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

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

Towards a Truly Global Single Digital Market

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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

Last week 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 on 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

Government Manufacturing

Driverless Cars Debut Soon—But Will We Be Ready for Them?

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Is operating a driverless car legal? With Tesla, Audi, and Cadillac all set to roll out vehicles featuring autonomous functions over the next year—in a legal climate where the federal government and a majority of states lack any regulation at all—the question is difficult to address, but urgently demands an answer. Many automakers say that if a state doesn’t expressly bar hands-free driving, it’s permitted. And legal experts agree. But they also point out that how police officers elect to actually handle driverless cars is another matter.   More

Government Techonomy Events

TE Videos Set Stage for Policy Conference in DC June 9

In June we’re launching a new conference, Techonomy Policy. It will focus on the pressure and friction points created when the speed of tech butts up against the ability of government, governance, regulators, and institutions in general to keep up. We’re trying to regulate things that are completely new, be it the technology itself or the applications it enables. And by the time we start thinking about implications, it’s already too late. Can policy become less reactive and more proactive? And how do you navigate such ethically and politically complex issues with huge economic, social, and moral implications?   More

Government

The Peculiar Charms (and Perils) of Electronic Voting

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It’s remarkable that in a world where it seems everything is becoming more digitized most of the globe still elects their political leaders with pencil and paper. Only a peculiarly-diverse handful of countries—including Belgium, Brazil, India, and Venezuela—use electronic voting machines nationwide. (The U.S. and other countries use them in some areas.) What these countries have discovered is that when you have a robust system the cost of elections falls, people’s votes count more, fraud is cut, and the results are known faster. And, rather extraordinarily, replacing paper with machines can change societies in ways that save lives.   More

Government

Can Open-Source Voting Tech Fix the U.S. Elections System?

(Image via OSET Foundation)

American voting technology is trapped in the last millennium. This lifeline to democracy is kept secret—closed off from public inspection and controlled by large businesses. It is decades old to boot. Our voting methods ought to be at least as cutting edge as our selfie apps, but they’re not. Open-source technology could offer a solution that upends the entire elections technology market, dislodging incumbent voting machine companies and putting the electorate at the helm.   More

Davos 2015 Government

Davos 2015: Boston Chief of Staff Daniel Koh on Driven Decision-Making

Daniel Koh, chief of staff for the city of Boston, joins Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. Koh shares his thoughts on driven decision making and its impact on the city of Boston.   More

Global Tech Government Techonomy Events

How to Meet the World’s Grand Challenges

The best opportunities will come from creating the greatest impact on the biggest realms of human activity, like healthcare, food, water, energy, and education. How can businesses rise to the occasion and focus on the things that really matter? How can they best partner with governments and NGOs to implement the solutions? At the Techonomy 2014 conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Larry Brilliant of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, Pfizer's Geno Germano, Leila Janah of the Sama Group, and Ericsson's Rima Qureshi discuss applying tech tools to global challenges in a session moderated by The Economist's Matthew Bishop.   More

Government

Can Government Get a Better Grip on Tech?

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"I'm very worried," says Neelie Kroes, who has served as a vice president of the European Commission since 2010. "The changes in technology nowadays are so fast that we have to change our mindset. This is my biggest frustration in the commission. It takes so much time for governments to know what is at stake. We can't consult ten times about issues like we did in former times." Kroes's concerns are widely shared, especially in the United States. Says Steve Case, who spends as much time as any major tech leader working with leaders of both parties in Washington: "The pace of innovation continues to accelerate and outstrip the ability of governments to react."   More

Government

How Democracy Works Is Innovating Government from the Outside In

Voting at a town hall meeting in Calais, Vermont (image via Shutterstock)

A federal election is one of the most logistically challenging business models you can imagine: it’s a business that’s open only one day a year, staffed almost entirely by temps (practically volunteers) with limited advance training. Would-be customers have to sign up days or weeks in advance, but everything is still first-come, first-serve. Oh, and there’s zero margin for error. No wonder the election administrator’s prayer is “Lord, let this election not be close.”   More

Government Techonomy Events

Establishing a Firm Foundation

What has philanthropy achieved in Detroit and America’s cities, and where will it go next? Join the heads of the Case and Kresge Foundations for a conversation on the role of foundations in the revival of urban life. How do they see their role in bolstering partnerships and collaboration in the communities they serve? How do they enable a new notion of civics, and civic leaders driven by the use of tech for social good? In this session from Techonomy Detroit 2014, Nolan Finley of The Detroit News interviews Jean Case of The Case Foundation and Rip Rapson of The Kresge Foundation about how the non-profit sector can drive partnerships for change.   More

Government Jobs Techonomy Events

Why Institutions Need to Wake Up to a New American Dream

(From left) David Kirkpatrick, Carol Goss, Danae Ringelmann, Elizabeth Shuler, and Philip Zelikow

Philip Zelikow says we’re on the cusp of a change “comparable to 1880 or 1890 when the economy was about to fundamentally transform. This should be a really bright era.” Yet Gallup polls show that Americans are more pessimistic about the future than ever. And even a Techonomy panel discussion offered a less-than-optimistic view of the future for the middle class.   More

Analytics & Data Cities Government

How Open Data Is Transforming City Life

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Start a business. Manage your power use. Find cheap rents, or avoid crime-ridden neighborhoods. Cities and their citizens worldwide are discovering the power of “open data”—public data and information available from government and other sources that can help solve civic problems and create new business opportunities. By opening up data about transportation, education, health care, and more, municipal governments are helping app developers, civil society organizations, and others to find innovative ways to tackle urban problems.   More

E-Commerce Government

Can Uber Reroute Germany to a Shareable Future?

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In "The Zero Marginal Cost Society," economic theorist and writer Jeremy Rifkin coins the term Collaborative Commons to describe the "digitalized space where providers and users share goods and services" in the emerging "shareable economy." It's no surprise then that Rifkin casts as shortsighted the German court system's decision this week to ban in that country the low-cost UberPop service from Uber, the global carsharing service. In response to a lawsuit filed by Taxi Deutschland in Frankfurt, the court ruled that Uber lacked legal permits to pick up passengers.   More

E-Commerce Government

Governments and Sharing: Lessons from the UK’s Beyond Jobs Project

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What can governments do to boost the sharing economy? What would be their incentive to do so? Where are the commercial opportunities if public policy were to fully embrace sharing transactions? I have spent 20 years writing, consulting, and overseeing publicly funded projects based on these questions. The answers in brief: governments are potentially the biggest buyers of fragmented labor, its regulators, setters of tax/welfare codes, administrators of databases of record, and ideally will serve as marketing machines for economic initiatives.   More

Global Tech Government

Paranoia Muddies Media’s View of Bitcoin’s Potential

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European financial regulators just took a positive step to engage directly with the disruptive effects of the growing cryptocurrency ecosystem, but you might not have realized that. The European Banking Authority (EBA) watchdog agency issued a report on Friday, July 11, titled “Opinion on ‘virtual currencies’.” It then received a great deal of media attention – most of it negative.   More

E-Commerce Government

Can a Sharing Platform for Artists Point to a More Equitable Society?

What do you do if you’re an artist in need of supplies, but you happen to be broke? Creative people have been pooling and exchanging resources for generations. Now, the emerging Internet-enabled sharing economy makes it easier than ever to swap, say, legal advice for lumber. That’s the kind of transaction that OurGoods, a new resource-sharing platform for artists, actually facilitates. OurGoods also serves “designers, technologists, makers, farmers, and activists,” said co-founder and activist Caroline Woolard when we talked to her at the recent Sharing Economy Summit at NYU’s Stern School of Business. “Artists have a lot of skills and also education, but don’t necessarily have money to pay each other to get their work done,” said Woolard. But OurGoods doesn’t just aim for one-off online bartering. Its greater goal is to build what Woolard calls “cross-class trust networks” that “enable a kind of trust-building that leads to social justice.”   More

Government

Salesforce.com’s Michael Lazerow on the Transparency Revolution

We are in the midst of "a trust revolution," says Michael Lazerow, "where everything is transparent." This revolution in transparency is redefining the rules of business, government, and beyond, as all of us are being forced to act more responsibly and with greater authenticity. Lazerow, CMO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and founder of Buddy Media (purchased by Salesforce in 2012), talked with Techonomy at the recent DLDnyc conference. He explained how tech fuels transparency in an age where everything is interconnected.   More