief pause from our complex lives and get the chance to break bread with family and friends. Thanksgiving means a lot more for me this year, but I will have to leave the story on why for another time.

Long-time fans of my blog will remember some of my other Thanksgiving posts – two of the 1,000 articles I just celebrated. (See the 1000’th post here).

Happy Thanksgiving from Isaac Sacolick

My first and favorite came in 2013, where I shared a CIO top ten guide to preparing a Thanksgiving feast, and last year, I gave a huge thanks to my fantastic Digital Trailblazer supporters. My post from two years ago on five ways to thank teams driving digital transformation is still very relevant.

Three reflections on giving thanks in 2023

This year, I’m electing to share how other Digital Trailblazers are reflecting over the last year and where they express their gratitude. Knowledge, learning, innovation, and talent are common themes.

1. Thank the team

“What I’m most grateful for is our highly skilled, dedicated, and devoted data office team. The data mesh environment we’ve created here within Collibra, the data office, is the center of enablement with the mission to educate and empower people as data citizens with data literacy skills, processes, and self-service technology. Data citizens can understand, trust, and consume data for fact-based decision-making, and can build, curate, and connect data as products that drive measurable value at scale.” - Jay Militscher, Vice President, Data & Analytics, Collibra.

2. Reflect on innovation opportunities

“This holiday season, I’m thankful to work in an industry that fosters evolution and innovation. While our industry continues to suffer a talent shortage, organizations are finding ways to make their staff more efficient through tools like no-code platforms for detection rule and automated response design, and recently, the explosion of generative AI tooling that decreases toil and helps increase analyst efficiency. cybersecurity threats evolve, thankfully, so does our tooling, and there’s always something new to learn to keep the job interesting.” - Mike Laramie, Associate CTO, Security at SADA

3. Celebrate the democratization of knowledge

“Every time we make a step towards better and wider access to knowledge, we should be very thankful and celebrate it. People in high tech love the word democratization and eliminating silos, and as an industry, we have made huge strides in achieving these goals. It was the year when the category of data cloud (with Snowflake as the category leader) was established once and for all. The dream of one place to store and query all your data became more real. We moved from data storage/compute to data clouds. This is truly the end of data silos.” - Nikolaos Vasiloglou, VP of Research ML at RelationalAI.

Thanks to my event and lifelong learning partners

In last week’s 1,000th post, I shared three time-tested lessons for digital transformation leaders. I ended the post thanking the many people who contribute and are fans of the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers event I host on LinkedIn on Fridays at 11 am ET.

Today, I want to thank the many people and organizations who invited me to speak at their in-person and virtual events.

Thanks to AJCU-CITM, Aterian Partners, Atos, BigPanda, Binghamton University, Boomi,, CIOChat, CIO Professional Network, Cockroach DB, Coveo, Creatio, CXOTalk, C-Vision, Deloitte On Cloud Podcast, Depaul Innovation Lab, DisrupTV, Edgevana, Evan Kirstel B2B TechFluencer, Foundry, GDS, Higher Gear CIO Forum, InterVision, Isos Technology, Ivanti, LaunchDarkly, Landmark Ventures, Lenovo, Mayfield CXOs, National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), nGage ETx, Nova Southeastern University, OpenText, OpsRamp,, PrivOps, Quickbase, Resolve, RedZone 10X CIO Innovation Community, Rubrik, Siemens low-code podcast, Society of Information Management (SIM), SINC USA, Something Extra Podcast, Subscription Insider, #TimTalk, Yates SparkCXO, Talend, The Cube, TreasureData, ToroCloud, UC Irvine Center for Digital Transformation, Windward Consulting, and others!

In the list above, I linked to three recent appearances where I discussed generative AI, digital transformation, and CIO leadership. If you haven’t seen the CXOTalk episode with Michael Krigsman, Tim Crawford, and me on the CIO Playbook for Enterprise AI, you definitely shouldn’t miss it. Watch below.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Isaac Sacolick
Join us for a future session of Coffee with Digital Trailblazers, where we discuss topics for aspiring transformation leaders. If you enjoy my thought leadership, please sign up for the Driving Digital Newsletter and read all about my transformation stories in Digital Trailblazer.

Coffee with Digital Trailblazers hosted by Isaac Sacolick Digital Trailblazers!  Join us Fridays at 11am ET for a live audio discussion on digital transformation topics:  innovation, product management, agile, DevOps, data governance, and more!

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.