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Techonomy
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Everything we do reflects our ethos: that technology can make the world a happier, healthier, wealthier, and more peaceful place.

Techonomy’s name embodies our beliefs and our mission—it combines the words “technology” and “economy” because technology has become a central part of the economy in which we operate and the society in which we live. Today technology is inextricably entwined with just about every activity that humans undertake. We embrace that fact, and seek as a company to help the world take advantage of it.

Technology is itself a neutral force. If we actively engage with it, we can direct it, mold it, and apply it productively for our organizations and for society.

As the pace of change speeds up, many of us find it challenging to grasp our range of options. All leaders must, in effect, become technologists. Only then can we effectively guide organizations, companies, and communities towards long-term health and impact. Only then can we retain our relevance and effectiveness, as leaders and even as individuals. The choices we all face because of technology are by no means easy. Some of technology’s impact is painful and confusing. We do not shrink from examining the downside, though as you can tell, our bias is towards optimism.

Techonomy casts its lens broadly across business and society in order to highlight and explore the manifold ways in which tech’s impact is felt. We care about the future of food and nutrition, healthcare, education, government, science, the arts, transportation, cities, infrastructure, communication, media, architecture, and indeed any sphere of human endeavor. We believe there is no field in which tech is not having a transformative impact. We are no less interested in the cement business than in social media. (OK, maybe a little.) Lines are being blurred, in large part by developments driven by technology, so that many once-distinct disciplines are overlapping, consolidating, and cross-fertilizing.

We seek conversation at the highest level about the role of technology in social progress, as we advocate for greater understanding about the pace of change and what it means for everyone.

We believe business will take the lead in driving social progress, but our community also includes leaders from the social sector, government, politics, academia, and the sciences. A multidisciplinary dialogue is core to every forum Techonomy convenes. We especially aim to foster conversation between leaders from the tech industry and companies that have not, at least until now, considered themselves tech companies. (We argue that every company is a tech company, whether they know it or not.)

Techonomy aims its programs and content at leaders, but we also believe that the definition of a leader is changing quickly. Thanks again in large part to technology, power is being broadly dispersed in society. Leaders are emerging at every level of society more rapidly and fluidly than ever before. Social and business structures are flattening as the very notion of leadership is evolving to recognize that the most effective leadership is collaborative and in some ways collective. We make our programs accessible to a wide audience because it is impossible to know where leaders will emerge, and because the world increasingly recognizes that, for better or worse, we are all in this together.

Techonomy Media hosts conferences, like our forthcoming Techonomy 2014 in Half Moon Bay, Calif., November 9-11. We also publish editorial content on our website and in our newsletter, including a growing amount of video journalism.

Entries by Techonomy

How to Get and Protect Your Genetic Data

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 12:35 PM

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By Meredith Salisbury

Maybe it was the Jolie effect. Or you want to find out if you're carrying a silent genetic mutation that could be passed on to a child. Or perhaps you're just really hoping you can blame...

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Emerging Market Medical Education Goes Digital

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 12:15 PM

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HIV specialists in Vietnam use video conferencing to train local health workers. (Photo courtesy of HAIVN)

By Will Greene

A shortage of skilled health workers is an acute and ongoing problem in many emerging markets. Weak medical education systems bear a...

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KeenON: CEA's Gary Shapiro on the Digital Revolution in 2015

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 12:54 PM

By Andrew Keen

There are few more optimistic thinkers than Gary Shapiro, the CEO and president of the Consumer Electronics Association and the author of "Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Companies." Shapiro -- who is also the guy behind the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas -- believes 2015 might be the year the digital revolution reaches its tipping point and truly starts to change the world.

New technologies as varied as 3D printing, drones, self-driving cars, and networked clothing, Shapiro thinks, are going to solve many of our most entrenched problems. From hunger and disease to drought and famine, he believes the digital revolution has the potential to fundamentally change the world. Every industry, Shapiro says, is now radically affected by networked technology. And this year it's all coming together to define 2015 as the year of innovation.

Original video and article published at

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How Biotech Can Help Feed the Planet

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 11:08 AM

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Image via Shutterstock

By Jim Flatt, President of Genovia Bio

It's going to be a big global challenge to feed our growing population without destroying the environment.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that worldwide food supply must increase by 70...

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The IoT of Health: Big Data Can Make Us Healthier

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 10:45 AM

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Image via Shutterstock

By Meredith Salisbury

The fact that you can now use your smartphone to unlock your front door, turn on the lights, adjust your thermostat, and set your DVR is all thanks to the unprecedented levels of connectivity...

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How to Ride the Smart Home Wave

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 10:29 AM

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Image via Shutterstock

By Adam Gettings

There's a sizeable "smart home" wave building. The smart home and building technology market was $4.8 billion in 2012 and a report by Allied Market Research predicts it will grow to $35.3 billion by...

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Vietnam's IT Workers Value Passion Over Pay

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 10:14 AM

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In Ho Chi Minh and other Vietnamese tech hubs, some IT workers are seeking passion over profit. Image via Shutterstock.

By Enrick Bui and Will Greene

As Vietnam emerges as a global hotspot for offshore IT services, the...

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LinkedIn's Hoffman: Impact of Social Networks Will Only Grow

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 1:48 PM

Entrepreneur and investor Reid Hoffman has backed or helped build over 50 ventures, including groundbreaking companies like PayPal, Facebook, Groupon, Flickr, and of course professional networking juggernaut LinkedIn, which he co-founded. So what does one of the country's most prolific investors think about the future of social networking, a phenomenon some say is already dying? "We are in the first inning," Hoffman says. "People are still learning what does it mean to have these networks be a fundamental part of their life." Hoffman believes as people "realize the networked age," any number of possibilities for building new and evolving networks--perhaps around sports, religion, and journalism--will emerge. "There's a variety of still even fundamental social networks to be created," he says.

This video was produced by Techonomy in partnership with

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Ubiquitous Biotech in a Time of Ignorance

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 11:51 AM

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Image via Shutterstock

By Ryan Bethencourt

The human body functions, with all of its flora and fauna, in magnificent ways that we are only now starting to understand. Human cells are outnumbered some three to 10 times by bacterial cells in and...

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Why It's So Hard for Americans to Talk About Science

(20) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 11:17 AM

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Image via Shutterstock

By Meredith Salisbury

Talking about science is a lot harder than it should be. We talk all the time about things we don't fully understand: the polar vortex, how footballs can get underinflated during games, why the Kardashians still...

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Can Open-Source Voting Tech Fix the U.S. Elections System?

(3) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 10:44 AM

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By Ann Babe

American voting technology is trapped in the last millennium. This lifeline to democracy is kept secret -- closed off from public inspection and controlled by large businesses. It is decades old to boot. Our voting...

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Obama's Not-So-Daring Precision Medicine Plan

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 12:39 PM

2015-02-05-09_sotu_2015.jpg Caption: President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

By Meredith Salisbury

For all the attention that President Obama's precision medicine...

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My BRCA Journey: Why Fear of Information Imperils Genetic Testing

(1) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 1:36 PM

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The world breaks down into two camps, my genetic counselor said: people who want information, and people who don't. I've been writing about gene testing and genomics for a long time, but as I navigated my own recent journey in genetic testing, I...

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Computer Science in Vietnam: Counting Down to the Hour of Code

(10) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 1:56 PM

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Caption: Engineers from Intel and educators from Everest Education working with student teams in the Young Makers Challenge.

By Hawkins Pham

In early December, tens of millions of people around the globe, including here in Vietnam, will be coming together to learn basic...

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KeenON: Journalist and NSA Expert Barton Gellman

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 3:56 PM

Techonomy is proud to present KeenON, a series of interviews by techonologist and author Andrew Keen that explores the intersection of tech, business, and culture.

It isn't surprising that Edward Snowden chose then-Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman as one of the earliest recipients of his leaked NSA documents. Gellman is the author of a best-selling book about Dick Cheney as well as many influential articles about the war on terror, and thus was a natural choice for Snowden when he sought a trustworthy journalist to publicize the PRISM materials.

So was Snowden a hero? Not surprisingly, Gellman won't be drawn into such a clichéd analysis. What he does insist, however, is that Snowden was an important figure who has sparked a massively important conversation -- one, in his words, with "legs" -- that is still going on today. It's a subject, Gellman insists, that has not only changed the way that Silicon Valley companies like Google and Twitter do their data business with the U.S. government, but may have changed the nature of journalism. Indeed, it's such a vital subject that Gellman himself is currently writing a book about what he calls our "surveillance-industrial" state of affairs. The book, he says, will break new ground in how we imagine our electronically networked...

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KeenON: A Conversation with International Rescue Committee CEO David Miliband

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 1:41 PM

Techonomy is proud to present KeenON, a series of interviews by techonologist and author Andrew Keen that explores the intersection of tech, business, and culture.

David Miliband, best known as the Miliband sibling who lost the British Labour party to his brother Ed, has a new job. Miliband is now the CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the New York City based organization dedicated to helping victims of war, disease, and natural disasters.

Unfortunately, the IRC is in much demand. "We serve 15 million people each year," Miliband dryly told me when we caught up at Techonomy 2014 in Half Moon Bay, Calif., where he also spoke on a panel with Jack Dorsey about the impact of technology on morality. So does every company, including the IRC, need to be a technology company? And if so, I asked Miliband, what kind of technologies does the IRC need to develop to improve it mission of improving the lives of the most unfortunate people in the world?

While he worries about the impact of networked technology on traditional societies, Miliband was unusually bullish about the impact of technology on social change, believing it to more benign than malign. Networked society is all about "bringing down walls," he told me. Which is why he believes that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989--the same year that Tim Berners-Lee invented the World-Wide Web, represents a triumphant validation of networked society.

This video was produced in partnership with

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Vietnam IT Services Climb the Value Chain

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 1:20 PM

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Caption: An IT worker at Quodisys, a digital production boutique in Ho Chi Minh City (photo: Quodisys)

By Will Greene

Vietnam's IT services sector boomed in recent years as international companies raced to capitalize on the country's considerable base of low-cost...

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KeenON: The New Yorker's James Surowiecki on the Digital Future

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 2:17 PM

Techonomy is proud to present KeenON, a series of interviews by techonologist and author Andrew Keen that explores the intersection of tech, business, and culture.

There are few journalists both more reasonable and more insightful than The New Yorker's James Surowiecki. At Techonomy 2014 in Half Moon Bay last month, Surowiecki moderated the fascinating "Can Tech Bring Equality and Peace?" panel, which included Jack Dorsey and Intel's Genevieve Bell. So it was a real honor to have the opportunity to sit down with Surowiecki and pick his brain about the future of innovation, the Internet, and even death itself.

While Surowiecki is nervous about biotech utopians who believe we can conquer death, he remains relatively optimistic about the state of the digital economy. Uber and Airbnb seem to him to be reasonably valued and he's impressed with Google's relentless charge into other markets. What does worry him, however, is the valuation of WhatsApp and the impact on jobs of this kind of multibillion dollar company with its tiny handful of employees. While he's not concerned with the so-called singularity, Surowiecki believes that there will fewer jobs in the digital future and is particularly worried about the hollowing out of the middle class.

Surowiecki's best-selling 2004 book, The Wisdom of the Crowd, was a classic discourse on the collective intelligence of groups of people in our networked age. But even here, he worries about the echo chamber of the Internet and the role of the mob in stifling dissent. Thus the value, Surowiecki explains, of "weak links," which he sees as being essential to strong networks. And remaining independent is something in which Surowiecki excels--particularly in his ability to make sense of the complexity of economic life without relying on jargon or...

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Manufacturers Struggle to Turn Data Into Insight

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 4:29 PM

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By Jon Sobel

Let's tone down the hype about the Industrial Internet of Things. While the concept shows promise--building smart machines that use sensors and Internet connectivity to improve performance and catch problems--the far more pressing opportunity is learning to...

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Southeast Asia's Health App Explosion

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 3:42 PM

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By Will Greene

Millions of Southeast Asians today lack access to affordable, quality healthcare. As connected devices become increasingly ubiquitous in the region, however, many companies and NGOs are developing innovative eHealth apps to address the problem.

Southeast Asia's healthcare systems...

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