19 Conference Report #Techonomy19

Techonomy November 17-19

Program Overview

The theme for Techonomy 2019 in Half Moon Bay, California was “Reset and Restore: Governing Tech, Retrieving Ethics, and Acting on Climate.” We are in a unique period when corporate responsibility and big-picture thinking is absolutely essential. Business needs to be stepping up to the challenges of society, and we spent much time discussing aspects of that.

To catalyze the debate and stimulate our thinking, we combined some of the world’s most veteran tech experts with business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and several experts on ethical and responsible technology.

See photos from Techonomy 2019 here and browse all sessions by topic in the menu above.

A look at the Techonomy Experience:

Fall 2019 Speakers Included


Other Speakers We Learned From

  • Matt Barnard, Co-Founder & CEO, Plenty
  • Brooks Bell, Founder & CEO, Brooks Bell
  • Dror Berman, Managing Partner, Innovation Endeavors
  • Gary Bolles, Chair for the Future of Work, Singularity University
  • Mark Brand, Social Entrepreneur
  • Adam Burden, Senior Managing Partner, Accenture
  • Fadi Chehadé, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chehadé and Company
  • Dan Chu, Chief Product Officer, Waymo
  • Cameron Clayton, General Manager, IBM Watson & Weather Company
  • Sharawn Connors, VP, Diversity and Inclusion, Micron Technology
  • Dan Costa, Editor-in-Chief, PCMag
  • Nishith Desai, Founder, Nishith Desai Associates
  • Joaquin Duato, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, Johnson & Johnson
  • Michael Dunne, CEO, ZoZo Go
  • Sarah Frier, Reporter, Bloomberg
  • Jean-Claude Goldenstein, Founder & CEO, CREOpoint
  • Anneka Gupta, President & Head of Products and Platforms, LiveRamp
  • Jodi Halpern, Co-Founder & Co-Director, Berkeley Group for the Ethics and Regulation of Innovative Technologies
  • Julia Hoffman, Head of Behavioral Health, Livongo
  • whurley, Founder, Strangeworks
  • Frank Jackson, Mayor, City of Cleveland
  • Renee James, CEO, Ampere Computing
  • Soni Jiandani, Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, Pensando
  • Bhushan Joshi, Head of North American Sustainability, Ericsson
  • Andrew Keen, Author
  • Andrew Kessler, Writer
  • Marta Kosmyna, Silicon Valley Lead, Campaign to Stop Killer Robots
  • Amy Kruse, Chief Scientific Officer, Platypus Institute
  • Jane Long, Associate Director of Energy & Environment (retired), Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  • Thomas Malone, Director, Center for Collective Intelligence, MIT Sloan School
  • Casey Newton, Journalist & Facebook Expert, the Verge
  • Colin Parris, VP, GE Software Research, General Electric
  • Ryan Popple, CEO, Proterra
  • Lakshmi Rengarajan, Former Director of Workplace Connection at WeWork
  • Stratford Sherman, Partner, Accompli
  • Roy Smythe, CEO, SomaLogic
  • Michelle Stansbury, VP, IT Innovation, Houston Methodist Hospital
  • David Tulauskas, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nestlé Waters North America
  • Mark Webster, Director of Product, Adobe
  • Amy Wilkinson, Founder, Ingenuity Group
  • Bärí Williams, Diversity Strategist, Bari A Williams
  • Amy Wu, Founder and Chief Content Director, From Farms to Incubators
  • Jean-Claude Goldenstein, Founder and CEO, myCREOpoint
  • The Internet, Global Tech Platforms, and Our Precarious Moment

    We’re in a dangerous interrelated global cycle of tech dysfunction, social discord, political polarization, policy failure, and climate catastrophe. Can the world get a grip on tech? How do we reset and restore?

  • Starting Up to Challenge Amazon

    John Chambers now puts his energy into startups, including Pensando, formed by four or his former Cisco colleagues. Pensando aims to enable enterprise to re-think Cloud Computing. How will Pensando differentiate itself against Amazon, what will it mean for enterprise workflow and ultimately, innovation?

  • How Leaders Create the Future

    Wilkinson interviewed 200 of the world’s top digital and business changemakers to figure out what works.

  • The Way to Wellville: A Path Towards Healthy Americans

    Esther Dyson has made a huge personal and financial commitment to a 10-year nonprofit project to help five small American communities become healthy places by moving from short-term, self-interested thinking to long-term, collective-benefit investment in human capital.

  • Superminds: The Power of Collaboration

    The Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT is the world’s premiere institute promoting collaboration as a set of tools for progress. What could we all be doing differently, together?

  • What One American City Has Learned about Tech

    Cleveland is in the midst of an unexpected renaissance under Jackson. Business and tech are finding new pathways to civic renovation.

  • Can We Create a Civilized, Ethical Internet?

    Longtime entrepreneur Chehade took over ICANN at a key moment and became a diplomat, extracting it from the U.S. Commerce Department. But what he learned has his hair on edge as the net continues to morph.

  • Quantum Computing for Everyone

    Whurley is its great popularizer – he thinks of it as “this generation’s space race” and will tell us why he’s on a mission to humanize Quantum computing.

  • Making a Global Food Giant Sustainable

    Over the past several decades, plastic packaging has become ubiquitous, but we’ve reached an inflection point with how we manage it’s end of life. Techonomy’s Steven Gray talks with David Tulauskas, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nestlé Waters North America, about how the company is taking on the issue of plastic waste head-on.

  • How Innovation Will Change Healthcare

    New technologies are emerging that can help address everything from opiate addiction to in home elder care (robots are promising there). How will this suite of new tools change hospitals and the health care system? Where should we expect the fastest change?

  • Food and Community: How to Eat Now

    Mark Brand went from the street to the kitchen, and brought streetsmarts with him, along with many people who’d otherwise have nowhere to go. He’ll tell us about his efforts and preview what he’ll cook for us on Monday evening before the performance.

  • Investing and Entrepreneurship for a Warming Planet

    How does our global crisis change how we all must think about our work? What kinds of investments make sense if our goal is to arrest a rapidly warming globe? Investor Preston, a partner with Al Gore, talks with the CEO of an autonomous bus company from her portfolio.

  • Climate Crisis, Political Crisis, Tech Crisis: What Ties it All Together

    Probably no single social development has been as striking as the global rise of alarm among the young about climate catastrophe. How do we respond?

  • Morning Activities

  • Morning Sessions

  • Afternoon Sessions

  • Reception

  • Hosted Dinner Party: Superminds for Climate Change

  • Welcome to Techonomy 2019

  • Sunrise Yoga

  • What Marketers Need to Understand About the World

    Global big picture R us. It’s what has given Sorrell an edge for decades. Now he’s starting his own new ad and marketing network with fundamentally new premises.

  • Security in a Connected World and Operating Everywhere: An Industry Veteran's Perspective

    Chen has long been a top business expert on China even as he’s remade Blackberry and, earlier, Sybase. Now security software is a top priority.

  • The Business of Compassionate Leadership

    With 645 million users in every country, LinkedIn is interstitial tissue of global business. It has also avoided accusations of bias, social distortion, and other depredations. Could Weiner’s deep belief in compassionate leadership as a value be a reason?

  • Building a New Consumer Internet

    Few have had a larger role creating today’s consumer internet. Now with her own incubator Mayer is rethinking email, calendars, and more.

  • Why AI Has to be Humble

    As autonomous systems, AI, and the Internet of Things surround us, GE Research works to insure that its design is grounded in fundamental human values, like trust.

  • What’s the Future: New Ways to Govern Tech

    He is the ultimate insider, but he is not content with Silicon Valley as it is. He sees the potential for tech to remake the world, if we remake tech.

  • Building Peace and Keeping People in Charge

    How can people retain meaningful control over the use of force in an increasingly autonomous age? Kosmyna’s job is convincing tech companies in Silicon Valley to care.

  • Driving Into the Future

    Waymo’s chief product officer on how autonomous vehicles will change cities and our lives, and what that could mean for the environment.

  • "Alexa- How Will Voice Tech Change Society in its Next Phase?"

    A short talk about why and how we should be thinking about voice technology.

  • What Business Needs to Learn from Psychology

    After a career in the hospitality industry, most recently at Airbnb, Conley now operates an academy for mid-life wisdom. What has he learned that we should learn?

  • How Women Entrepreneurs are Changing Agriculture

    Wu spent years studying women agricultural entrepreneurs. Reforming agriculture may be our biggest opportunity and challenge at a time of global warming.

  • Stopping Food Waste and Transforming Communities

    Entrepreneur Crowe has built a rapidly-growing national network that saves leftover food and gets it to those in need.

  • Turning Tech Towards Humanity

    The IEEE, where Karachalios oversees the standards group, is deeply engaged in trying to understand what went wrong with tech and how to make it right. The engineers of the world are the ones who can make that happen.

  • Fighting Back Against Persuasive Tech

    The ad-driven systems of the internet giants are contributing to social decay, Tristan Harris believes. His work at the Center for Humane Technology aims to enlist the people who develop our products into an army for human values.

  • New Chips to Power the Cloud

    Renee James was president of Intel, but now is up against it, in an ambitious new semiconductor startup. What matters is the cloud, and Ampere builds chips to run it.

  • Privacy, Data, and the Future of Targeted Marketing

    How can personal data power the internet without it undermining our privacy and causing people to lose control? Anneka and her team work to set up laws and best practices to protect consumers, and now, are also focused on political campaigns.

  • How Do We Know Our Technology is Safe?

    Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has funded a large new effort at CR to assess and monitor the tools of digital life, just as in the past for cars and washing machines. The goal: shift power back to the hands of consumers.

  • How a Collabortive Nonprofit Became One of the Web’s Largest Site

    Longtime human rights activist Katherine Maher runs the largest website that’s not a company. It got that way through uniquely leveraging community collaboration, at global scale. What can companies learn from Wikipedia?

  • Why China Builds the Cars of the Future

    Few know the Chinese auto industry like Dunne. At this time of great uncertainty, how will competition on technologized vehicles evolve? Will China dominate autonomy and electrics? How soon will cars drive themselves?

  • What Silicon Valley Means to Diplomats

    The digital sphere may be dominated by large companies, but we must safeguard democratic values and social institutions, says Denmark’s formal ambassador to Silicon Valley. His works to help industry and governments work together.

  • Dinner among the redwoods at Mountain Terrace

  • Skylar Grey - Live Performance

  • Breakfast Open

  • Neurotechnology and Human 2.0

    We can augment the human brain and gain competitive advantage, based on what we know now. What will that mean, and when can we all get the upgrade? How does it play out in an unequal world?

  • Why India Is Becoming a Tech Powerhouse

    Desai started India’s largest tech-oriented law firm. What’s the view from South Asia? Will the balance swing from China? How big is India’s promise?

  • The New World of Digital Wellness

  • Proteomics: Health Data Beyond Genomics

    An entirely new science of human health is emerging, after decades of painstaking development. SomaLogic, where Smythe is CEO, can figure out amazing things about you and your health.

  • Colon Cancer: Stop the Killing

    Last year long time Techonomist Brooks Bell was diagnosed and successfully treated for colon cancer. But the entrepreneur was shocked a disease that often strikes younger people is treated as a disease of the old. Now she campaigns for a new approach to examination and treatment.

  • Innovating at Health's Largest Company

    J&J’s scale is astonishing, as are its ambitions to alter the landscape of global healthcare. How does it change a company to focus on truly global social goals?

  • Betting on Super Evolution

    Innovation Endeavors is a VC firm that funds companies that seek solutions to social problems, even global ones. One theme: super evolution–the idea that startups can now harness rapid prototyping and vast pools of data to develop radical new business models quickly and at scale.

  • The Power of Workplace Connection

    What makes doing business different now? If collaboration is key, how do companies encourage it internally? What did Lakshmi Rengarajan learn as WeWork’s first Director of Workplace Connection? What has worked in a fast-growing business like 1-800-FLOWERS?

  • Conference Closing

  • Lunch Break

  • How Do We Know Our Technology is Safe?

    Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has funded a large new effort at CR to assess and monitor the tools of digital life, just as in the past for cars and washing machines. The goal: shift power back to the hands of consumers.

  • DAY TWO: Monday, Nov. 18th

  • DAY THREE: Tuesday, Nov. 19th

  • Stop Trashing Plastic: One Company’s Journey to Help Create a Circular Economy

    Over the past several decades, plastic packaging has become ubiquitous, but we’ve reached an inflection point with how we manage it’s end of life. It’s estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. We’ll talk with David Tulauskas, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nestlé Waters North America about how the company is taking on the issue of plastic waste head-on.

  • How Advanced Tech Can Help the World Prepare and Respond to Extreme Weather

    Extreme weather is becoming more intense and dangerous. Now more than ever we must ensure that timely, reliable weather data is available around the world. Technology offers new opportunities to help people and businesses access this data to better prepare for and respond. Meanwhile, improvements in how we manage agriculture can lead to more sustainable food production.

  • Diversity & Inclusion: A Strategic Advantage

    Sharawn Connors, VP of Diversity and Inclusion at Micron, discusses pushing for progress in the workplace, her approach to building an inclusive culture, and why D&I is a core strategic advantage. In conversation with attorney and diversity strategist Bari Williams.

  • Cracking the Code on Tech Adoption

    A small minority of companies have cracked the code on tech adoption, according to new Accenture research. Learn what’s enabling these leaders to grow revenue at double the rate of tech laggards and why they are poised to extend their advantage over the next five years.

  • Will Geo-Engineering Become Necessary?

    With the earth warming and California burning, it’s hard to know what measures will really work in order to stay within the Paris Accords guidelines for only a 1.5 degree increase in global temperatures. Some believe that we’ll have no choice but to consciously manipulate the climate. Long is an expert.

  • How Tech Enables Climate Action and Sustainable Development

    Nothing is more important than applying tech to the world’s biggest problems. 5G wireless technology in particular should enable dramatic improvements in how we can address climate change.

  • Will Regulation Kill the Internet?

    Human progress doesn’t improve because someone passes a law, Kessler believes. Siilcon Valley drives progress better without government agency interference. In contrast to some other speakers, he says we shouldn’t apply antitrust law to tech companies.

  • ConnectHER Breakfast: A Women's Roundtable

  • Breakfast Session: Communicating in Times of Crisis

  • Hosted Dinner Party: Life at Work - Culture, Balance, and Humanity

  • Hosted Dinner Party: Geek Dinner - Cutting Edge Tech (AI, Quantum, etc.)

  • Hosted Dinner Party: Super Human - Health & Wellness

  • Breakfast Session: What Have We Learned about the Internet, Big Tech, and New Paradigms for Governance?

  • Breakfast Session: Accelerating Corporate Digital Transformation

  • A Political Veteran Investing for Social Progress

    David Plouffe ran President Barack Obama’s first election campaign, and later served as his senior advisor. He’ll help us understand the new presidential campaign and the impact of the impeachment hearings underway. He headed up policy and programs for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Where is this hugely ambitious effort headed?