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

Cities Government Manufacturing Techonomy Events Transportation

Geared up for Techonomy Detroit Tuesday 9/15!

Simone Ross oversees Techonomy's conference programs.

On September 15th our FOURTH Techonomy Detroit conference hosts fantastic thinkers and leaders for conversations about how tech is changing companies, work, cities and countries. Speakers include Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, plus leaders from Google, IBM, Microsoft, and numerous other companies. And 41% of our speakers are women!   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Techonomy Events

Growing Bones and On-Demand Joints: Top Picks from TE Bio and Policy

At TE Policy: from left, Sean Parker, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Deb Fischer, David Kirkpatrick

This year's Techonomy Bio and Policy conferences examined critical fields being altered by the progress of tech. We covered everything from growing bones to decoding the brain at TE Bio in March. Then TE Policy explored the not always happy confluence of tech innovation and government. We had briefings on Blockchain and the Internet of Things, and deep dives on cyberwar and the European single digital market. We closed with Senators Booker and Fischer and the inimitable Sean Parker on tech, innovation and American progress.   More

Government Security & Privacy Society Techonomy Events

The Mind-Boggling Challenges of a Private and Secure Net

Digital privacy isn’t simple for anyone–consumers, the companies that hold data, or the government. In this high-profile session at Techonomy Policy in June 2015, leaders from AT&T and Microsoft joined venture capitalist Brad Burnham and FCC Commissioner Julie Brill in a probing conversation that underscored the many challenges. Brill worries that consumers do not understand […]   More

Government Techonomy Events

Towards a Bipartisan Tech Strategy in D.C.

Should America have a bipartisan technology agenda? It certainly seems like a good idea. And Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey argued for one emphatically at the closing session of the Techonomy Policy conference in Washington in early June. What made the session remarkable, at least to those of us whose expectations are dulled by the deluge of punditry proclaiming partisan deadlock in Washington, is that Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska agreed with him. Fischer of course is a Republican, and Booker a Democrat. Booker says we are now too often choking innovation rather than allowing it to flourish. Meanwhile, Sean Parker, the tech entrepreneur and investor, who joined the two onstage, spoke passionately about his own bipartisan approach to policy advocacy. He says his friends call him crazy for not just supporting politicians of one party, but he says he thinks "it's actually quite sane."   More

Government Partner Insights

What the U.S. Government Does Right in Promoting Innovation

John Holdren and Wan Gang at the U.S.-China Innovation Dialogue. Photo by Erin-Michael Gill

There are two unfortunate, and incorrect narratives around the United States government’s role in innovation: some say our government is increasingly neglecting its duty to “promote science and the useful arts” by not adequately investing in new science and technology development. Or this even more pernicious narrative: the U.S. government is wasting taxpayer resources and doing too much to handhold innovation. These people say we are inappropriately directing government monies toward high-risk research that private companies should do instead, since they are better equipped to understand market needs and opportunities.   More


Government Infecting Itself with Entrepreneurial Spirit

(Image via HHS Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program)

One of the many phrases with which we’ve all become familiar, certainly if we live or spend any time around Washington, is that government needs to operate more like a business. And while that’s an overly simplistic aphorism that doesn’t take into account any number of things (are you familiar with the failure rate for most new businesses?!), most of the people who attended our first Techonomy Policy event last month in DC would agree that there are certainly any number of lessons government can learn from its corporate brethren. Enter the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program. Started in 2012 by then-CTO of HHS, Todd Park, the program recruits external talent to partner with internal HHS teams on high-priority projects for about a year.   More

Government Techonomy Events

Reflections from Ross on Techonomy Policy 2015

Simone Ross onstage at Techonomy Policy 2015. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

“What is it we want to borrow from the tech world? The tech itself? Or a fundamentally different way of approaching problems?” Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, asked in a presentation last week in San Francisco. Her question mirrored one that came up at a number of sessions at our recent Techonomy Policy in Washington, D.C. Techonomy Policy was created to probe ideas at the confluence of tech and policy. We were well aware that there are many events and demands for people’s time in the Beltway, but we wanted to bring something a little different and a little more broad in its approach. The feedback we've gotten from participants suggests we succeeded. People told us it felt like a different kind of conversation for Washington.   More

Government Techonomy Events

Slowly, Tech Innovation Makes Inroads in Government

An attendee asks a question at the "How Tech Is Making Government Work Better" session at Techonomy Policy 2015. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

Is tech making government work better? That was the question tackled by an expert panel at the Techonomy Policy conference in Washington in early June. The summary answer: a little bit, but not nearly as much as it could. There's no question technology can make government more effective, deliver more efficient government services to citizens, and help officials make better policy decisions. But there are two primary impediments to fulfilling that potential--bureaucracy (no surprise), and a general fear of the new. The U.S. government spends in excess of $80 billion annually on technology, and states spend $50 billion more. Yet numerous audits and studies have shown that 20 to 25 percent of this money is being wasted, said panelist Aamer Baig, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. And citizens appear to realize it.   More

Government Techonomy Events

Onstage at TE Policy, a Bipartisan Call for Policies that Don’t Screw Up Innovation

At left, Sean Parker, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Deb Fischer, and David Kirkpatrick. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

Tech policy development may help strange bedfellows get better acquainted. At Techonomy Policy 2015 in Washington last week, tech billionaire Sean Parker joined Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican cattle rancher, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, a vegan Democrat, for a conversation with Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick about “Technology, Innovation, and American Progress.” Parker, whose teen hacking escapades were sufficiently sophisticated that they were investigated by the FBI, joked that he was appearing as “Senator from the Internet.” The to-some-infamous cofounder of Napster, past president of Facebook, and investor in Spotify is fast becoming known as a bipartisan political contributor and policy wonk. His new venture, Brigade, aims to put the voter back at “the center of our democracy.” He also recently launched a Washington think tank devoted to bipartisan strategies for economic growth, called the Economic Innovation Group (EIG).   More

Business Government Techonomy Events

Watch the Video from Techonomy Policy 2015

The Techonomy Policy conference in June 2015 focused on the relationship between tech innovation and government. The tech industry and Washington need to better understand and work together, for our national good. (Videos play in reverse order, beginning with the Sean Parker and senators closing session. Click the arrow to scroll through earlier sessions.)   More

Government Techonomy Events

Reflections from Ross: Techonomy Policy Next Tuesday

Our first Techonomy Policy conference takes place in Washington, DC, next week. This is our third focused new conference we've launched since the first wide-ranging Techonomy event in 2010. In 2012, we added Techonomy Detroit, and in 2013, we began our Techonomy Bio series. So why Techonomy Policy? There are many reasons. One is that in order for tech leaders and innovators to create the impact and benefit they envision, they must understand the complex ecosystem of government well enough to become valued partners and to create responsive relationships. The role of government, governance, and policy cannot simply be ignored. In addition, in a time when tech is changing everything around us at a rapidly accelerating pace, leaders of the institutions that serve us need close relationships with the techies who are changing the world.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government

For Genome Editing, Self-Regulation Beats a Government Ban

(Image via Shutterstock)

A breakthrough method that makes editing the genes of living beings relatively easy, called CRISPR, is much in the news these days. So are the many implications—both terrifying and promising—associated with it. The seemingly endless possibilities of genome editing have even the scientific community on edge, and it’s stirring up heated debate about where the ethical limits are. At the moment, most of the calls for restraint in the use of CRISPR are coming directly from scientists, but it won’t be long before government officials or candidates hoping to be elected start airing their opinions about how this field should be regulated. It’s worth taking a moment to consider how different modes of oversight could affect the opportunities afforded us by genome editing.   More

Analytics & Data Government Partner Insights

Washington Is Changing. Companies Have to Change with It

(Image via Shutterstock)

Digital technology transformed business models for the media, manufacturing, and sports industries. Now shifts in how Washington works require that companies adopt new, technology-driven government affairs strategies. Here are some of the signs of the transformation underway in Washington: a decrease in Congressional action; increased complexity in regulations; the growing relevance of social media; and the proliferation of information services and access to new information. For businesses of all sizes in all industries, there has never been a more critical moment to recognize these changes and act on them.   More

Analytics & Data Government

Let’s Use Data and Tech to Create a Government that Works

(Image via Shutterstock)

Breakthroughs in medicine, data science, online education, renewable energy, and satellite navigation have changed the world. From smartphones to PET scans, from pest-resistant seeds to asteroid landings, the list of extraordinary, ingenious, life-changing achievements is almost endless. But from a public policy perspective, the pace of improvement is harrowing. Governments around the world need to find mechanisms that simultaneously enable greater opportunity for their social entrepreneurs as well as better protection for citizens. The new structures will need to use data more wisely, make decisions more quickly, and regulate more fairly. They will also need to provide data to collaboratively achieve performance-measured outcomes, and better engage communities and civil society’s participation in the process.   More


FCC Chairman Looks to Close Digital Divide by Expanding Lifeline Program

(Image via Shutterstock)

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated a proposal within the Commission to dramatically expand the $1.7 billion Lifeline subsidy program designed to ensure all Americans have access to advanced telecommunications services. Lifeline was created in 1985 by the Reagan administration to subsidize landline phone service; in 2008 it was expanded to include cellphones. To qualify for the subsidy a household must, “have an income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty line, or must participate in a program like Medicaid or food stamps,” according to a recent article in The New York Times.   More

Government Techonomy Events

Reflections from Ross: the American Ideal and Global Governance

As we put the final touches on the program for our first Techonomy Policy conference I’ve been thinking a lot about government, global order, democracy, responsibility, and communities. And of course politics. It’s hard to avoid politics when you live in the U.S. and there’s 18 months to go before the Presidential Election. Apparently it’s never too early to start obsessing over it. In our archives I came across this short talk (beginning at 11:48) from David Liu, co-founder of the XO Group.   More

Global Tech Government Partner Insights

A Critical Moment for the Future of the Internet

(Image via Shutterstock)

The Internet, the greatest invention of our generation—several generations in fact—is in many ways a reflection of the American Dream. It’s vast and open, unlimited in its potential reach. It’s inclusive and welcoming. Anyone can be part of it and make a difference. The fastest growing part of the global economy is Internet-based, and the Internet accounts for a significant and growing portion of global GDP. According to Boston Consulting Group, the Internet is contributing up to 8 percent of GDP in some economies, powering growth and creating jobs. You’d be correct in arguing it’s an American-made innovation. We can trace the roots of the Internet back some 50 years to a U.S. Defense Department research program. But as the Internet has expanded globally, it’s become increasingly clear that one government cannot lay claim to it. The Internet is a worldwide resource. It belongs to everyone.   More

Global Tech Government Partner Insights

Towards a Truly Global Single Digital Market

(Image via Shutterstock)

Europe is in the midst of a messy negotiation on how to build a single digital market—putting all 28 members of the EU under one set of rules. The potential benefits are clear: consumers will gain access to new services, regulations can be made more consistent and growth enhanced by market norms. According to one study, such efficiencies could give the region an estimated $400 billion economic boost in the first year alone. But the ambitions of Brussels policymakers are too small. A single European digital market should be just the first step in the creation of an open global digital market that will allow companies and individuals everywhere to continue to exploit the Internet’s potential.   More

Government Techonomy Events

Techonomy Policy June 9 in DC: the Age of Data Exhaust

Recently Techonomy hosted a dinner in New York, and our guests wanted relentlessly to talk about data. Where will society produce it? How much can we manage? Who will control it? What will they do to us with it? How can individuals retain influence over it? These are elemental questions for our era. They are questions that not only citizens, but government itself needs to be methodically asking. The dinner had nothing to do with our impending Techonomy Policy conference next Tuesday, June 9, in Washington. But it’s no coincidence that the opening session is entitled “Keeping America Innovative In the Age of Data Exhaust.”   More