Simone Ross onstage at Techonomy 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay in California, our venue again this year.

With just under three months to go until Techonomy 2017, we’re shifting into the (almost) final stretch for putting the program together. This is the part of the process that requires the delicate balancing and curation of ideas, topics, formats, priorities, schedules, speakers (and yes, egos!). Pretty soon I’ll be able to step back, look at the three days, and figure out what’s missing. Then we can put the final touches on the program for our eighth annual Techonomy conference. The final product represents months of research, brainstorming and discussion with a wide variety of experts, leaders, thinkers, and practitioners.  Hard to believe we have been doing this already for eight years!
Here’s a taste of what’s to come in November:
Conversations about how tech is changing companies, industries, and the requirements of leadership with Andrew Anagnost, new CEO of Autodesk (in his debut appearance as CEO!), Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, GE’s Vice Chair Beth Comstock, Dr. John E. Kelly, who heads IBM Research and its cloud businesses, CEO Lowell McAdam of Verizon and Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison.
We’ll hear presentations from Data & Society’s danah boyd (on the manipulation of technical systems for different political and social agendas), Betsy Cooper of UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (on the cybersecurity of sports), 3D Systems CEO VJ Joshi (on personalized medical treatment through 3D technology), tech evangelist Robert Scoble (on AR and VR), urban planner and Airbnb’s former Global Head of Civic Partnerships Molly Turner (on disrupting cities and urban innovation), and VP of IBM Research Dr. Jeff Welser (on metagenomics and its application to food safety).
Last year one of my favorite sessions was Adrift at Sea, about how tech and data can impact one of the oldest industries in the world, shipping, and all the things that happen out in the ocean that we do not see. This year, one of my favorite sessions is about how tech is changing the $10 trillion global construction industry. As Tracy Young, the CEO of PlanGrid, explained at Techonomy NYC, construction is behind pretty much every other industry, except maybe agriculture, when it comes to digital adoption. Tracy will be speaking in November, and we’ll also hear from Michael Marks, formerly CEO of Flextronics now running a startup called Katerra. He’s trying to bring the same kinds of efficiencies to construction that he did at Flextronics for manufacturing, and it was fascinating to hear him talk about this when I met him in San Francisco a few months ago. Here’s a link to an article in Dezeen about Katerra.
Diana Farrell of the JPMorgan Chase Institute, Sasan Goodarzi of Intuit, Byron Auguste of Opportunity@Work, and others will join a discussion about how automation and platforms are changing how we organize and categorize work and need to shift the way we think about the economy from “jobs” to “tasks.”
On a session we’re calling Water. Always. Wins., we’ll talk with author and Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell, whose new book is The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World. It looks at the global crisis of rising oceans, and comes out this fall.
We’ve spent a lot of the past year thinking about health and healthcare innovation, so the program will include a hefty dose of that as well, including a big picture conversation on the state of global health. We’ll be joined by leaders and thinkers such as Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, former Health Minister of Rwanda, Johnson & Johnson Global Head of Health Technology, Marc Leibowitz, Casino Healthcare author Dan Munro, author and nutritionist Dr. Dean Ornish, Mario Schlosser, CEO of Oscar, and Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Translational Science Institute.
I hope this gives you a flavor of the range and diversity of thinking that we highlight for Techonomy’s participants, who come to learn how to better deal with the daunting array of changes and challenges that tech is causing in business and society. This represents just a drop in the bucket of the speakers and sessions who will be joining us in November. A more complete list is here on our website.
If you have suggestions, ping me; I’m still searching for more new ideas!
If you’re interested in attending the conference, click here.