Kirkpatrick interviewed Mark Zuckerberg at the 2014 Mobile World Congress, and will do so again at Techonomy 2016, Nov. 9-11. (photo courtesy Mobile World Congress)
Kirkpatrick interviewed Mark Zuckerberg at the 2014 Mobile World Congress, and will do so again at Techonomy 2016, Nov. 9-11. (photo courtesy Mobile World Congress)

Few things could be more meaningful for a journalist, techonomist, and conference organizer like myself right now than hosting a wide-ranging conversation with Mark Zuckerberg. I’m very pleased I will be speaking with him onstage at the upcoming Techonomy 2016 conference, Nov. 9-11. It’s a rare treat to hear one of the world’s most impactful technologists and businesspeople. But we don’t stop there. Techonomy is known for its subtle, thoughtful, and wide-ranging programs, and for the variety of experts and leaders from numerous disciplines who join us on stage and in the audience.
I was delighted to receive the latest Forbes, which features on its cover serial entrepreneur Martin Varsavsky talking about his newest company, Prelude Fertility. It aims to enable women to have children exactly when in their lives they’d like. Martin will speak at Techonomy on Friday morning Nov. 11, in his first public talk about this breakthrough. Meanwhile, that same morning we’ll hear Murthy Renduchintala, who Business Insider recently described as “one of the most mysterious but powerful executives in tech.” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich lured Renduchintala over from Qualcomm this year, and in his job as Intel’s President, Client and Internet of Things Businesses and Systems Architecture Group, Renduchintala is, as BI describes him, “in charge of almost every business not building data center chips.”
Software is becoming central to every business, and it has long been central in the discussions at Techonomy. We had a session entitled Every Company is a Software Company way back in 2011. (Citi, Fedex, Ford, and McKinsey all said then that in important respects they already were one.)
Now business is at the phase of honing in on the exact meaning of that big-picture aspiration. So Internet of Things (IoT) looms large in our program, since it will increasingly alter the fabric of our society and economy and change how every company works. I’ll interview Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital, on Wednesday Nov. 9, to further explore the impact of what GE calls the industrial internet, in which connectivity transforms logistics, manufacturing, and the intersection between building, maintaining, and improving products.
And connectivity, AI, and the IoT also have massive implications for our health. Among those discussing that will be Eric Topol, a cardiologist and chief academic officer at Scripps Health. Topol’s bestselling books The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care and The Patient Will See You Now have made him one of the most eminent advocates for remaking health care for a digital age. He’ll also be speaking at a separate pre-conference event called Techonomy Health.
There’s way more in the 31 major sessions and additional short talks that make up our deeply-crafted program for Techonomy 2016. My colleague and Techonomy’s program boss Simone Ross gives her take on the whole thing here.
We’ll begin with an in-depth examination of what just happened in the presidential and national election. What does the future hold for technology and the promise of a tech-infused nation and world of progress?
We look at genetic modification, the intrusion of technology into the lives of children, the rise of digital currencies (hot topic these days), and have two sessions on how tech may remediate climate change. If you’re a businessperson or someone who wants to understand the big directions of tech, you are the kind of person we created this all for.
We’ve got thinkers who argue we are truly headed towards a “sentient” ecosystem, once the world gets fully wired into the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence begins to augment our own decisions. We have experts sending sensors into space and into our guts to keep both the planet and our bodies healthy. We’ll discuss how creating jobs through entrepreneurship in oil-producing countries can help reduce the risk of terrorism. We’ll examine the many ways tech can help combat climate change. We’ll talk about leadership, and about hope.