18 “Tech Under Trump” Sessions at SXSW

The Forrest Four-Cast: February 7, 2017

Hugh Forrest
Feb 7, 2017 · 5 min read

Scheduled Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16, the “Tech Under Trump” programming at SXSW 2017 seeks to inform attendees about how the policies of the new administration will impact their industry. Eighteen currently confirmed sessions are as follows:

  1. Blockchain Opportunities Abound: The Next 4 Years! Ashish Gadnis of Banqu Inc feels that the new administration’s limited expertise in the technology sector leaves room for lots of innovation from industry experts. Attend this session to learn more about how this space will evolve. Scheduled for Wednesday, March 15.
  2. Head Fakes and Pivots: Trump Punks Silicon Valley. Futurist comedian, activist, and best-selling “How to Be Black” author Baratunde Thurston gives his take how the Tech Industry failed to predict the current administration and what we can do about it now. He’ll cover why geeks aren’t always the best political analysts as well as offer his opinions on the tech leaders advising the current administration. Scheduled for Wednesday, March 15.
  3. How Will Trump Steer Car and Transportation Tech? This all-star panel explores how the new administration will treat the emerging self-driving car industry. It will also tackle the challenges of alternative-fuel vehicles in an economy that will put a strong emphasis on fossil fuels. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  4. Immigration and Innovation: The Future of H-1B. Following up on what he promised in his campaign, President Trump has begun to implement dramatic and significant changes to US immigration policy. How will these change impact the US tech industry’s ability to hire skilled talent? And could they hinder America’s ability to remain the global leader in tech innovation? Speakers include Molly Wood from Marketplace. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  5. Internet Policy in the Age of Government Inc. Hosted by former Chief Integration and Innovation Officer for Obama for America Michael Slaby, this session will examine how issues such as privacy and net neutrality will shift under this new business-first administration. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.
  6. The Next Four Years of AI. Manoj Saxena from CognitiveScale, Tom Meredith of Meredith Capital and other leaders from this quickly-growing industry discuss the guardrails, governance, policy, accountability, transparency and security that will serve as the underpinnings of responsible artificial intelligence over the next few years. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  7. Our Bright, Jobless Future: Trump Policy vs. AI. Jeffrey Howe, the co-author of “Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future,” discusses the reality of job loss as AI-drive automation absorbs more and more of what currently occupies America’s workforce. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.
  8. Startup Investing During the Trump Years. How will the new administration impact the investment landscape for startups? Will funding options become more plentiful — or less so? If funding options decline, how with this impact the startup ecosystem and America’s future as the world’s top country for innovation? Attend this lively fireside chat between Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Josh Constine of TechCrunch. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.
  9. The State of the Open Internet In the Age of Trump. Quincy Larson’s recent post about Mark Zuckerberg scored more than 7000 likes on Medium. For SXSW, he expands the scope of this argument to cover the changes in Washington DC for 2017 and beyond. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.
  10. Tech Advocates and Trump: Best Strategies So Far. What are the most effective strategies for the tech industry as it tries to get its message to the new administration? Listen as Jeff Joseph of the Consumer Technology Association and several veteran policy influencers talk about their game-plan on getting through to Trump (and how this game-plan differs from what worked with the Obama White House). Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  11. Towards More Human Tech. It’s clearer than ever that the technology industry plays as much as, or even more of, a role in shaping culture as industries like media, entertainment or even politics. With that new power that comes from being one of the wealthiest, most powerful, and most influential industries comes a new set of responsibilities that it finally seems like people in tech are ready to take on. This solo session will led be Anil Dash. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.
  12. Trump, China, and Trade Wars: Tech in the Trenches? with the tech industry increasingly reliant on globalized supply chains, the free flow of data across borders, and international markets to drive growth, what are companies to make of this shifting trade landscape? Could China’s Great Firewall and its concept of “digital sovereignty” become the new trading norm? And will changes in American trade policy unsettle the established economic order? This expert panel will discuss the new Administration’s tough stance on trade, and how actions here at home could impact new forms of innovation in a mobile, networked, data intensive and cloud-based world. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  13. Trump Means Millennials Must Dive Into Politics. Millennials will be disproportionately affected by Trump Administration policy, yet they have no place at the decision-making tables throughout government. In this solo presentation, 25-year-old activist and non-profit founder Erin Schrode covers the best strategies for young people to get more engaged in the political process. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.
  14. Virtual Reality: The Make It or Break It Years. Will the new administration help or hinder the nascent VR industry? Will VR be the technology we use to escape a dystopian future, or can it be used to build a new better world? Austin VR expert Patrick Curry leads this fascinating panel discussion. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  15. The War at Home: Trump and the Mainstream Media. Armed with an arsenal of alternative facts, the new administration seems committed to a long and protracted battle with the press. In this panel, Matthew Dowd, Dan Rather, Katy Tur and Brian Stelter discuss how journalists should re-approach their craft to give the public the information that it needs. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  16. Why Tech Must Lead on Diversity and Inclusion Now. Now more than ever is the time for the tech industry to stand up for inclusion across America. In this session, Melinda Epler and Wayne Sutton (pictured above) will discuss key findings in working with leading tech companies on diversity and inclusion, plus share their strategies for taking action now. Scheduled Wednesday, March 15.
  17. With Extreme Bias: Consuming Media in the Trump Era. For this solo presentation, NextDraft’s Dave Pell tracks more than 75 (real) news sites day and will talk about the state of news — including what we consume, what we share, and how the rules of the game are being rewritten during the Trump era. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.
  18. Media Is the Problem: It’s Also Part of the Solution. Upworthy’s Eli Pariser shares what he has learned in nearly two decades of organizing and storytelling about how to use stories to help Davids beat Goliaths, bring people together across divides, and make the world better. Scheduled Thursday, March 16.

Stay tuned to the online schedule over the next few days as we add a few more sessions to the March 15–16 “Tech Under Trump” lineup.

Otherwise, be sure to purchase your badge for SXSW 2017 before prices increase by $100 at the end of the day on Friday, February 10. We’ve tweaked the event considerably over the last few months, so you’ll want to review these many improvements before you buy.

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.

Hugh Forrest

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Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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