Jobs Techonomy Events

How LinkedIn Wants to Unite the Workers of the World

David Kirkpatrick (left) and Jeff Weiner onstage at Techonomy 2014.

Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick credits LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner with planting the seed for the annual Techonomy conference, which wrapped up on Tuesday, Nov. 11, in Half Moon Bay, Calif. He also credits Weiner with building what has become a “central facility for the modern economy.” Weiner spoke to Kirkpatrick onstage Monday about his vision for the professional online network, which has grown to more than 320 million members and become “the future of connection, compassion, and the corporation.”   More

Jobs Techonomy Events

Man, Machines, and How the Future Works

It’s 2020—robots and automation have replaced workers in droves. So what are all the people doing? What new systems must emerge to employ and engage people, and what new policies and regulations will be needed to protect them? John Markoff of the New York Times discusses the future of work with Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Jessica Rosenworcel of the FCC, Ford's Ken Washington, and Philip Zelikow of the Markle Foundation in this session from the Techonomy 2014 conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.   More

Jobs Techonomy Events

A Conversation with Jeff Weiner

Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick speaks with LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner onstage at the Techonomy 2014 conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.   More

Jobs Techonomy Events

Indiegogo’s Danae Ringelmann on Making Tech More Inclusive

After Google released the demographic data of its employees in May, a slew of other Internet giants followed suit, reaffirming a troubling truth: the tech industry is largely male and largely white. At September's Techonomy Detroit conference at Wayne State University, Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann talked about the diversity divide and what is needed to close it. “Only 3 to 13 percent of the venture-backed companies are run by women,” she said. “If you look at Indiegogo, which is an equal-opportunity funding playing field, and you see that 47 percent of all campaigns that reach their funding target are run by women, that conversation about why venture capital is unequal is almost obsolete.”   More

Jobs

How Software Can Help Move the Needle on Diversity

(Image via Shutterstock)

Even after spending my whole career in tech, I’m still taken aback by each new diversity stat that underscores the systemic and trenchant bias in our industry. One of my recent favorites: 76 percent of feedback given to women included negative criticism of a personality trait, while only 2 percent of men received such feedback. Or this from Fenwick and West: 45 percent of tech companies in Silicon Valley don’t have a single female at the executive level, compared with only 16 percent of the rest of S&P companies.   More

Jobs Learning Techonomy Events

Can We Train America to Train its Workers?

By 2022 the U.S. is projected to need 1.4 million new programmers, but at the current rate only 400,000 IT grads will emerge to fill them. How America tackles this disparity will help determine its ongoing global competitiveness and the economic success of all Americans. Codecademy has developed innovative training tools, and the White House is turning to this issue with great urgency. In this session from our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference, Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick talks to Brian Forde of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Codecademy CEO Zach Sims about how to close the looming skills gap.   More

Jobs Techonomy Events

Was It Just a Dream?

The American Dream—that hard work could lead anyone to prosperity, success and upward mobility—feels increasingly irrelevant for a growing and frighteningly large group of Americans. What will people do to attain economic and social security? Will the middle class survive? What new policies and strategies could we devise to help keep the American Dream alive? Carol Goss of Harvard's Advanced Leadership Initiative, Indiegogo's Danae Ringelmann, Elizabeth Shuler of the AFL-CIO, and Philip Zelikow of the Markle Foundation tackled these and other questions in a discussion moderated by David Kirkpatrick that kicked off our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference.   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

Cities Jobs Techonomy Events

Techonomy Detroit 2014: Full Video

Techonomy Detroit brings together leaders and thinkers from business, technology, government, and academia to better understand how to move the U.S., and the world, into an urbanized, technologized, inclusive future. Detroit’s travails symbolize issues faced by many American cities and to some extent the entire country. But this is also a city energetically seeking to revive itself. The birthplace of assembly-line manufacturing and technologized transportation, Detroit was once the innovation engine of the U.S. economy. There is no better place for a conversation on how our national priorities must change in a technologized economy.   More

Jobs

Rebuilding the American Dream in a Global, Networked Economy

(Image via Shutterstock)

Despite strides in jobs and the economy, Americans remain pessimistic about their future, according to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Three-quarters of respondents said that they are not confident that their children’s generation will be better off than their own. More than half reportedly believe that a growing income gap between the rich and poor undermines the American dream. The fact is that technology and globalization are changing our way of life. While enriching us in many ways, these transformative forces have eliminated secure jobs and eroded economic security for millions.   More

Jobs Manufacturing

People Are Still More Adaptable Than Robots

The Baxter robot from Rethink Robotics may not displace as many middle-class jobs as feared.

The media and pundits have exaggerated the threat robots present to human workers' livelihood, claims labor market scholar David Autor. Reporting on ideas Autor presented at a recent bankers' conference, New York Times writer Neil Irwin sums up the argument: "Even as computers have gotten better at rote tasks, they have progressed far less in applying common sense."   More

Jobs

eBay’s Devin Wenig on Tech’s Destruction … and Humanism

"While tech is sometimes thought of as a sector or a niche, it's increasingly clear that tech is the economy and tech is the transformative force," says Devin Wenig, president of eBay's global e-commerce business. As tech reinvents industries, jobs, and processes, and changes how people work and act, companies that want to succeed must learn to accept creative destruction. "Any time you go through a disruption, you end up with winners and losers," said Wenig, who joined us at a Techonomy dinner salon in San Francisco. "But I do believe it's a positive-sum game," he added. And he says that in this game, humans, not just machines, are winning. "I don't think the world coming is all full of drones and robots.... It can be amazingly humanistic," Wenig said.   More

Jobs

Is Inequality an Unavoidable Consequence of Innovation?

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The economics of innovation and its impact on society was the theme of the annual economists' pow-wow in Toronto last weekend, the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference. And there was no presumption that it is, on the whole, a plus. Authoritative speakers at the three-day conference included former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and James Heckman, former co-CEO of Research In Motion Jim Balsillie, and Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane. But the event's opening keynote featured a panel of experts who explored the duality inherent in innovations that create new inventions, products, sources of demand, and markets while simultaneously imposing job losses and "significant distributional consequences for society."   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Jobs

Techonomic Top 5: Federal Inefficiency, Chromosome Breakthrough, Virtual Employers, and More

Andrew Hessel (l) with Stewart Brand and Eri Gentry at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson, Ariz.

Every week we spotlight techonomic happenings on the Web and beyond, picking people, companies, and trends that exemplify tech’s ever-growing role in business and society. Here’s what’s got our attention.   More

Jobs

The Online, Freelance, Globalizing World of Work

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The monthly ups and downs of American employment as recorded by the Department of Labor don’t track the full story of modern jobs. The agency doesn’t take into account U.S. freelancers. This is a major omission. There are 70 percent more self-identified independent or freelance workers (17.7 million) than unemployed professionals (10.5 million). While the most recent report eased concerns about the jobless growth (the economy added 175,000 new jobs this February), we will continue to see the transformation of the way we work and hire. Many of today’s traditional office jobs will soon be a relic of the 20th century.   More

Jobs

These Companies Are Giving Virtual Workers a Home

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Last year we profiled Web engineering company 10up (which developed this website). Aside from its near-fanatical devotion to all things WordPress, one of the hallmarks of 10up is that it’s a distributed company—its 60-plus full-time developers and project managers live and work all over the country. That model is catching on, with “virtual” companies becoming more and more common in the tech sector. Some, like Mozilla, Basecamp, and Upworthy, are fast-growing software or media companies. Others are developers, marketers, digital designers, or online learning platforms. “Web based” best describes all of the companies that made a list compiled by job search site FlexJobs (which has the distinction of appearing on its own list), but each blend offline and online collaboration in different ways and to varying degrees.   More

Techonomy 13 Jobs Techonomy Events Video

The Clash of Generations Reshapes the Workplace

Speakers Nadira A. Hira a Writer/Host/Commentator, Doreen Lorenzo of Quirky, Jim Stikeleather of Dell Inc, and moderator Zachary Karabell of RiverTwice Research discuss the balance of new and old generations together in the evolving workplace.   More

Jobs Techonomy Events

Why Millennials Won’t Become Corporate Serfs

Millennials may be happier defining and creating their own work environment. (Photo via Shutterstock)

Whatever the recession rendered Millennials—cautious, cynical, underemployed, overeducated, boomerang kids who couldn’t be more grateful that debtors’ prisons have gone out of style—most of all, it made us aware. It showed us just how disloyal corporate America can be, no matter how loyal its staffers have been. It proved that security doesn’t exist, however prestigious your background or business card. And it forced us to interrogate the motives that had pushed our economy past its breaking point—to ask ourselves what work ought to be and mean and yield.   More

Jobs Learning

The Public Image of the Female Programmer

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The Labor Department has estimated that there will be 1.4 million job openings for computer-related occupations this decade. On the heels of less-than-stellar jobs numbers, this should be welcome news to millennials planning their career paths. But, as Catherine Rampell wrote in this week’s New York Times Magazine, few young women are choosing the computer science field, despite its potential for high incomes and flexibility. Why is this? Rampell suggests that computer science has a “public-image problem,” and there aren’t enough narratives of successful women in the field.   More

Global Tech Jobs

Creating Great Employees (Who Happen to be Autistic)

A Specialisterne student with ASD works with a Lego Mindstorm Robot.

Thirty-year-old Tobias Ussing admits that his Asperger syndrome, on the milder end of the autism spectrum, is “a lot to work with.” Despite loads of motivation and experience, finding a permanent job has been a challenge, even though he is a highly capable computer programmer who began coding in the 1980s on a Commodore 64. Specialisterne, a company founded in his native Denmark, got Ussing “out of the gutter,” he says. Specialisterne helps people with autism spectrum disorders who have business potential find work. Thorkil Sonne founded Specialisterne in 2004 because his son, Lars, who had been diagnosed at age three with autism, demonstrated an incredible aptitude for processing large amounts of information and catching details.   More