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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

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

(10) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 2:56 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 | 4:56 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 | 2:41 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 | 2:20 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 | 3:17 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 | 5:29 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 | 4:42 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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Rebuilding the American Dream in a Global, Networked Economy

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 9:57 AM

We've asked speakers at our upcoming Techonomy Detroit conference to share perspectives on topics they will discuss at the event relating to U.S. economic growth, jobs, and urban renewal. (To register for the conference, click here.)

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By Philip...

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Detroit's LevelEleven Revs Sales Motivation

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 9:53 AM

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.

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By Adam Ludwig

What do you do as a manager when the conventional means of...

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Sharing Bikes Can Lead to a Sustainable World

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2014 | 12:54 PM

We've asked speakers at our upcoming Techonomy Detroit conference to share perspectives on topics they will discuss at the event relating to U.S. economic growth, jobs, and urban renewal. (To register for the conference, click here.)

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By Jeff...

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Detroit Needs Talented People... and It's Getting Them

(1) Comments | Posted September 14, 2014 | 12:46 PM

We've asked speakers at our upcoming Techonomy Detroit conference to share perspectives on topics they will discuss at the event relating to U.S. economic growth, jobs, and urban renewal. (To register for the conference, click here.)

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By Andrew...

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How Open Data Is Transforming City Life

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 12:55 PM

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Image via Shutterstock

We've asked speakers at our upcoming Techonomy Detroit conference to share perspectives on topics they will discuss at the event relating to U.S. economic growth, jobs, and urban renewal. (To register for the conference, click here.)

By Joel...

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How Detroit Turned Me into a Coder and Entrepreneur

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 1:16 PM

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

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By Kate Catlin

There are three...

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Detroit's Stik Helps Companies Find Their Biggest Advocates

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 12:46 PM

By Wayne Lam and Adam Ludwig

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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.

When we have important "life administration" decisions...

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Governments and Sharing: Lessons from the UK's Beyond Jobs Project

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 1:04 PM

By Wingham Rowan

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(Image via Shutterstock)

What can governments do to boost the sharing economy? What would be their incentive to do so? Where are the commercial opportunities if public policy were to fully embrace sharing transactions?

I have spent...

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Are Scientists Selfish?

(2) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 5:53 PM

By Meredith Salisbury

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(Image via Shutterstock)

We often hear that scientists hoard data, refusing to share information even when doing so might speed advances to patients in dire need. (We touched on it briefly in this piece and it was a major...

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Could Reprogrammed Cells Fight 'Untreatable' Diseases?

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 4:11 PM

By Ciara Curtin

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Loring (front row, center) with the Loring Lab Group at the Center for Regenerative Medicine

Jeanne Loring and her Scripps Research Institute colleagues transplanted a set of cells into the spinal cords of mice that had lost...

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Detroit's Chalkfly Brings Social Good to Office Supplies

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 3:26 PM

By  and 

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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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Wisely Harnesses Spending for a Local Business Guide

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 12:31 PM

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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 | 5:53 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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