Tech infuses life in New York and elsewhere more clearly every day. Image courtesy Shutterstock/vectorfusionart
Tech infuses life in New York and elsewhere more clearly every day.

I’ve covered tech based in New York for 25 years, and it’s always been an asset. The perspective you get doing business and journalism here is global, in considerable context of what is happening in every industry, and unusually grounded in the human, social and political realities of the world. Silicon Valley’s machinations can often be seen more clearly from here than from within the belly of the beast. We founded Techonomy Media in New York because it’s where we live, but we can’t imagine a better place to have developed our perspective on the centrality of tech-based transformation over the past six years. Yet the world’s most multi-faceted city still needs the kind of big-picture conversation about how tech changes everything that Techonomy uniquely curates.
So now we are hosting our first-ever Techonomy NYC conference, after putting together 13 other big events around the country. You might ask: why it has taken so long? It’s a good question we are now asking ourselves, because the event has turned out amazingly. It is less than two weeks away—May 26 at NYU on Washington Square. We can’t really explain why it didn’t happen earlier, but it certainly won’t be the last.
Our speakers run a broad gamut, as is our wont, because we aim to include diverse perspectives and multi-disciplinary insights: Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Facebook ad boss Carolyn Everson, GE Digital CEO Bill Ruh, best-selling author and health care expert Dr. David Agus, Data & Society’s danah boyd, Bayer Digital chief Jessica Federer, Simulmedia founder Dave Morgan, legendary VC Alan Patricof, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Betterment CEO Jon Stein, and New York City CTO Minerva Tantoco, plus experts on artificial intelligence, corporate digital transformation, data analytics, the blockchain,urban transformation and the sharing economy. The program also includes journalists like Financial Times North American editor Gillian Tett, Bloomberg Media Editor-in-chief Emeritus Matt Winkler, Time Magazine business columnist Rana Foroohar (talking about her new book Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business), and Wired Magazine’s Jessi Hempel.
The point of bringing all these eminent thinkers, and many more, together for a day of intense discussion is to help shed light for all of us on the extraordinary changes technology has unleashed on all our companies, and all our lives. Business and society is changing quickly, and we at Techonomy are convinced that only those who explicitly and continuously engage with the digital and other transformations underway will lead successfully. Full program is here.
The theme of the conference, and our entire year, is Man, Machines, and the Network. The entire economy is becoming transformed by connectivity. The massive set of changes surrounding the Internet of Things will mean every organization, every process, and every system will operate differently. Cars will drive themselves. Factories will order their own supplies. Cities will sense where the citizens and the vehicles and the noise and pollution are, and alter locations and resources autonomically. We are already conducting surveillance on our own homes and on our bodies. Vast amounts of data are being collected. And while we haven’t yet got great uses for much of that data, our privacy is nonetheless increasingly jeopardized by the data’s very existence. These are just some of the emerging issues.
We don’t think you can understand the Internet of Things without seeing it in the context of other things happening in finance, in social media, in politics, in government, and in corporate organization. So we touch on those themes as well.
Several TE NYC speakers have contributed to this discussion in advance here, including Smart Neighborhood Data Can Help Small Business by GoDaddy’s Rene Reinsberg, Connected Vehicles Can Make Cities Smarter by Veniam’s Joao Barros, and Arun Sundararajan on IoT, the Sharing Economy, and Energy.
It’s a weird world we’re living in, and Techonomy exists to try to help us all make sense of it. Techonomy NYC brings it all home. Come and see for yourself. If you would like to come, email [email protected].