As we put the final touches on the program for our first Techonomy Policy conference I’ve been thinking a lot about government, global order, democracy, responsibility, and communities. And of course politics. It’s hard to avoid politics when you live in the U.S. and there’s 18 months to go before the Presidential Election. Apparently it’s never too early to start obsessing over it.
In our archives I came across this short talk (which begins at 11:48) from David Liu, co-founder of the XO Group. Last year, we kicked off TE14 with Fusion, a series of such talks designed to infuse and ignite the discussions for the rest of the conference. In his, Liu talks about his concern that “the American democratic ideal is going to bring on our own demise” and asks the question “Has our democratic ideal rendered us inept in governance and uninspired as a culture?” These two quotes bookend a dense and thoughtful commentary on the post-WWII ideal of America, capitalism, corporations, culture, and how the convergence of tech and media has shifted things. He also finds ways to mention John Wayne, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Hoarders, and Housewives of New Jersey.
In another talk (beginning at 17:45) from the same session, Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau, an official at the European Commission, voices his concern about the failures of global governance and our need to look for new inclusive models that include non-Western interests and other non-state stakeholders. He points to ICANN and Internet governance as an example of this kind of change underway. Fadi Chehadé, president of ICANN will speak at Techonomy Policy on June 9 on a session about the future of the Internet. And here’s him onstage at TE14.
And … as I did reference elections, here’s a video from TE12 of Dan Bartlett (former President George W. Bush advisor who is now at Walmart and then was at Hill & Knowlton) on The Role of Tech in a Shifting Electoral Map. “We’ve made it far more efficient to be partisan,” he said. “Technology is not to blame, but it’s a factor in the sense that it’s definitely playing a role in making it easier for people to reinforce their own political views, not question them.”