At Techonomy NYC, the ideas were flying as attendees grappled with the impact of technology on business and society. Here are just a few of the insights from two days of discussion:
Technology is neither good nor bad. Its impact is up to us.
“Let’s not let any new app delete old truths, which is that as a species, we thrive when we have really good, meaningful relationships to the people we love the most.”
Catherine Steiner-Adair, Clinical and Consulting Psychologist
All companies are in the business of building trust, whether we know it or not.
“We understand the importance of trust, how easy it is to lose it, how important it is to reengage in gaining it back. “
Tim Baxter, President & CEO, Samsung North America
Some problems are much more important than others.
“We have made a world that is wealthy and a world that is really teched up, and we’re destroying the planet.”
Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
Business, technology or otherwise, must grapple with its place in society
“For companies to succeed over the long term, they need to be able to define, and then defend, their social purpose in the communities that they operate in.”
Brian Deese, Managing Director, Global Head of Sustainable Investing, BlackRock
Think globally, act globally
“It is a fact; brilliance is evenly distributed.”
Christina Sass, Co-Founder and President, Andela (which places African programmers in positions with multinational companies)
There are ways to see the impact of tech giants positively.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a time when a relatively small number of private sector enterprises have had the kind of global impact that we are seeing today.”
Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft
Our New York event surfaced numerous topics that will continue to shape the industry — and that we will dig deeper into at our retreat in Half Moon Bay, California, this November 11-13. We operate at the intersection of tech change, business change, and social change, and that makes Techonomy unique. Some of this fall’s themes include:
Tech Addiction: A Social Crisis Retail in the Age of Amazon
Can We Govern the Net Giants? Making Algorithms Accountable
How Biotech Advances Sustainability Genomics and Digital Medicine
Is Silicon Valley Off the Rails? Equality in Tech and Business
Tech and Democracy (post midterms) Business Takes a Stand on Social Challenges