Keen On Startup Culture

KeenON: Venture Capitalist and Higher Ed Entrepreneur Tim Draper

With his trademark aplomb, the storied venture capitalist Tim Draper is revolutionizing higher education. His new Draper University of Heroes, a Silicon Valley-based startup college, is turning traditional education on its head. Instead of history, students learn the future. Instead of conventional economics, they learn about Bitcoin. And instead of success, they are taught how to fail.   More

Global Tech

Texting to Stop Ebola: African Telecoms Launch SMS Fundraiser

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In the fight against Ebola, African telecoms are asking cell phone users to text to save lives. Partnering with the African Union Commission, 41 telecommunications companies across the continent have launched the “United Against Ebola” campaign, an SMS initiative that raises money from every user who texts “Stop Ebola” to 7979. Rwanda is one of the latest countries to join the campaign, which began Dec. 1 and runs through February 2015.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

Techonomy’s Third Annual Holiday Gift Guide

The Hello Sense device and app

We’ve recovered from our Thanksgiving-induced food coma, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for the annual Techonomy gift guide to help with your holiday shopping. We scoured the interwebs to bring you this assortment of innovative, fun gift ideas for the tech-loving people on your shopping list.   More

Global Tech

China Reaches out to Facebook in Growing Courtship

(Image via Shutterstock)

I have to commend Mark Zuckerberg for his tenacity, after the Facebook founder once again made headlines for receiving a visit from a top Chinese Internet official visiting the U.S. There are several interesting things about this latest development involving Zuckerberg’s endless quest to bring Facebook to China, beginning with the source of this latest news.   More

Keen On Security & Privacy

KeenON: Journalist and NSA Expert Barton Gellman

It isn’t surprising that Edward Snowden chose then Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman as one of the earliest recipients of his leaked NSA documents. Gellman is the author of a best-selling book about Dick Cheney as well as many influential articles about the war on terror, and thus was a natural choice for Snowden when he sought a trustworthy journalist to publicize the PRISM materials. So was Snowden a hero? Not surprisingly, Gellman won’t be drawn into such a clichéd analysis.   More

Global Tech Learning

Computer Science in Vietnam: Counting Down to the Hour of Code

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Events surrounding this week's Hour of Code coincide with Computer Science Education week. Vietnam will have 26 different hosts, ranging from universities and high schools to private corporations. However, only two of the participating high schools are local schools under the Department of Education. The remaining are international or private schools. But don’t be too concerned about the lack of participation from public secondary schools. In fact, the rest of the world is really only catching up to Vietnam, whose public schools are known for introducing computer science into the curriculum at a very early age.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Streetline’s Zia Yusuf on Using Data to Take the Pain Out of Parking

When it comes to driving, we spend a lot of timing thinking about navigating from point A to point B, but often forget about point C, which is where we park, says Zia Yusuf of Streetline. “It’s estimated that 25 to 30 percent of traffic in the city is caused by people looking for parking,” Yusuf said at September's Techonomy Detroit conference at Wayne State University. Streetline is working to solve that problem. Through a system of sensors and consumer- and business-facing apps, the smart-parking company enables cities to instate dynamic pricing that adjusts automatically to demand.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

U.S. Risks Losing Its Lead in Synthetic Biology, Expert Says

Nancy J. Kelley spoke at the Techonomy Bio conference this June in Mountain View, Calif.

American scientists pioneered the field of synthetic biology, and the U.S. government funded the research that catalyzed commercialization of its earliest products. But unless key players in the U.S. get their act together soon, other nations will dominate the booming multibillion-dollar industry. “What is at stake here is the future competitive advantage of countries, especially the U.S.,” says Nancy J. Kelley.   More

Techonomy 14 Society Techonomy Events

Can Tech Bring Equality and Peace?

Some talk as if a digital utopia is within our grasp, but could tech in fact be widening the gulf between rich and poor? It’s impossible not to worry about growing global discord. Will tech bring us together, or drive us further apart? At last month's Techonomy 2014, The New Yorker's James Surowiecki joined Intel's Genevieve Bell, Twitter's Jack Dorsey, David Miliband of the International Rescue Committee, and Nandan Nilekani of the Unique Identification Authority of India to discuss tech's potential to foster peace and equality.   More

Business

Google’s Six Values for Business Leadership in an Age of Reimagination

(Image via Shutterstock)

The most important characteristic of successful business leaders today is the ability to embrace, inspire, and manage change. At Google, we’ve had 15 years of experience with these changes first hand. In my role as the president of our Americas sales team, I also have the good fortune of working hand-in-hand with leaders across industries who are actively reimagining how their businesses will work in the future. I’ve found six core values that I think set apart the leaders who are thriving in these turbulent and exciting times.   More

Business

How the Belly Card Makes a Meal Out of Other Loyalty Programs

Belly's Chicago office

The rewards consumers can reap with a Belly loyalty card program are quirky to say the least. One of the best prizes in the Belly network? An ice cream date with Jerry of Ben and Jerry’s. Since you'd have to earn those 1,000 points by eating ice cream, that’s a lot of brain freeze. An evolution of the traditional loyalty punch card, consumers use Belly cards to collect customized rewards at businesses where Belly iPads are installed   More

Internet of Things

Baby Wearables: The Next Big Thing in “Smart” Parenting?

The Owlet Smart Sock transmits your baby's vitals to your smartphone via Bluetooth.

With the seemingly endless variety of smart wearables out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, not only by the options available but also by the data produced. What does all the data mean, how is it applied, where does it go, and does it really improve your life? Or just further complicate it? Compound all of these questions with the fact that today’s wearables aren’t just tracking you, they’re also tracking your baby. We’ve already seen Huggies’ TweetPee, a wetness sensor that clips onto diapers and wirelessly connects with an app, Tweeting at parents when a diaper needs changing. And diaper alerts are just the tip of the wearable iceberg.   More

Global Tech

Vietnam IT Services Climb the Value Chain

Quodisys IT worker

Vietnam’s IT services sector boomed in recent years as international companies raced to capitalize on the country’s considerable base of low-cost tech talent. Although many came in search of cheap workers for basic tasks, some now see the country as a viable provider of higher-value services, including complex software development, data analytics, and even original R&D. As Techonomy reported in June, Vietnam shows big potential to become a major provider of IT services in the coming years.   More

Keen On

KeenON: The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki on the Digital Future

There are few journalists both more reasonable and more insightful than The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki. At Techonomy 2014 in Half Moon Bay last month, Surowiecki moderated the fascinating “Can Tech Bring Equality and Peace?” panel, which included Jack Dorsey and Intel’s Genevieve Bell. So it was a real honor to have the opportunity to sit down with Surowiecki and pick his brain about the future of innovation, the Internet, and even death itself.   More

Analytics & Data Partner Insights

How Tech Is Transforming Customer Experience

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Business is being reshaped by mobile, social, cloud, and big data, and so are customer expectations. Retailing, financial services, communications, travel, and customer service and technical support are feeling the effects most. They are all industries with particularly high customer engagement. Everything from client devices and applications to IT infrastructure and applications have altered how people learn about, evaluate, and buy things.   More

Healthcare

FDA Proposal Could Limit Custom Tests for Patients

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There’s a battle brewing between hospital labs and the FDA, and caught in the crosshairs are patients—the one group both sides say they are trying to help. At issue is how these labs are regulated, which has major implications for how quickly they can respond to new health problems, such as viral outbreaks.   More

Techonomy Events Video

Techonomy 2014: The Urgent Dialogue Continues

November's Techonomy 2014 conference continued our ongoing exploration of the manifold ways technology is accelerating business and social progress. We sliced and diced that question every way we could think of, with leaders both famous and unknown. The challenges grow greater even as the opportunities become more obvious. Navigating those options is a giant job for society and its leaders. Here is a video snapshot of TE14 highlights, and more detailed reports are below from sessions and onsite conversations. It was a series of rich and gratifying conversations.   More

Business

The End of “End-to-End” in Tech?

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Some say the recent moves by eBay, HP, and Symantec to split their businesses are driven by how Wall Street assigns value to companies. But I believe these companies are instead simply becoming more in tune with the evolving needs of their customers, be they enterprises or consumers. These tech giants are likely to be among the first of many in business to move toward a more specialized existence.   More

Business Media & Marketing

GE’s Comstock: The Imperative Is Speed

Photograph by Andrew Eccles

General Electric Senior Vice President Beth Comstock stopped by Techonomy's office recently to talk about corporate innovation. Besides overseeing all GE's sales and marketing activities, she's responsible for growth and market innovation. She rose through corporate communications to become GE's CMO, then ran sales and digital for NBC Universal before her current job. When we asked about her light bulb experiences, we didn't know that shortly after our meeting CEO Jeff Immelt would give her an additional job leading GE's $3 billion lighting business. We started by asking how someone with a marketing background got so interested in innovation.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

How Many Heartbeats Today? Are Patients Ready to Become Tech-empowered Healthcare Consumers?

Illustration by Jonathon Rosen for Techonomy

Technology is driving a fundamental shift in how we think about health. Increasingly, ordinary people can utilize devices, apps, medical tests, and data analysis to take charge of their health in a proactive way. In the past, our whole system focused on patients—sick people who more or less did what they were told by doctors. The big future business opportunity may be in helping consumers store and interpret what they gather from devices, sensors, and tests. We could certainly use tools that pull disparate data together and assemble it into a big picture.   More