Techonomy Events

Ford’s Ken Washington: Autonomous Vehicles Aren’t About to Drive Off Without Us

Do intelligent machines threaten to not only to steal our jobs, but to rob us of the pleasure of driving? Ford VP of Research and Advanced Engineering Ken Washington says that while “technologies are maturing at an unprecedented pace,” robots won’t be coming for our jobs, or for our steering wheels, any time soon. With the emergence of the Internet of Things and sensor technology, “autonomous capabilities are no longer just things of science fiction,” says Washington. However, he adds, “this notion that one day your’e going to wake up and go the dealer and buy an autonomous car is flawed.”   More

Davos 2015

Davos 2015: Harvard’s Joseph Nye on China Relations

Professor Joseph Nye shares his thoughts on China with Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. Externally, Chinese relations with its neighbors have improved, says Nye. Internally, the atmosphere is still tense, with citizens being mindful of what they say.   More

Media & Marketing Techonomy Events

KeenON: Coca-Cola’s CTO on How Social Drives Customer Service

So is Coca-Cola a tech company? Of course not, most people would say. But as the company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer Guy Wollaert confessed, the future will be shaped by today’s new technologies, especially digital technology. That’s why Wollaert both attended and spoke at the Techonomy 2014 conference in Half Moon Bay. And that’s why Coca-Cola has invested in a series of innovation initatives called the Co-Founder Network, in which the company makes investments in promising start-ups.   More

Internet of Things

Manufacturing Intelligent Devices That Could Save Your Life

With 200,000 employees across 30 countries, Flextronics is probably the biggest company you’ve never heard of. The American electronics-manufacturing giant is the second largest manufacturer of any kind in the world, after only Taiwan’s Foxconn. At CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick spoke with Flextronics President Mike Dennison about the next phase for manufacturing—it isn’t just for making things, but for driving systemic change in society. As the Internet of Things evolves into a set of systems that will create a new landscape for both business and consumers, the real challenge will be to integrate innovation, networks, and software development. Flextronics partners with its customers not just to build things, but to design and build the systems that those “things” fit into.   More

Healthcare

My BRCA Journey: Why Fear of Information Imperils Genetic Testing

Meredith Salisbury 2015

The world breaks down into two camps, my genetic counselor said: people who want information, and people who don’t. I’ve been writing about gene testing and genomics for a long time, but as I navigated my own recent journey in genetic testing, I learned why that divide will probably remain the biggest hurdle to achieving the promise of genomics. Despite the enthusiasm I hear regularly from genomics experts I talk to about the clinical power of genetic tests, getting my own medical professionals to order the genetic test for BRCA, the mutation linked to breast cancer, was a challenge.   More

Learning

The Markle Foundation’s Philip Zelikow on Reconfiguring Education for the Digital Age

“Imagine an education system that’s built around unleashing the power of the individual,” says Philip Zelikow, professor of history at the University of Virginia and visiting managing director at the Markle Foundation. Zelikow envisions a new paradigm where someone can get the training and education they need even if it means starting classes in the middle of a traditional semester. Does that mean students will just pop online to get the credits they need? Not necessarily. “The future may be more likely a mixture of online plus people,” says Zelikow, with “navigators” helping to guide students through online options and pair them with real-world tutors.   More

Global Tech Healthcare

Three NGOs Fighting Tuberculosis with Mobile Tech

Community health workers in Myanmar use the DOTsync app. (Photo courtesy FHI360’s CAP-TB program)

Tuberculosis kills over a million people each year, mostly in developing countries, where poor public health systems hamper efforts to diagnose and treat it. But NGOs are now embracing new mobile health technologies that could help fight the disease more efficiently and cost-effectively. Further progress will require expensive efforts in low-resource settings where administering drugs and monitoring compliance can be a logistical nightmare.   More

Startup Culture

Idealab’s Bill Gross Taps the Crowd to Create Companies

Crowdsourcing predates the Internet, but Web platforms like Wikipedia supercharged the concept, giving it global currency and making it an increasingly indispensable business strategy. “Using the intelligence and wisdom and ideas from everybody anywhere on the planet—that’s really exciting to me,” says Bill Gross, founder and CEO of Idealab, a tech incubator that bills itself as a “company factory.” Gross sees crowdsourcing as a driving force in competitive new companies, and a powerful tool for established ones. He points to Amazon as a company that harnesses value from the feedback of its millions of users.   More

Startup Culture

Reid Hoffman to Entrepreneurs: Balance Optimism and Caution

Reid Hoffman knows a thing or two about combining entrepreneurial audacity with savvy risk-assessment. He co-founded LinkedIn in 2003, and his venture and angel investments with Greylock Partners include Airbnb, Facebook, Flickr, Mozilla, and Zynga. "One of the key things is maintaining a sense of youthful optimism in terms of the fact that you can make a difference," Hoffman counsels. But he adds that young entrepreneurs also have to "think crisply about how you navigate risk."   More

Global Tech

Techonomy’s Most-Read Articles of 2014

(Photo courtesy Tigercub Digital)

As 2014 winds down, we look back on a productive and impactful year at Techonomy. Our events and publishing projects continued the dialogue about the centrality of technology in modern life and its potential to make the world better. Our editorial content is a growing channel. Our community of writers and videographers includes over 100 published contributors, including both professional journalists and thought leaders of industry, politics, and public service. Here's a look back at our five most-read Techonomy exclusives of the past twelve months.   More

Healthcare

Fixing Our Healthcare Disconnect

(Image via Shutterstock)

In 2014, I saw countless examples of disconnectedness in healthcare. There was the first known Ebola victim in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, whose recent travel to West Africa was overlooked in his hospital’s electronic health record system. There was the revelation that tens of thousands of veterans were waiting months or longer for care at the VA. And we’re just getting news that, beginning in 2015, nearly 260,000 doctors will face Medicare reimbursement penalties for their failure to go digital. Healthcare is failing to connect care teams to timely clinical information; failing to connect and engage patients in their own care; and failing to connect healthcare providers to innovation and financial results.   More

Finance Jobs

The Next Phase in Financial Services: What Low-income Americans Tell Us

(Image via Shutterstock)

Both established players and disruptive entrepreneurs recognize that shifts in mobile, data, and payments are transforming financial services. Yet while everyone is trying to innovate, there is little real vision on how new solutions can redefine financial services so they seamlessly integrate with our lives and provide us with substantial improvements in how we manage our finances. This is especially urgent when it comes to using new technologies to help the financially underserved in the United States.   More

Jobs Society

Boon or Bane?: The Unknown Future of Artificial Intelligence

(Image via Shutterstock)

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

Keen On Startup Culture

KeenON: Venture Capitalist and Higher Ed Entrepreneur Tim Draper

With his trademark aplomb, the storied venture capitalist Tim Draper is revolutionizing higher education. His new Draper University of Heroes, a Silicon Valley-based startup college, is turning traditional education on its head. Instead of history, students learn the future. Instead of conventional economics, they learn about Bitcoin. And instead of success, they are taught how to fail.   More

Global Tech

Texting to Stop Ebola: African Telecoms Launch SMS Fundraiser

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In the fight against Ebola, African telecoms are asking cell phone users to text to save lives. Partnering with the African Union Commission, 41 telecommunications companies across the continent have launched the “United Against Ebola” campaign, an SMS initiative that raises money from every user who texts “Stop Ebola” to 7979. Rwanda is one of the latest countries to join the campaign, which began Dec. 1 and runs through February 2015.   More

Healthcare Internet of Things

Techonomy’s Third Annual Holiday Gift Guide

The Hello Sense device and app

We’ve recovered from our Thanksgiving-induced food coma, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for the annual Techonomy gift guide to help with your holiday shopping. We scoured the interwebs to bring you this assortment of innovative, fun gift ideas for the tech-loving people on your shopping list.   More

Global Tech

China Reaches out to Facebook in Growing Courtship

(Image via Shutterstock)

I have to commend Mark Zuckerberg for his tenacity, after the Facebook founder once again made headlines for receiving a visit from a top Chinese Internet official visiting the U.S. There are several interesting things about this latest development involving Zuckerberg’s endless quest to bring Facebook to China, beginning with the source of this latest news.   More

Keen On Security & Privacy

KeenON: Journalist and NSA Expert Barton Gellman

It isn’t surprising that Edward Snowden chose then Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman as one of the earliest recipients of his leaked NSA documents. Gellman is the author of a best-selling book about Dick Cheney as well as many influential articles about the war on terror, and thus was a natural choice for Snowden when he sought a trustworthy journalist to publicize the PRISM materials. So was Snowden a hero? Not surprisingly, Gellman won’t be drawn into such a clichéd analysis.   More

Global Tech Learning

Computer Science in Vietnam: Counting Down to the Hour of Code

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Events surrounding this week's Hour of Code coincide with Computer Science Education week. Vietnam will have 26 different hosts, ranging from universities and high schools to private corporations. However, only two of the participating high schools are local schools under the Department of Education. The remaining are international or private schools. But don’t be too concerned about the lack of participation from public secondary schools. In fact, the rest of the world is really only catching up to Vietnam, whose public schools are known for introducing computer science into the curriculum at a very early age.   More

Cities Techonomy Events

Streetline’s Zia Yusuf on Using Data to Take the Pain Out of Parking

When it comes to driving, we spend a lot of timing thinking about navigating from point A to point B, but often forget about point C, which is where we park, says Zia Yusuf of Streetline. “It’s estimated that 25 to 30 percent of traffic in the city is caused by people looking for parking,” Yusuf said at September's Techonomy Detroit conference at Wayne State University. Streetline is working to solve that problem. Through a system of sensors and consumer- and business-facing apps, the smart-parking company enables cities to instate dynamic pricing that adjusts automatically to demand.   More