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Techonomy Events

Program Director Simone Ross Looks Back at Our First Five Years

I think of our conferences as a live version of my favorite magazine. I want information and intelligence, style and substance, blending short and long form to pace the experience and narrative. Our programs are not simply about the intersection of tech and the economy. They are about the application of tech, and its global economic and social impact. Ultimately we explore whether or not tech moves us towards a better world and consensus on the values of society.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

What We Learned at Techonomy Bio

Techonomy's offices on Manhattan's West 22d Street have been buzzing ever since our half-day Techonomy Bio conference on June 17. We got an overwhelmingly positive reception for a meeting that brought leading researchers and experts in the life sciences together with IT and Internet thinkers and business generalists. Drew Endy, a Stanford professor who is one of the world's leaders in synthetic biology, on stage called the event "awesome" and said he had never seen such a collection of people in one place. "People in other sectors of technology simply don’t know very much about biology and biology’s economic impact," he said.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

Techonomy Bio Debuts June 17 in Mountain View!

At Techonomy we don't launch new events lightly. So Techonomy Bio is a big step. It's a half-day conference the afternoon of Tuesday June 17 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. We're striding forward because for all our passionate belief in the importance of technology for business and social progress, "technology" is more than the impact of computing and the Internet.   More

Techonomy Events

Techonomy 2010-13: Highlights

A who's who of Techonomy participants join Techonomy founder David Kirkpatrick in a series of highlights from our 2010-12 conferences that address the growing impact of technology on business and society and why, increasingly, every company is a technology company.   More

Business

Techonomy 2014 Report

We hope you enjoy this digital version of our 2014 Techonomy magazine. It includes four exclusive feature articles plus shorter techonomic items, along with content from our 2013 conferences. You'll find Jack Dorsey's original drawings for Square, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini's grim diagnosis and aggressive course of treatment for American health care, David Kirkpatrick's assessment of Facebook's Internet.org initiative, and much more.   More

Security & Privacy

Microsoft’s Craig Mundie on Cyber-danger

No sector of society is free from risk of cyberattack, says Craig Mundie of Microsoft. "Information technology is embedding itself in virtually everything," making us susceptible to threats ranging from malicious mischief to full-blown cyberterrorism, Mundie told us in an interview at Techonomy 2013. Such new and developing threats call for products and business methods to improve alongside technology. The government, too, is going to have to to keep up with better law enforcement, intelligence, and defense.   More

Startup Culture

SwiftKey CTO Debuts Our “Three Questions” Video Series

Techonomy hosted Ben Medlock, CTO and co-founder of Britain's SwiftKey, in our Manhattan offices for a short video interview. It was the first episode of a new online series we call "Three Questions from Techonomy." Medlock talked about his company, the growing importance of AI, and how tech is changing the world. This modest CTO has a company with outscale success—now on about 150 million smartphones globally, including most Samsung phones. His software autocompletes typing on the Android keyboard, and is the state of the art in keyboard technology. The company recently completed a $20 million funding round with venture capital firms Accel and Index Ventures.   More

Global Tech

At Europe’s DLD: Innovation, Anxiety, and Inspiration

DLD, Continental Europe's highest-level technology conference, opened this week in Munich with a panel on European competitiveness. The key takeaway: Snowden's revelations were, as one European executive said, "A gift to the European Internet industry." Fair enough. But even as the halls vibrated with the sound of cards being exchanged between aggressive Euro-technologists and investors and other hyperconnectors from around the world, the ongoing dominance of the U.S. was in evidence.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Business Internet of Things Security & Privacy

People, Companies, and Trends: Techonomy’s 2013 Top Ten

As 2013 winds down, Techonomy takes a moment to look back on highlights from the year, especially those that portend—we think—the future. Our Top Ten list recognizes the people, companies, and ideas that embodied how technology is catalyzing change in business and society. Some of the individuals and organizations here were represented at our 2013 conferences, labs, and dinners, where we convene leaders to explore the biggest tech-driven challenges and opportunities. Some were featured in our expanding online editorial content.   More

Energy & Green Tech Startup Culture

Microsoft’s Craig Mundie on Why He’s a Techno-Optimist

Take a monolithic problem like climate change and consider its solutions. Many would say the only answer is to get all of us to alter our lifestyles so we can cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. But a "techno-optimist" like Microsoft's Craig Mundie would urge us to approach the problem from a different, more novel angle: Instead of hinging Earth's health on changing all of society, what about engineering a method of reflecting heat out of the atmosphere? At our Techonomy 2013 conference in November, Mundie spoke with us about how creative traits like "risk tolerance" and "novelty seeking" will help us confront big challenges like climate change. "If you give us a big problem, we'll invent a big answer," he says. "We're [not] bound to live within the constraints of the capabilities we only know today."   More

E-Commerce

Gift Guide for a Techonomic Holiday

Unless you manage somehow to live off the grid (in which case you probably don't read articles at Techonomy) you are no doubt getting inundated with holiday promotions, news about Black Friday, and reminders of your gift history from any website where you ever bought anything. All of these signs point to a central conclusion: it’s time for the second annual Techonomy holiday gift guide! Our wishlist should appeal to those in your life who value science and technology, sustainable living, or just cool stuff.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

How the ’60s Counterculture Is Still Driving the Tech Revolution

Every innovation starts with an act of insubordination. So said tech entrepreneur, futurist, and scientist Walter de Brouwer. “It starts with saying ‘no,’ with disrespect. If you respect and listen to everything, there is no innovation.” Does an insubordinate counterculture still drive innovation in today's cyberculture? It’s a question that a panel pondered at the Techonomy 2013 conference in Tucson last week. De Brouwer, CEO of health-tech company Scanadu, joined author Stewart Brand, tech journalist Ina Fried, and Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick for an after-dinner fireside chat about the culture that’s now driving IT’s evolution.   More

Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

Why Microsoft’s Craig Mundie Worries About Weapons of Mass Disruption

All the evils that can be done in the cyberworld fall into five categories, according to Craig Mundie: malicious mischief, crime, espionage, warfare, and terrorism. And there are three kinds of actors committing them: amateurs, pros, and governments. It’s a taxonomy that he says the industry only invented in recent months to give clarity to discussions about how to deter and defend against attacks. Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick interviewed Mundie on stage at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson this week about cyber-insecurity and its impact on business.   More

Finance Techonomy Events

Why Disruptive Change Points to a New Humanism in Banking

Value is being redefined, and many are rethinking what constitutes real wealth and well-being, beyond money and GDP. We have to rethink how we measure wealth. Robert Kennedy said: “GDP measures everything ... except that which makes life worthwhile." Happiness indicators like Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness, the OECD’s Better Life Index, and the UK’s Happy Planet Index are already helping the world define well-being and wealth beyond money.   More

Cities

Pittsburgh and Detroit: From Industry to Innovation

Cathy Lewis Long, founding executive director of The Sprout Fund in Pittsburgh, met with us at our Techonomy Detroit conference to talk about the Steel City and how it compares with the Motor City. Both places, she said, have a "spirit and legacy of innovation" and a special way of sneaking up on people. "[Detroit's| so exciting and it's that same 'ah-ha!' moment that people get when they come to Pittsburgh," she said. Both cities, too, are heavily focused on reimagining their futures. "Detroit is at a palpable moment now to propel forward," Lewis Long said.   More

Techonomy Events

The Techonomy Experience Looms

With Techonomy 2013 just weeks away, our team at Broadway and Bond in NoHo is putting the final touches on our best program ever. Techonomy carries a heritage from our many years at Fortune. It's a living magazine. Tina Brown calls conferences "theatrical journalism," and we don't eschew that, but ideas are what get us most excited. The conference opens with a look at the extraordinary ways tech is changing business, and ends with an even bigger-picture look at how innovation is transforming the world and life.   More

Business

How Detroit Can Compete Globally

If you ask Michael A. Finney if Detroit is going to become a tech hub, he'll tell you to look around—Detroit already is a tech hub. "Detroit is loaded with technology," the Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO said. Finney, appointed by Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder, talked with us at our recent Techonomy Detroit conference about Detroit's talent-driven infrastructure, from community and business leaders to universities, companies, and the auto industry. "It's a question of building on all the great strengths we have right now in the auto sector and extending it into other sectors," Finney said, calling Detroit "an ideal location for future development."   More

Manufacturing

Rodney Brooks on Cars as Robots

How many people have operated their own robot? A lot more than you might think, Rethink Robotics founder and CTO Rodney Brooks would say. "I tell everyone, 'You're driving around inside a robot, and 10 years from now it's going to become an even smarter robot,'" Brooks told us at our Techonomy Detroit conference. "Cars are the epicenter, actually, of robotics." Brooks also elaborated on how easy-to-use robots are in a position to transform the manufacturing industry, making it more efficient, more localized, and less generic--a potential boon for cities like Detroit.   More

Cities

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson on the Next Wave of Tech Hubs

Does adding "Silicon" before a community's name make it a better place for tech? Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson would answer with a resounding "No," saying the practice is one of his personal pet peeves. Dickerson talked at Techonomy Detroit about how cities like Detroit can remain authentic by embracing their unique identities. "Every city should try to be itself," he said, noting that part of Detroit's heritage is its long history of innovation and making things. "Detroit has that maker culture really baked into the city."   More

Techonomy Events

What Happened at Techonomy 2012, and What to Expect This Year

Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick shares highlights from our 2012 Tucson conference, which was more business-centric than previous gatherings. As a place "where the suits meet the geeks," the Techonomy conference looks at the big issues changing retail, banking, money, international trade, and leadership, as well as how the trends of cloud, mobile, social, and big data impact business.   More