Cities Government

Creating a Smart and Equitable City

Courtesy of Shutterstock

New York City is already a smart and innovative city. But it is not enough just to have cool tech. Being a smart city means also being an equitable city ─ “distributing the future more evenly” across all five boroughs. A new set of city guidelines have been painstakingly developed to help all city agencies and their partners move into the Internet of Things with fairness and effectiveness.   More

Finance Government Society

Accelerating Financial Inclusion with National Digital Currencies

(Image courtesy Shutterstock/ Kiattisak Thongtaweu)

Central banks from England to China have floated the notion of issuing their own national digital currencies. The banks may issue digital currency units alongside notes and coins and adjust the mix over time. If they do, it could accelerate and help scale a wave of service innovations that advance financial inclusion, stimulate economic growth, and spur social progress.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Healthcare

NIH Fast-Tracks Giant Precision Medicine Study

President Obama visiting the National Institutes of Health in 2014. Now he wants citizens to have access to the data in an upcoming gigantic healthcare study open to one million Americans. (photo: NIH)

At a genomics conference last week, National Institutes of Health official Kathy Hudson provided an update on the government’s gigantic Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). NIH aims to make real progress before the next president takes over–and to enable any American who wants to to take part.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Healthcare

Senators Seek to Legislate DNA Privacy—But Is It Really Possible?

Senator Elizabeth Warren joined with Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming to protect some DNA data. (photo U.S. Treasury Department)

A new bill introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Mike Enzi would add important privacy protections for genetic data generated by federally funded scientists or housed in government databases. It aims to protect research participants who expect their data to remain confidential. Even if the bill passes, though, the genetic data may not always be protected. But some genomics leaders now say full protection may not even be possible.   More

Government Society

So Far, Presidential Candidates Mostly Disappoint on Tech Issues

Hillary Clinton got the best grade for her tech-elated positions, but even she only scored a B+. Photo: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

The next President has the chance to either help the U.S. increase its lead around innovation or watch our country fall further back into a morass of bad policies and failed programs. Working with Engine, a tech policy organization, Tusk Ventures looked at where each of the candidates stands on tech-related issues. So how did they do? Not so great.   More

Global Tech Government Society

Could the Blockchain Empower the Poor and Unlock Global Growth?

Hernando de Soto with Peruvian miners and their families. (They don't mine Bitcoin, but he thinks the blockchain can help them.)

Renowned Peruvian economist and anti-poverty campaigner Hernando de Soto believes the radical new form of networked recordkeeping could finally give the world’s disenfranchised a record of what they own.   More

Global Tech Government

What Will Tomorrow’s Election Look Like in the Youngest Country in the World?

Image via Shutterstock

Uganda, where more than three-quarters of the population is under age 30, will elect its next president Thursday. The country’s elections are democratic, but many expect the race to be rigged in favor of incumbent president Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 30 years. Despite strong anti-Museveni sentiment among youths who can't find work as well as new biometric technology that will verify voter identity, some feel nothing can be done to stop the corruption.   More

Government Internet of Things

The Internet of Things: Citizen Friend or Foe?

Image via Shutterstock

Two hundred forty years ago, our founding fathers could never have imagined the revolutionary tech we’d have today to engage with our government programs and officials. On this Presidents' Day 2016, the citizen-engagement landscape includes developments that range from e-voting to online petitioning, which are making it easier than ever for everyday people to interact with their city, state, and national governments. Today, the Internet of Things is emerging as another way for citizens to talk with their governments.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Healthcare

Why Obama Is Right about Cancer: Genomics

Image courtesy Shutterstock

President Obama’s optimistic language about finally nearing a cure for cancer in the State of the Union comes as creative approaches are showing more promise than ever. Two major announcements highlight important new opportunities to diagnose and treat cancer—and both are only possible because of advances in genomics.   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

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

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