In June we’re launching a new conference, Techonomy Policy. It will focus on the pressure and friction points created when the speed of tech butts up against the ability of government, governance, regulators, and institutions in general to keep up.
We’re trying to regulate things that are completely new, be it the technology itself or the applications it enables. And by the time we start thinking about implications, it’s already too late. Can policy become less reactive and more proactive? And how do you navigate such ethically and politically complex issues with huge economic, social, and moral implications?
Just last week we learned that China was editing the genomes of human embryos using CRISPR/Cas9. This comes about a month after a group of leading biologists and scientists (including recent Time 100 honoree Jennifer Doudna, one of the inventors of the method) called for a moratorium on its use in human DNA.
At Techonomy Bio last month we convened a discussion called Policy: Makers, Shakers & Breakers. Skim the transcript, you’ll see a lot of acronyms, but you’ll also get an interesting read on what happens when you put an FBI agent, a biohacker, a synbio startup CEO, and a financial services startup CEO (with a deep background in healthcare policy and pharma) together in a room.
So as tech marches on, changing almost every sector of business and society, how does everything else keep up? And how can the tech industry work better with the government to help? One thing that is not lacking in both tech and government is smart, civic-minded individuals who want to, and are, working towards solutions.
For more on civic tech, check out How Good Can Technology Make Our Governments & Communities?, Mapping the Policy Genome, and The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance.