As you may be aware, there’s a countdown going on, 89 days until the 2016 US presidential election…which is also the countdown (+1 day) to this year’s flagship Techonomy conference.  Because of the countdown I am constantly being reminded about all the things that the Techonomy team needs to get done between now and November!
The upcoming election is alternately energizing and terrifying.  Come November 9, the day Techonomy starts, I hope the voters of the US will have made the energizing and historic choice of voting HRC into the White House.  Or, if choosing presidents isn’t about history, then how about you just vote for the most qualified candidate…and vote HRC into the White House.
One of the first things we’ll do at TE16 this year is have a conversation about what just happened, in a conversation called “We’re Not In Kansas Anymore:  People, Power and Politics After the Tornado” This will be just one of several parts of the program where we’ll discuss implications (and opportunities?) of a new administration. Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson will give us his top recommendations for improving healthcare in the US.  And I’m sure FitBit CEO James Park will have some thoughts on his vision for what the 21st century healthcare and technology should look like. The intersection of tech, data and health will be a central focus of the conference, we’ll even be hosting a special half-day Techonomy Health roundtable the morning of November 9th.
The conference program is starting to take shape.  You can check out the list of sessions and participants here.  It’s constantly evolving, and new sessions and speakers are being added weekly (and I’m ALWAYS looking for suggestions.)
Our conference itself will have the theme “Toward A Sentient Ecosystem,” exploring how the Internet of Things is knitting together signals and data from an increasingly vast connected intelligent network that can span from the depths of our bodies to outer space.  What does such a connected cyber ecosystem, one that has the potential to listen, adapt, and perhaps intuit, mean for global business and society?  How do we guide the development of this ecosystem so it serves all?  Fortunately, we have the brains, experience, outlook and sensibilities of people like activist and entrepreneur Esra’a Al Shafei, Genevieve Bell of Intel, Antoine Blondeau of Sentient Technologies, Diana Farrell of the JP Morgan Chase Institute, Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital, Pradeep Khosla of UC San Diego, futurist Ray Kurzweil, Dan’l Lewin of Microsoft, Vivienne Ming of Socos, architect, engineer and director of the MIT Senseable Lab Carlo Ratti, AI authority Francesca Rossi of IBM Watson, Molly Turner of Airbnb and many more to help dig into these questions and more!
I’ll be interspersing the program with our signature “180° Shift” talks.  The goal of these three minute presentations is for the speaker to turn some pre-conceived notion or assumption on its head, or shift the audiences understanding on a particular issue, topic or idea.  I have linked to some of my favourite such short talks in previous posts (Ray Kurzweil, Andrew Hessel, Marci Harris, Oren Boiman) and this year I’m excited to add some more.  At TE16 return-Techonomist Eileen Guo of Impassion Afghanistan will be talking about the SneakerNet.  Tarun Bhatnager of Google Maps for Work will talk about geospatial intelligence and re-thinking mapping for the enterprise.  And Planet Labs Will Marshall will speak about Seeing Tomorrow From Space.
90 days to go…I hope to see you at Half Moon Bay. And as always, if you have ideas and suggestions for our programs let me know!