In advance of Techonomy 2018, we asked our speakers crucial questions that frame our upcoming flagship event.
Q: How big of a responsibility does business have to make the world more equitable?
For a whole host of reasons, it’s in every company’s interest to incorporate social responsibility into their mission. Having positive social impact while also building a healthy, vibrant business need to go hand-in-hand.
Specifically regarding social equity, I can only speak for VSCO — and given our diverse, young, global audience (78 percent of our users are non-U.S., 75 percent are under 25-years-old), it is core to our mission to help everyone explore and define their own creativity. We believe everyone wants to express themselves, explore their own identity and their world — and that feeding people’s creativity can help break down barriers. Photography is elemental to that journey.
Q: What emerging technology can have the greatest positive impact on society?
The power of technology to help people make connections with each other has been long established, but what is emerging is an understanding of just how sensitive these systems are to misuse and abuse — and that the creators of these systems are obligated to define a new model for a world struggling to understand what’s fake, what’s unhealthy, and where one can find connection.
Q: What is the biggest issue that you worry is not getting enough attention?
In the world: climate change. When our environment becomes uninhabitable, the rest of this will hardly be relevant.
As we think of tech and responsible growth, I think widening income inequality, specifically in the US, is driving the greatest amount of stress to our society — and tech is well positioned to make a positive impact.