Dear Silicon Flatirons Friends and Supporters,
On Sunday and Monday of this week, Silicon Flatirons welcomed more than 250 leaders from government, academia, and industry for our annual Digital Broadband Migration Conference: Evaluating the First Principles of Information Policy. Below I will summarize key outcomes; I would also encourage you to view the video recording and presentations for yourself.
With a new Administration taking stock of the policy landscape, the conference examined four goals often advanced in the information policy field: competition, innovation, equity, and managing risk/maintaining resilience in critical infrastructure. I am grateful for our speakers who shared their time and knowledge with us, most of them traveling some distance to be here.
Throughout the conference, the panelists identified moments where technological change created challenges for policymakers, ranging from competition policy to cybersecurity preparedness. In a theme that often is discussed at these conferences, we discussed whether the policy landscape is allowing for new entrants and innovation in established markets.
When addressing the institutional side of information policy, panelists agreed that regulators need to find ways to be innovative and experiment with new approaches. This topic is a core interest of mine, as entrepreneurship in government is a central focus of my current research and Silicon Flatirons recently launched the Governmental Entrepreneurial Leadership Accelerator to help governments innovate.
The discussion of equity evaluated how the information revolution is not yet working for all Americans and that there is important work to do on addressing the digital divide. With respect to the role of risk and resilience in telecommunications policy, the participants discussed the challenges of developing an “anti-fragile” network.
Tom Wheeler, who stepped down as Chairman of the FCC last month, provided our closing keynote. He told us “to look forward, not backward” by moving toward Web 3.0. He advocated for a “pull,” rather than “push,” economy, where users focus on the “delivery of intelligence, not just information.” In particular, he identified three components that are necessary to make Web 3.0 a reality: counter-party trust, by identifying and validating every device; analytic capability, by making use of all the available data; and the elimination of network vulnerability through cybersecurity developments.
At Silicon Flatirons, we convene thought leaders and foster elevated conversations around telecommunications policy. If you have reflections or feedback on topics discussed at our First Principles of Information Policy conference, or ways in which we can improve next year, please contact me at Phil.Weiser@colorado.edu.