Intelligence Squared US Debates Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul from Techonomy on November 11 | Shore Fire Media

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6 November, 2018Print

Intelligence Squared US Debates Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul from Techonomy on November 11

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul" from Techonomy on November 11

Silicon Valley once promised to solve many of the world’s problems with a socially-conscious technological revolution. But recently, some argue the tech hub's idealist mission has been corrupted due to a series of scandals including election-influencing fake news, privacy violations, a lack of diversity, and exploiting users as a product by selling their personal data to advertisers. Others, though, argue that Silicon Valley remains the center of innovation, and that the tech giants continue to revolutionize the way we think, shop, communicate, and experience our lives for the better. This Sunday, November 11, debate series Intelligence Squared U.S., in partnership with the Techonomy 2018 conference, will address these questions with a debate the motion "Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul."

Tech journalist and author Noam Cohen, who covers the influence of digital technologies on global culture and the economy, teams up with Harvard’s Dipayan Ghosh, who led strategic efforts to address privacy and security at Facebook and served as a technology adviser in the Obama White House, to argue for the motion. They’ll face Silicon Valley historian and author Leslie Berlin and her partner, technologist Joshua McKenty, the founding chief architect of NASA Nebula and current VP of the systems advisory group at Pivotal.

The debate will be held at this weekend's Techonomy conference outside San Francisco. Video of the debate will be posted IQ2US's website shortly after, then it will air as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast "Intelligence Squared U.S."


WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul"

WHEN: Sunday, November 11 / 8:30-10 PM PT

WHERE: Techonomy Conference / The Ritz-Carlton / 1 Miramontes Point Rd / Half Moon Bay, CA 



Arguing For the Motion


* Noam Cohen: Journalist & Author, "The Know-It-Alls"

Noam Cohen is a journalist and the author of "The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball." From 2007 to 2013, he wrote the New York Times' "Link By Link" column, which covered the influence of digital technologies on global culture and the economy, including some of the Times’ earliest coverage of Wikipedia, Bitcoin, and Twitter. Since then, Cohen’s op-eds in the Times have exposed the ties between Silicon Valley’s disruptive values and Donald Trump’s candidacy and election.


* Dipayan Ghosh: Pozen Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School

Dipayan Ghosh is the Pozen Fellow the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center, where he works on digital privacy, artificial intelligence, and civil rights. Ghosh previously worked on global privacy and public policy issues at Facebook, where he led strategic efforts to address privacy and security. Prior, Ghosh was a technology and economic policy advisor in the Obama White House. He served across the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council, where he worked on issues concerning big data’s impact on consumer privacy and the digital economy. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science at Cornell University.



Arguing Against the Motion


* Leslie Berlin: Historian, Silicon Valley Archives & Author, Stanford University 

Leslie Berlin is a historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University and the author, most recently, of “Troublemakers: Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age.” She has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences and served on the advisory committee to the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Leslie has been a “Prototype” columnist for the New York Times and has commented on Silicon Valley for the Wall Street Journal, NPR, PBS, the BBC, The Atlantic and Wired, among other outlets.


* Joshua McKenty: Vice President, Pivotal 

Joshua McKenty is vice president of the systems advisory group at Pivotal, where he works with Fortune 100 customers who seek to transition to a cloud native architecture. An entrepreneur and technologist, he is the co-founder of OpenStack and Piston (acquired by Cisco), and was the founding chief architect of NASA Nebula, the federal government’s first cloud computing platform. He was the team lead for the development of Netscape 8 as well as AOL’s IE AIM toolbar, and Joint CTO at Mercurial Communications. More recently, McKenty led the IT efforts and successful first release of OpenQuake, an open-source software application allowing users to compute seismic hazard, seismic risk, and the socio-economic impact of earthquakes.


A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 150 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.



Techonomy is a media company with a mission: to elevate the dialogue about the central role of technology and innovation in social and economic progress. Through events, daily editorial coverage and video content, Techonomy seeks to accelerate progress and productivity in business and society.


The 8th annual Techonomy retreat will take place at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay from November 11 – 13. This year’s theme, “Harnessing Tech for Responsible Growth,” explores the role of technology and business in addressing some of the world’s largest societal and economic challenges.


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For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Ray Padgett or Mark Satlof at Shore Fire Media.