History of the Annual Flagship Conference

For over twenty years, Silicon Flatirons has been a force that inspires and drives an inclusive and comprehensive approach to technology law, policy, and entrepreneurship. At the University of Colorado Law School, Silicon Flatirons has built a home to support a robust community of local, national, and international stakeholders tackling complex and rapidly developing issues at the confluence of technology, entrepreneurship, and law.

Founded in 1999 by current Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, Silicon Flatirons started by hosting a conference series focused solely on technology policy. Our first conference, Telecommunications Law for the Twenty-First Century, gathered an impressive group of academics, governmental officials, and leaders from industry to join a set of conversations about the emerging policy responses to the internet.

We are proud of our history of convening influential people from across sectors to debate urgent issues and seed the solutions. Our first conference developed into the annual Digital Broadband Migration (DBM) Conference, which Vinton Cerf called “the Davos of telecom.” The history of this conference, largely published in the Colorado Technology Law Journal for 17 years, provides an important record of leading discussions, including the first about “network neutrality” regulation. Indeed, the term was coined by Tim Wu at our conference.

The DBM held its final event in 2017, and the scope of our flagship conference has since expanded to topics in law and technology in general. The event has continued to bring together a diverse group of experts to study intersectional issues in the technology sector to find new paths for collaboration and progress.

Annual conference attendees last met in person in 2020 on Technology Optimism and Pessimism, while the 2021 session convened virtually on Trust and Trustworthiness in the Tech Sector and 2022 hosted a special virtual fireside chat between Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

The 2023 session of our annual conference returned to the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, as the commercial Internet aged past the quarter-century mark of its inception. A range of speakers from academia, government, civil society, and industry trained their attention on the good, the bad and the ugly—where we have come from and where we are headed as we grapple with the challenges created by the Internet’s midlife crisis.

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