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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

Wisely Harnesses Spending for a Local Business Guide

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 11:31 AM

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By  and  

In anticipation of our Techonomy Detroit conference on September 16, we are profiling Detroit-area tech startups that are driving the city's re-emergence as a center of innovation. (To register...

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Upstart's P2P Lending Platform Aims at Young Borrowers

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 4:53 PM

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By Adam Ludwig

For would-be borrowers with little credit history, getting a loan can be a nightmare. But one important group of applicants are young, well educated, and entrepreneurial--and would probably be favorable credit risks. Dave Girouard, CEO of the online...

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Talking to "Biologist's Imagination" Author William Hoffman

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 2:32 PM

By Meredith Salisbury

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In a new book called "The Biologist's Imagination," authors William Hoffman and Leo Furcht from the University of Minnesota Medical School take a spin through the history of biological innovation in an effort to...

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Benzinga: The Detroit-based Online Investing Tool for Average Joes

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 8:07 PM

By Wayne Lam and Adam Ludwig

In anticipation of our Techonomy Detroit conference on September 16, we are profiling Detroit-area tech startups that are driving the city's re-emergence as a center of innovation. (To register for the conference, click here.)

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Inventing Outside of the Box

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 11:59 AM

By Adrienne Burke

Steven Norris, an editor at Gearburn--a Cape Town, South Africa website chronicling "the latest gadget news from around the world"--admits to being endlessly amused by "staggeringly cool technology videos" that reveal how designers transform ugly tech devices into "eye-pleasing shapes." As a favor to those who share his fascination, yesterday Norris shared 13 videos "of incredible inventions that show off their makers' insane intelligence."

His picks? We agree they're all staggeringly cool, but suggest that their inventors are likely quite sane geniuses and, perhaps with the exception of number 8, practical people:

1. A 3D shape-shifting display from the MIT Media Lab called inForm lets users physically interact with digital information.

2. Word Lens, a mobile app from Quest Visual, now part of Google, uses your phone camera to translate the written text of any language.

3. AirDog, a $1,300 "auto-follow action sports drone," takes the selfie to entirely new levels. One of its inventors says the device "changes how action sports enthusiasts capture their most epic moments."

4. RAY, a sensor-guided robotic forklift from Serva Transport Systems, automates car parking.

5. CreoPop, an Indiegogo-funded pen developed at Singapore's National Design Center, lets users draw 3D objects using elastic, magnetic, aromatic, and color-changing cool ink instead of melted plastic.

6. The Shot View app and wearable technology from Austin-based Tracking Point brings Google-glass to guns to let a gunman hit a target from around a corner.

7. The Zuta Pocket Printer, funded with half a million dollars on Kickstarter, fits in a purse and prints from any device onto any sized page.

8. LEGO obsessed JK Brickworks has developed a functional computer keyboard retrofitted with LEGO pieces.

9. Mythbusters' Adam Savage demonstrates a remote controlled robotic spider, made from 3D printed parts, by the Hong Kong company Robugtix.

10. A $490 silver sphere for your desktop looks like a work of art while functioning as a 1 terabyte wireless hard drive. From LaCie, designed by Christophle.

11. Wouter Scheublin's Walking Table just needs a human push to get moving.

12. An intelligent toothbrush from Kolibree communicates with your smartphone to track duration, frequency, and neglected zones in your daily brushing performance.

13. And last, but not least, a robotic bee developed at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences could be the future of plant pollination, traffic monitoring, and more.

Original article published on

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Bitcoin Momentum Grows in Emerging Markets

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 4:59 PM

By Min-Si Wang

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[Image via Shutterstock]

Bitcoin is gradually making progress as a medium of exchange in developing countries. While it can be volatile as an investment asset, it has real utility as an instrument for payment and money transfer, especially...

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Electronics Manufacturers Bet Big on Vietnam

(41) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 10:48 AM

By Will Greene

2014-07-25-shutterstock_160390868.jpg Image via Shutterstock

Attracted by low labor costs and other advantages, global electronics manufacturers invested billions in Vietnam over the past few years. As they continue to build new factories in 2014, Vietnam's economy will benefit...

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A Food Waste Reduction Movement Gathers Steam

(1) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 1:59 PM

By Leslie Pascaud

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[Image via Shutterstock]

Americans today are paying closer attention to food waste, long a European concern. Helping them reduce that waste is an important new opportunity for food and restaurant brands. Like Ikea and EasyJet, who...

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Diagnosing the First Patient: Genomics to the Rescue

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 11:03 AM

By Meredith Salisbury


Nic Volker. Beatrice Rienhoff. Alexis and Noah Beery.

If you happen to be a scientist or clinician in the genomics field, you already know the topic of this article just from those four names. Each is a child who suffered from a mysterious...

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Innovation Hubs Are Accelerating American Manufacturing

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 3:40 PM

By Bill Dietrick

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[Image via Shutterstock]

There's a renaissance underway in American manufacturing. Even as rising wages and energy costs in China are leading more U.S. companies to bring manufacturing stateside, economic indicators point towards real industrial progress. The

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Paranoia Muddies Media's View of Bitcoin's Potential

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 3:23 PM

By Ulf Gartzke and Steve Ehrlich

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[Image via Shutterstock]

European financial regulators just took a positive step to engage directly with the disruptive effects of the growing cryptocurrency ecosystem, but you might not have realized that. The

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A Class Discovery Platform: By Students, for Students

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 3:14 PM

By Wayne Lam

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Today, you can use an app to hail a cab or to have groceries delivered within an hour, but college students still use outdated academic services for even simple tasks like signing up for classes, arranging...

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The Convergence of Medical and Consumer Health Apps

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:37 AM

By Paul Bennett

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[CAPTION: Image via Shutterstock]

Consumer healthcare apps linked to smartphones or wearable devices are growing in popularity, and forthcoming offerings from Apple and Google are likely to draw more attention to the field. These systems allow...

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Individualized Cancer Treatment Coming -- But Only If Underdogs Prevail

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 11:32 AM

By Meredith Salisbury

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[CAPTION: Image via Shutterstock]

Decades ago, "personalized medicine" meant "don't give penicillin to the person who is fatally allergic to it." Today, the phrase is shorthand for the ambitious but achievable concept of targeting medications to a specific...

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Can Synthetic Biology Survive in a World Haunted by "Frankenfood"?

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 5:29 PM

By Meredith Salisbury

There is nothing that turns the collective stomach quite like the word "Frankenfood." As rallying cries go, this one is brilliant in its simplicity: three little syllables, nice alliteration, and even an allusion to a literary and cinematic monster--all crunched into one word. It's an...

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Big Potential for Vietnam's IT Services

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 1:10 PM

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Vietnam's IT workers enjoy competitive salaries and comfortable workplaces.

By Will Greene

Vietnam plays a small role in global IT services today, but it has big potential to contribute more in coming years. Many Vietnamese IT companies and policymakers want...

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Who Owns Your Genetic Data? Hint: It's Probably Not You

(3) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 6:05 PM

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Image via Shutterstock

By Meredith Salisbury

As we move closer to an era when a sequence of every human genome is the norm, an important question looms: who will own this data? It seems intuitive to many of us that each...

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The Coming Era of Personal Genomics

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 9:18 AM

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Image via Shutterstock

By Meredith Salisbury

If the idea of having everyone's genome sequenced at birth brings to mind images from "Blade Runner" or "Gattaca", you're not alone. The tremendous potential of understanding and using genomic information from birth to...

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How Big Can Zuckerberg Make the Net?

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 1:24 PM

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Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick (l) interviews Mark Zuckerberg onstage in February at the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (Photo copyright 2014 GSMA)

By David Kirkpatrick

How much difference can one company make? Mark Zuckerberg appears to be setting out to...

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As Fitbits for Feelings Emerge, Whither Empathy?

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

By Eri Gentry


Search Google for "empathy + technology" and you'll read that "Studies have shown that increased dependence on technology has resulted in the diminishing of empathy," and " The Internet desensitizes us to shocking images, diminishing our empathy." Meanwhile,

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