Systems of life are being harnessed for progress much as digital systems have been for the last 50 years. That progress isn’t affecting just health and drug development, it’s revolutionizing food and agriculture, energy, even manufacturing. In this video, David Kirkpatrick kicks off our first-ever Techonomy Bio conference and introduces the first speaker.
Kirkpatrick: It is really great to have you all here. I am David Kirkpatrick of Techonomy and what we’ve done up to this point is put on some pretty interesting and I think high-quality conferences that have pretty much focused on IT in the Internet as a lever for progress. We’ve position ourselves in the technology conference industry somewhat differently than everybody else because we don’t really try to talk about technology so much as what it means, where it’s pushing business in society. We talk a lot about progress. We believe in progress. We want to help stimulate progress. We want to help leaders contribute more to progress.
So in the course of doing that over the last couple years, this issue of biology just kept coming up thanks in part to some of our great participants like Stewart Brand who’s, is he sitting down there? Hi Stewart. Who’s really relentlessly talked about biology and it’s really had an impact on us. And several others that you’ll hear today are people who have been part of our community for some time, but we’re finally kind of giving them their place in the sun because what we’ve kind of concluded is that there is a really strong argument that the biological sciences are poised to bring to society a set of outcomes and opportunities and innovations that will really have same set of implications for all of our lives that we’ve now so sort of taken for granted that the Internet and information technology will have.
So in a way we’re doing this to educate ourselves and to help start to educate our larger community. We have a very sort of elite, expensive conference in November at Half Moon Bay. A lot of what we learn here today will filter through and seed that event. We also have a Techonomy Detroit conference for the public in Detroit very much focused on US economic issues and how they’re being transformed by technology. But today it’s about biology and how biology is changing everything else. And I think for us, one of the maybe revelations, that probably for many of you is not quite as shocking, is that there is an enormous range of implications well beyond health and medicine of what’s happening in bio and so we’re really trying to see throughout the day stuff about food and agriculture, energy. We’re not really getting into manufacturing much today but there’s really a lot, some interesting things to say about that as well, perhaps that’s for another event. But I know you’re going to find we have done an interesting job of bringing the right people to you today because that’s what we do know how to do, it’s sort of program a conference.
And I’m going to just give you a couple little housekeeping things and then bring up our first speaker, but we do want to hear your feedback by the way. We want to hear what you think about what we’ve done today. We want to know afterwards. In the future email us, talk to our team anytime because we are learning as we go. There will be mics around the room. We are trying to have Q&A throughout the entire program so prepare yourself as that continues and just raise your hand if you want the mic and will get that to you.
Finally I just want to thank McKinsey and Dassault Systemes who are our main sponsors today that really helped us get things done and then I want to bring up Andrew Hessel who is a speaker who has been to our Techonomy events in the past and who gave this amazing talk you’re about to hear at another event I went to and I was so wowed by it that I felt you had to see it. I think you’ll see why so Andrew.