What will the Techonomy 2018 conference be like? What will it mean to focus on “harnessing tech for responsible growth,” as our theme has it? Who will help us make sense of this rapidly changing world?
The thinkers we bring to this two-day multidisciplinary conversation say a lot about what to expect. Here are four, among many:

  • The COO of the world’s largest money management firm
  • A journalist who focuses both on the social implications of connectivity and the future of the inscrutable technology known as blockchain
  • A legendary robotics and AI engineer and entrepreneur
  • The leading expert on the Chinese auto industry

Rob Goldstein joined BlackRock when he was just 20, as an analyst. Now, 24 years later, he is chief operating officer and oversees internal software and systems as well as the analytics and trading systems BlackRock provides to investor clients. The world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock oversees $6.3 trillion. Yes, that’s a “tr” not a “b.”
Goldstein has a lot to say about changing financial services and investing in a technologized age, and his company this year made a major commitment to the role of business in society. It declared that every company needs to take its social impact into consideration when making business decisions. This made waves. “Sustainable investing is simply smart investing,” its website declares. So here is someone who might seem part of Wall Street’s old guard, but is in fact helping push into the new.

Manoush Zomorodi of Stable Genius Productions speaks during the lunch session on smartphone addiction at Techonomy NYC in May 2018. (Photo: Rebecca Greenfield)

Manoush Zomorodi is very different kind of person — a journalist and entrepreneur. She’s currently conducting a live, public experiment on how to use innovative tech to finance serious journalism, and documenting the process in real time on a podcast called ZigZag. The program explains, for example, what happens when she meets with investors and how her company is using technologies like blockchain. Zomorodi is a creative and open-minded thinker, whose recent work has also focused on the negative impacts of technology in our daily lives. In February, she argued at an Intelligence Squared debate that technology is killing romance.
Rodney Brooks, the man behind Rethink Robotics, is pictured at Techonomy NYC in 2017. He will join us at Half Moon Bay in November. (Photo: Rebecca Greenfield)

Rodney Brooks, a longtime friend of Techonomy, co-founded iRobot, known for its Roomba robotic vacuums as well as its military robots. He also more recently led Rethink Robotics, which created the Baxter and Sawyer robots for factory and other sorts of automation, that work alongside people. At Techonomy NYC in 2017, he explained why he is not worried about general artificial intelligence happening anytime soon. What does he think now?
Michael Dunne is probably the most knowledgeable expert in the world about the Chinese auto industry and how it intersects with the global industry. He also headed General Motors’ operations in Indonesia before becoming a full-time analyst, now at ZoZoGo.
Dunne says China is on track to dominate global autonomous automotive technology, electric vehicles, and ride hailing — the three key areas for future industry technology. All three are specific targets of China’s Made in China 2025 competitiveness initiative. He has lots of ideas about how other countries and companies can and should respond, even as he has great confidence in Chinese industry’s capabilities and future. China last year already manufactured 28 million of the roughly 90 million cars built worldwide, and has great ambitions for exports, something that up until now it hasn’t heavily emphasized.
So imagine this Wall Street leader, journalist focused on tech addiction and the future of media, roboticist and AI leader, and automotive tech scholar all engaging in a multi-day conversation about where the world is headed. They are just a few of what will be over 50 speakers in our three days of discussions. They will also include eminences like John Chambers, Marissa Mayer, and Tim Berners-Lee. We believe the best way to anticipate the future is to immerse yourselves in discussions about as many simultaneous transformations as possible. We try to assemble the right people for the right conversation, now.  Request your invitation to join the discussion.