Silicon Flatirons’ recent iteration of its annual conference occurred February 9-10, 2020, with a focus on “Technology Optimism and Pessimism.” The outcomes report is available here.
The annual flagship event convened in the Wittemyer Courtroom of the Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado Boulder. The event hosted over 200 leaders in government, business, academia, and civil society, as well as students from the University of Colorado and Colorado Law. Experts came together to discuss questions and ideas raised by “Technology Optimism and Pessimism.”
The two-day conference began with a morning dedicated to in-depth examinations of developments in the technology sector that inspire optimism and pessimism. The latter half of the day was spent on deep dives into technology and democracy as well as the use of business as a force for good in society. Day two featured a two-part panel that facilitated a thorough analysis to identify key themes from the first day and discuss potential paths forward.
Between these panels, five keynote sessions added additional depth and color to the conversations. Congressman Joe Neguse, an alum of Colorado Law, engaged in a discussion with BEN Colorado Director Kay Henze on his own approach to the technology sector and the work of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, while private sector veteran and consultant Anne Toth offered an optimistic vision of the future. Colorado Attorney General and Silicon Flatirons founder Phil Weiser led a riveting conversation with Futurist and Author Karl Schroeder, Historian Patty Limerick, and Professor Casey Fiesler. Finally, FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly discussed the role of government in a world of rapidly evolving technologies while FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, in conversation with Professor Nathan Schneider, analyzed what remedies are–or should be–available when companies engage in bad behavior.