What Are the Real Issues We Must Urgently Address?

By  |  November 11, 2019, 6:02 PM


The planet is at risk. Political dysfunction is rampant around the world. Societal progress is increasingly stymied. Political stalemates make it harder to address global warming. And the dysfunction is significantly worsened by failures and oversights of the technology community, especially of the largest global platforms. 

Sadly, technology failures help explain a shocking amount of the world’s current travails, even as new risks loom from incipient technologies like AI, facial recognition, deep fakes, and a rising unregulated internet of things. 

In the face of this interlinked chain of systemic failures, governments for the most part are acting too slowly, if at all. As a result, many people increasingly expect business to step into the breach. But companies often either can’t, haven’t learned how, or, in the case especially of some of the most critical players, simply don’t want to. 

These are the real issues faced by the world. This is what we have to start focusing on. Techonomy exists to curate, organize, and marshal this conversation. 

It is not hard to envision a world in the near future in which all these issues have worsened, partly because the world is so small and the problems are increasingly interconnected. Here’s the future I fear: 

And so on. It is an interlocked cycle of moral, political, and technological failures.

Even if you think such an apocalyptic scenario is hyperbolic, it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t work hard to keep it from happening. Techonomy’s specialty, and the specialty of our community, is technology, so we are working on that side of things—for tech companies and general business alike. These issues urgently concern every company.

At Techonomy in November we bring together a large number of thinkers seeking to find ways to harness tech towards harmony. This is, we believe, an urgent mandate–maybe the most urgent mandate. Below are some of those who will join us:

And we will hear from 30 more great speakers and scores of other important participants as well. Our conversations are participatory and multidisciplinary, just as the global dialogue needs to be.

We believe our work is important. From the beginning, Techonomy has defined itself as working towards progress by convening diverse communities to better understand how to positively harness tech-driven changes. That challenge is more urgent than ever, and so is our work. 

We hope you will join us in these collective efforts. If you are not already signed up to join us at Half Moon Bay in November, please consider doing so. (Full agenda is here.) If you can’t come, stay close, so we can find more and better ways of working together in future. We need to work to find ways for everyone everywhere to work better together. If you think that statement is naïve, we don’t care. Abandoning this approach could mean surrender to a very dark future.

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