Simone Ross is Techonomy’s program director.
Techonomy 2017 starts tomorrow!  It’s always gratifying (and a relief) to get on site in Half Moon Bay after months and months of careful planning.
Last year the program took on a rather surreal quality as we kicked off the day after the election.  A year later we’re not the only ones still talking about the Mark Zuckerberg “it’s a crazy idea” comment. Unless you have somehow managed to insulate yourself from all news, information and social media you’ll know that the issues this surfaced have reached something of a frenzy with the recent Senate and House Hearings this week investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Many of our discussions at Techonomy will tackle this and related topics in all their complexity.  From “Reckoning with the Hegemonists” which will question the outsized and unprecedented role the tech giants play in our lives, to “What is Authority in a Networked, Artificially Intelligent World?” which asks what authority even means any more? Are Amazon, Google and Facebook becoming the de facto authority?  Data and Society’s danah boyd will talk about “Confronting Manipulation Head-On,” calling on the tech sector to recognize that manipulation of their systems by foreign actors is a new security battle.  Galen Buckwalter’s presentation “How AI Can Save Democracy” will look at how tech is enabling authoritarian messaging and the cutthroat disinformation wars.
Others who will be part of this ongoing thread about the impact of tech on the economy, society, politics and democracy include eminent early Facebook investor Roger McNamee, RBC Capital Markets internet company analyst Mark Mahaney, Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, FiscalNote’s Tim Hwang, Lawrence Norden of NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, New America’s Rebecca MacKinnon and Minnie Ingersoll of Code for America.
What else?  Well, lots, given we’ve got 90 speakers over the course of the three days!
Luminaries, experts and big brains will talk about the impact of robotics, AI, voice and neuro-tech on the increasing pull towards a future when we start to merge with our machines.
The intersection of tech, heath and healthcare has always been a focus for us. We’ll continue that with speakers including CEOs Mark Bertolini of Aetna, Mario Schlosser of Oscar, and Vyomesh Joshi of 3D Systems, as well as author Dan Munro, who wrote Casino Healthcare, Dr. Dean Ornish (who’s written many best sellers), Dr. Agnes Bingawaho (former health minister of Rwanda), Dr. Roy Smythe of Philips Healthcare Informatics and Oliver Hsiang, Johnson & Johnson’s Silicon Valley emissary.
We’ll interview GE’s Beth Comstock and former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, two great leaders of business in their first appearance together.  We’ll also interview other eminent CEOs including Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup Company, Andrew Anagnost of Autodesk and Verizon’s Lowell McAdam.
And there’s more…blockchain (of course), rising sea levels, the technologized future of construction, society’s movement towards autonomous mobility, the future of media, what’s happening with AR and VR, and one of my favorites, Should Data Ownership be a Civil Right?
The conference starts Sunday November 5th at 2:45pm Pacific time.   If you can’t be there, we’ll be live streaming at