Techonomy Events

Four Ways Techonomy 2015 Made News: “Why hasn’t every CEO committed to making sure women and men are paid the same?”

Sean Parker being interviewed by David Kirkpatrick at Techonomy 2015. Memorable line: “I’ll discourage my kids from using the products I built.”

At least four big things happened at Techonomy 2015: Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the department's Digital Economy Agenda, Marc Benioff called for equality as a corporate virtue, social network creator Sean Parker criticized social networks as havens of narcissism, and McKinsey explained just how complex for every kind of worker will be the transition to a partially-automated world.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Energy & Green Tech Internet of Things

Will Programming Plants Feed the World?

This indoor farm in Japan is state-of-the-art, growing salad greens at high speed but high quality. (photo courtesy Philips)

By 2025 food shortages and price fluctuations could be a thing of the past, everywhere. New technologies for cultivating plants indoors could feed eight billion people, save energy and dramatically reduce pollution. But beyond the growing enthusiasm for "vertical farms" or "plant factories" lies the potential to alter elements in the recipe for these environments to create plants and foods with no precedent–more nutritious, hardy, or tasty–or whatever other characteristics we decide to favor.   More

Techonomy Events

Reflections from Ross: Memorable Quotes from Techonomy 2015

Adam Mosseri, who oversees the Facebook news feed, on stage at Techonomy 2015 with David Kirkpatrick. (Photo Rebecca Greenfield)

Brought up at Techonomy 2015: Afghan social networks, algorithms, ants, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, biofabrication, blockchain, business accelerators for women and minorities, digital economy, empathy, equality, fashion, Internet of things, ISIS, justice, libraries, neuroscience, neurotech, pay parity, privacy, robots for mining, values (of people, computers and networks), voting machines that are too old, Taliban's use of bluetooth marketing, and virtual reality. Here are tidbits from some of the best sessions.   More


Techonomy Magazine: Future Healthcare, Indoor Agriculture, Design, Global Inclusion…

It's the fourth time Techonomy has published its print and digital magazine.

The latest issue of the print and digital Techonomy Magazine includes articles on topics ranging from how the emergence of genomic medicine challenges the American health care system to a deep look at how technologized indoor agriculture may remake not only what we eat but its environmental consequences as well. We look at the inclusive potential of the Blockchain, and sit down with Museum of Modern Art design curator Paola Antonelli. There are also sections with fascinating quotes from our Bio, Policy and Detroit conferences from earlier in the year.   More

Analytics & Data Internet of Things Security & Privacy

How Good Guys Can Win the Cyberwars

Cybersecurity session at Techonomy 2015– moderator Michael Patsalos-Fox far right. Others, from left: Rowan Trollope of Cisco,
Victoria A. Espinel of the Business Software Alliance,
Nicole Eagan of Darktrace,
Special Agent David Johnson of the FB,I
Brian Kelly of Rackspace, and Elena Kvochko of Barclays.

When it comes to the cyberwars, are good guys or bad guys winning? I moderated a panel at Techonomy 2015 that explored this question. The answer isn’t a simple yes or no – and in light of the recent events in Paris, the question of our security feels even more critical. The industrialization of cybercrime is upon us. Today’s criminals are networked and well equipped. All organizations must prepare themselves for a series of battles.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

5 Genomic Advances To Be Thankful For

Whether your turkey is genetically altered or not, there's plenty of genomics healthcare developments to be thankful for. (photo Shutterstock)

With Thanksgiving approaching, Techonomy's resident champion of genomics details some things she's thankful for this year: Better Cancer Testing; Increased Data-Sharing Efforts; Scientists Who Push Boundaries (and Police Themselves Too); Living Foundries; and the FDA's Approval of the First DTC Genetic Test. She looks forward to more advances that will help regular consumers as programs like the federal Precision Medicine Initiative kick off.   More

Techonomy Events Video

The Shock and Awe of Techonomy 2015

Techonomy 2015 is done, and we're all still resonating with the thinking that emanated from that packed stage in Half Moon Bay. Links in this post go to the videos of various sessions and you can go directly to the full menu on the conference report page. The video above is one of the most noteworthy sessions, a surprising conversation called Gods In Boxes, about the values that underlie the algorithms that surround us.   More

Government Jobs Learning

The Commerce Department’s Digital Economy Agenda

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker onstage at Techonomy 2015 with David Kirkpatrick.

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker spoke Nov. 9 at Techonomy 2015, and announced for the first time her department's Digital Economy Agenda. Alan Davidson, who oversees this effort, wrote this piece to explain it.   More

Techonomy Events

Techonomy 2015: Human Values in An Age of Tech

At last year's Techonomy: David Kirkpatrick (left) with LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner

The transition to a technologized and interconnected society is challenging for everyone, everywhere. As we gain new efficiencies and capabilities, we still need to keep amity and constructive human interaction as our supreme priority. But it's not easy. That's why we call the upcoming Techonomy 2015 conference "Re-Humanizing Society." The opening session on Sunday November 8 is "Human Values in a Technologized Age." Joining the conversation in Half Moon Bay, California: Benioff, Chambers, Lanier, Parker, Prabhakar, and Pritzker.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

How to Battle Breathtakingly Sophisticated Cybercriminals

(photo courtesy Shutterstock)

The Internet is the new frontier for crime. The hacking ecosystem is breathtaking in its breadth and sophistication. And nation-states are stockpiling cyber weapons capable of disrupting power grids and banking systems, among other targets. There's lots more to worry about. But one of the most promising ways to improve proactive security, and one which merits much greater use, is information sharing of security incidents.   More

Analytics & Data Finance

The Re-Humanizing Impact of Robo-Advice

(image copyright Rawpixel, courtesy Shutterstock)

It’s not technology that’s dehumanizes us, but rather tedious tasks like personal finances themselves. And that's not just because working on them takes time out of our day. We’re simply not evolved to plan perfectly for the future. Automated advice is re-humanizing people. It’s giving them more time to spend what they want to be doing, and it’s based not just on their personal goals, but also on what fits into their lives.   More

Analytics & Data Business Jobs Society

Artificial Intelligence is Already Remaking Modern Businesses

We're all moving into a world where the key to success will be how people work with smart machines and artificial intelligence. (image courtesy Shutterstock)

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology heralds an opportunity and a challenge to business to harness new cognitive power. In an age of intelligent machines, effective executives must not only design organizations with the right metrics and interfaces between individuals and teams of people, but also between people and smart machines.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Energy & Green Tech Internet of Things

Food Production in a Technology-driven Economy

The Open Agriculture initiative at MIT Media Lab recently put food computers like this one in several Boston-area classrooms so students can experiment with "climate recipes" for growing plants.

The Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab aims to drive a paradigm shift from the industrial to the networked age of agricultural production—giving rise to a computationally-based food systems revolution that will account for the ecological, environmental, economic, and societal implications of producing food. Making agricultural practices radically transparent will improve access to fresh, nutritious foods, reduce spoilage and waste, and create communities built on a shared platform and shared data.   More

Business Jobs Techonomy Events

Beyond Tech’s “Pipeline Problem” towards Inclusive Meritocracies

Author Mather, who speaks at TE15, was on this panel on tech industry diversity at TE Detroit 2014 . From left, author Andrew Keen, Brian Forde (now MIT Media Lab, then at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy), SisterCode's Marlin Page, Google's Chris Genteel, Mather Unitive, and Indiegogo's Danae Ringelmann

In the year since I last attended Techonomy, we’ve seen major shifts in the workforce. In 2015, millennials became the largest labor force in the United States. The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates 40.4% of the employed labor force are now in alternative work arrangements. Employers have to find new ways to attract and retain top talent for the horizontal, distributed workforce of the future. The session I’ll join on Nov. 9, "Scouting for Talent, Digging for Diversity," will explore the causes for today's business diversity shortcomings as well as ways tech is disrupting and rebuilding the structures of old.   More

Techonomy Events

Reflections from Ross at 33,000 feet: Techonomy’s Program Chief on This Weekend’s Conference

The program book for the Techonomy2015 conference.

This year we call TE15 Re-Humanizing Society. How can or should tech and the tech industry credibly assert itself as a truly re-humanizing force and influence on the world? Can we reap the supposed benefits of being reduced to 1’s and 0’s and becoming mere data generators without losing what makes us human? The conference kicks off with "Human Values for a Technologized Age." It closes with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. With his recent announcement that Salesforce spent $3 million last year on gender parity in pay and his very vocal opposition to Indiana's anti-LGBT law, he's currently becoming both a business and a civic leader.   More

Learning Society Techonomy Events

If Kids Were Bonds They’d be the Backbone of the World Economy

Meta Learning takes a bigger-picture view of what kids really need. If we focused more on it our entire society might be transformed.

If investment into a child’s education accrued interest like a monetary bond, the payouts would be beyond any known interest rate. We know what works; our problem is that we don’t implement the findings. The research is filled with examples of impactful interventions, ranging from stress reduction to reading promotion to mindset and grit, or tenacity, development. We refer to these as meta-learning. It can significantly affect life-outcomes such as general cognitive ability, socioemotional competency, creativity, and curiosity.   More

Finance Partner Insights Startup Culture

Financial Startups: Solid Investments that Improve Life in Emerging Markets

A kiosk for Zoona, an Zambian mobile money system that helps entrepreneurs and ordinary people transfer money.

Financial technology startups promise to dramatically lower costs and make financial services more accessible to people who are not reached by traditional financial services today, especially (but not only) in emerging markets. And serving these populations can be profitable. Omidyar Network, where I work, has invested in numerous other fintech companies. But for us, this is more than the latest trend for investors seeking big multiples.   More

5G Business

Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg on the Next Phase in Wireless–5G

What comes after so-called 4G wireless, today’s highest-bandwidth systems (sometimes called LTE)? Even though only a small portion of smartphone users in a few countries so far have 4G, Ericsson, one of the telecoms industry’s leading tech providers, is already deep into planning the next phase. These 5G systems will differ dramatically from those today, […]   More

Society Techonomy Events

Technology, Power and Social Justice

(Image courtesy Shutterstock)

Technology has become so pervasive and powerful that we cannot ignore the way it shapes our communal life. Therefore, in addition to being concerned about the rights and protections due individuals, we need to look seriously at issues of justice and other civic virtues. To be human is to exist in a rich web of relationships, not just one-to-one, but organized into increasingly complex social structures.   More

Global Tech Opinion Society

Reflections on Clinton Global Initiative: Changing How We See the World

The Clinton Global Initiative in September tackled a wide range of issues with a heavy gloss of celebrity–but it worked, says author Ermacora (who also took this photo).

The Clinton Global Initiative has become a sort of Davos-on-US-soil, distinguishing itself with a focus on action and innovation for both international and American development. There's a heavy emphasis on peace processes and democracy, as well as on infrastructures of healthcare, education, energy and aid for those in need. The event is a wildly elaborate production, yet it conveys a sense of intimacy and care thanks to former President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea. Technology was everywhere, including a movie shot with virtual reality techniques.   More