More than a decade ago Techonomy launched on our journey to better understand how tech was altering society. What a decade it’s been! We’ve hosted 30 conferences and published thousands of articles and videos. And tech is now at the heart of everything, perhaps too much in many cases. This is why Techonomy exists, and this new website aims to help even better highlight what matters.
Tech’s centrality was both gratifyingly and painfully evident during the pandemic. Zoom and Facebook and TikTok and Teams and Slack helped us live and work at home without losing touch. Many us experienced telemedicine for the first time. Amazon Prime felt like a godsend. But toxic and politically-disastrous disinformation, cybersecurity outrages, and a declining sense of personal privacy rode along with this digital tsunami. And the biggest tech companies are just plain too powerful. Meanwhile, corporate digital transformation rose to a new centrality in strategy and planning, both to take advantage of new opportunities and simply to preserve the business, as aggressive digital-native startups brought new efficiency to just about every activity of the modern economy.
I’m writing while flying back to New York from a California trip with my colleague Josh Kampel to scope out venues for Techonomy’s long-awaited return to physical events. We found good options and enormous enthusiasm for our plans. But the fragility of our technologized world was ever-evident. At SFO it was almost impossible to find a physical newspaper–a format I continue to find indispensable for staying informed and connecting ideas. And one of the titles most prominently displayed at the bookstore in Terminal 3 was on the lost art of listening. Staring at our screens constantly does not make us better or necessarily help us know more.
Nonetheless, we have refreshed and burnished Techonomy.com, our home on the internet. We are proud of our new digital face to the world, where you’re reading this. So welcome! We want to do even better at helping you to know more, to become more engaged in issues that matter, and better collaborate with our community. The new site is designed to highlight the innumerable great stories and videos we’ve been creating for the last decade. We expect you’ll find more here than you expected.
We’re committed to producing even more and better articles and analysis to help you understand this increasingly-fraught relationship between tech and our lives, between tech and business, between tech and everything. The home page now highlights sections, like “Finance + Crypto,” or “Business + Innovation,” or “Climate + Environment,” so you can easily dive into topics that engage you. And you can also find here tons of engaging videos and sessions from our past conferences. Thanks to Caitlin Hamilton, Techonomy’s director of editorial and events, and Clyde Lee, head of marketing for our parent company Clarim Media, for their great work on this project.
Tech’s most urgent task right now is helping the world turn back the tide on global warming. So our first big in-person conference for 2022 will be Techonomy Climate, at the end of March in Silicon Valley. There is huge innovation emerging to address the urgent, even desperate plight of the planet. Money is flowing towards technologies and tools. I’m also feeling a glimmer of a fundamentally new way of thinking about climate-conscious business. We’ll dig into all that, with eminent thinkers and leaders. We’re proud to partner with the Environmental Defense Fund, advocates for the earth who have long understood the central role for business. Without economic and business change, we are all goners.
We’ll continue, too, with the virtual events we inaugurated by necessity during the pandemic. Upcoming sessions include a tour of the metaverse with our own columnist Robin Raskin, as well as a look at tech’s role in the growing global water crisis. Techonomy will continue relentlessly focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Water figures prominently there, as does fighting poverty and hunger, and action on the climate crisis.
Then in June we’ll revive our hometown conference in New York, this time as Techonomy Health. No other industry and arena has seen such progress and digital transformation over the past two years.
In September we plan a return to Washington with Techonomy Policy, an event begun in 2015. Government must respond more wisely and aggressively to the power of tech and adjust to the reality that tech is redefining society. The U.S. remains far behind Europe in regulatory action and understanding, even as tech companies retain outsize power to affect our lives.
Finally, in the fall we return to California for Techonomy 2022, this time in the Napa Valley. We haven’t got a formal theme yet but the one we had planned, but scuttled, for 2020 still resonates–Reset and Restore. That is exactly what we’re all doing these days. That conference will be a powerful one.
We want to hear from you as we go through our re-emergence and restoration. We want to know what you think about our new website, and newsletter design. And we want to see you at our conferences!