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

Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

Government Lacks Strategy for Cyber Attack Response, Say Techonomy Policy Panelists

From left, Michael Cote, Alan Marcus, Craig Mundie, Shane Harris, and Cory Bennett. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

As the Internet spreads its tentacles into every nook of society, attacks are rapidly increasing against individuals, companies, governments, and the very Net infrastructure upon which they all rely. The attackers range from cyber criminals to non-state actors like ISIS and nation-states. But law enforcement, government regulation, and an established military response are not even close to keeping up, said a group of experts at the Techonomy Policy conference in Washington on June 9. Before the advent of the Internet, there were four accepted domains of warfare: land, water, air, and space. Cyber is the fifth, and newest, domain, and by the far the hardest one to patrol, the panelists on a session devoted to "The Militarization of the Internet" agreed.   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

Analytics & Data Security & Privacy

Say It Ain’t So, Joe: Has Hacking Come to the Nation’s Pastime?

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On Tuesday, The New York Times first reported that the FBI and the Justice Department are involved in a formal investigation of the St. Louis Cardinals’ front office, members of whom had been accused of hacking a Houston Astros’ internal database. The Cardinals (with 11 World Series titles, second only to the New York Yankees) are by most considered a model MLB franchise. The notion that they’d be involved in something as nefarious as cyberhacking an opponent to gain a competitive advantage seems unsavory to many; the notion they’d be hacking an opponent with as downtrodden a history as the Houston Astros seems ironic to many others. But times, as they say, are a-changing and baseball teams (and individuals) have long balanced the tightrope between bending the rules and breaking them.   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

Analytics & Data Techonomy Events

Data, Data Everywhere, But Not a Bit You Own

From left, Horacio Gutiérrez, Brad Burnham, Robert Quinn, and Julie Brill. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

Who owns data? How should data privacy be defined and protected? And what is the potential for regulation to support or impede the growth of digital data businesses? Those were among the tough questions panelists at the Techonomy Policy 2015 event in Washington last week grappled with during a session headlined “Privacy Collides with Data in a Transparent World.” Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill offered a contrasting perspective to those of AT&Ts federal regulatory and chief privacy officer Robert Quinn and Microsoft’s deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez. And Brad Burnham, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, shared an investor’s point of view on data, which he said many view as “the asset that fuels the digital economy,” but fail to see what a huge liability it can be.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Tech Leaders: Cooperation with Government Can Move U.S. Forward

From left, Steve Case, R. David Edelman, Vint Cerf, and David Kirkpatrick. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

From a founding father of the Internet who is now at the fore of interplanetary connectivity comes an evolved view: Competition need not be a zero sum game; collaboration can produce positive sum outcomes. Internet pioneer Vint Cerf made what he called a “bigger pie argument” at Techonomy Policy 2015 in Washington yesterday. To open the event, Cerf joined Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick for a discussion with AOL co-founder Steve Case and White House senior advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy Policy R. David Edelman for a discussion about “Keeping America Innovative in the Age of Data Exhaust.” Cerf implored fellow panelists to drop the “competitive rhetoric” because “a rising tide raises all boats.”   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

Business

What to Expect from Oculus’ Big Event Today

(Image via Oculus)

The Oculus event marks a milestone for the company and for its owner Facebook. While its Oculus Samsung Gear VR viewer for Samsung smartphones has been on the market awhile, it has been limited to people who have a couple specific models of smartphone and also to very limited amounts of VR content, generally of a much lower quality than will soon be possible. Today's 1:00 pm ET event marks the first time Oculus has told the world exactly what kind of experience to expect from its flagship PC-connected device, which we hope will emerge later this year.   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

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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

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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

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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

Bio & Life Sciences Internet of Things

Latin American Entrepreneurs Pioneer Healthcare Tech

Conceived during the depths of the economic recession, MassChallenge is a startup accelerator that supports early-stage entrepreneurs. At last month's WEF Latin America event in Mexico, MassChallenge founder and CEO John Harthorne talked with Techonomy partner Hub Culture, explaining the accelerator's work to shift more of the economy toward startup efforts, creating "more pie" for entrepreneurs rather than forcing them to "fight each other over slices of pie."   More

Government

FCC Chairman Looks to Close Digital Divide by Expanding Lifeline Program

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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

Learning

What if We Treated our Children with the Respect They Deserve?

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If only our country focused on finding the potential in its children, amazing things could happen, as this inspiring article from The New York Times shows. When a committed philanthropist spent a relatively small amount of money, $11 million over 21 years, it completely turned around student educational attainment in a mid-sized predominantly African-American town in Florida. It also had a major positive impact on the community itself. The key was aggressive early-childhood education, along with training for parents.   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

Bio & Life Sciences

National Academy of Sciences Wades into CRISPR-Cas9 Debate

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In response to growing concerns about the potential application of CRISPR-Cas9 technology, the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine are convening an international summit this fall to “explore the scientific, ethical, and policy issues associated with human gene-editing research." If you think of a genome as a manuscript, full of extraneous, unnecessary, sometimes flat-out harmful material, the CRISPR-Cas9 technique can be likened to an incredibly useful editing tool. In biological circles, the conversation is heated. Some see remarkable opportunities to prevent the kinds of genetic diseases that impact millions of people a year, things like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, hemophilia, and more. Others see yet another Pandora’s box that could lead to things like designer babies or the unintended genetic mutations that lead to unimaginable consequences.   More

Global Tech Government Partner Insights

A Critical Moment for the Future of the Internet

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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

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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