Society Techonomy Events

Technology, Power and Social Justice

Technology has become so pervasive and powerful that we cannot ignore the way it shapes our communal life. Therefore, in addition to being concerned about the rights and protections due individuals, we need to look seriously at issues of justice and other civic virtues. To be human is to exist in a rich web of relationships, not just one-to-one, but organized into increasingly complex social structures.   More

Global Tech Opinion Society

Reflections on Clinton Global Initiative: Changing How We See the World

The Clinton Global Initiative has become a sort of Davos-on-US-soil, distinguishing itself with a focus on action and innovation for both international and American development. There's a heavy emphasis on peace processes and democracy, as well as on infrastructures of healthcare, education, energy and aid for those in need. The event is a wildly elaborate production, yet it conveys a sense of intimacy and care thanks to former President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea. Technology was everywhere, including a movie shot with virtual reality techniques.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Society

The Politics Behind Parkinson’s Research

Planned Parenthood’s problem with anti‐abortionists may have an unintended victim: research into Parkinson’s Disease. Much stem cell research has nothing to do with aborted fetuses. But the lack of clarity and public understanding about the term has meant that research involving all stem cells – embryonic or fetal – is jeopardized. The irony is that tremendous advances have been made in the research on Parkinson’s in the United States and abroad, especially Japan. But so much more is possible.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare Society

Meeting My Genome: This Expensive Test Still Isn’t for Everyone

Earlier this year, I moderated a panel discussion at Techonomy Bio and asked speakers whether genome sequencing was ready for the average consumer. Their responses were split. Having now just gotten my own genome sequenced, I can say definitively: yes it’s ready, and no it isn’t.   More

Cities Society Techonomy Events

Program Director Ross Reflects on Detroit

Highlights of Techonomy Detroit: CEO Mark Bertolini of Aetna on community based healthcare, inequality and the responsibility of CEOs. He dresses like a rock star and among CEOs, he is one. Talks ranged widely over tech and what it can do in places like Detroit. But local activist Lauren Hood reminded us "What's missing is that the people most impacted by this technology are not in the room, and that model gets replicated on any problem we have."   More

Arts & Culture Society

Mad Max with Flowers and Margaritas: How Burning Man Points to the Future

Burning Man is a serious thing. It is obviously a ludicrous stupor-inducing steam-punk fashion gala appealing to the lesser instincts. But it is also a full-blown futures laboratory. Don’t underestimate what we can learn from ourselves in this outlandish context. Burning together, we may rise more humane.   More

Analytics & Data Cities Society Techonomy Events

From Techonomy Detroit: How To Hack Our Way to Better Cities

As access to data and technology becomes democratized, a civic tech movement is burgeoning to help government make cities more responsive and livable. Detroit CIO Beth Niblock joined Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick for a discussion on "Hacking Our Way to the Cities We Need,” along with Danish architect and author Thomas Ermacora, investor and entrepreneur Jon Gosier, and Microsoft Technology and Civic Engagement leader Dan’l Lewin. Transparency and apps are making all the difference in Detroit, as well as in Barcelona, Chicago, Kampala, London, Nairobi, and Philadelphia. But too many cities still haven't gotten the memo.   More

Cities Learning Partner Insights Society

How City Programs Can Broaden Access to the Innovation Economy

A wide range of programs for entrepreneurship, training, and mentoring are emerging in cities around the United States. They hope to revitalize historically disadvantaged communities, broaden economic opportunity, and make cities better places. It's a 21st century brand of governance, politics, and civic engagement.   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

Cities Learning Society

Making Detroit a Movement: The Power of Narrative

Throughout history, certain cities at certain moments in time have had an outsized impact. Think about Detroit’s future, built on a rich legacy of innovation and diversity, in terms of a movement—of individuals as well as companies, nonprofits, and public sector institutions. What would really help is a well-crafted narrative.   More

Analytics & Data Global Tech Society

Artificial Intelligence Catches Fire in Ethiopia

Ethiopian artificial intelligence R&D is on fire. The driver for this unexpected sector is the government’s massive multi-billion dollar, industrial plan and fervent development of higher education. At the hub is an AI group, iCog Labs, co-founded in 2012 by a young Ethiopian roboticist, Getnet Aseffa Gezaw, and an American AI pioneer, Ben Goertzel. With twenty five Ethiopian software engineers, iCog pursues full-on ‘Strong Intelligence.’   More

Society Startup Culture Venture for America profiles

Azoti Helps Farmers Sell and Consumers Eat Better

Azoti helps buyers connect to local food sources. Based in Columbus, the startup works with small farms to supply discounted fresh produce to employees of schools, civic organizations, and major employers like OhioHealth. Dave Ranallo started the company in 2012. He's an Ohio native who grew up eating fresh fruits and vegetables from his grandparents’ garden.   More

Energy & Green Tech Media & Marketing Society

What the Pope’s Climate Message Means to Marketers

The climate movement has gained what may be the ultimate celebrity spokesperson in Pope Francis. Marketers should take heed: the Pope has the ear of Millennials and other consumers who are willing to change their behavior and their purchasing to make a difference.   More

Media & Marketing Society

Why Donald’s Reality Trumps the News

Experts across the political spectrum profess to be mystified by the skyrocketing Trump campaign. Politico recently published a piece with predictions from 16 of them about how the straw-topped candidate's efforts will end. One who sounded on target was Mary Matalin, the longstanding Republican strategist, who professed her admiration for Trump's "authenticity." That's part of what I think has thrust this reality show into the forefront of American politics.   More

Jobs Society

Boon or Bane?: The Unknown Future of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is changing the nature of everything from jobs and the economy, to warfare, communications, privacy, and ethics. But its long-term impact remains to be seen. Will A.I. lead to a better, brighter future, or move us toward disaster? “Like every powerful technology, A.I. is potentially dangerous,” said Facebook's well-regarded A.I. Research Director Yann LeCun, speaking at a Data Driven NYC event on Tuesday.   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

Society

Is the Offline You a Better Person? One Man Finds Out

There's a Liz Phair lyric that sums up tech journalist Paul Miller's year without the internet: "...if you do it and you're still unhappy, then you know that the problem is you." The story of the 26-year-old Verge editor’s experiment is a subject of fascination in the press this week. Suffering from burnout and quarter-life existential angst, Miller cut himself off from online access. He downgraded to a dumb phone, delivered assignments via thumbdrive, and contacted sources, friends, and family by phone instead of email or Skype. And he kept that up for a mostly painful 365 days.   More