Techonomy Detroit Covers Impact Of Tech On American Cities

DETROIT — Techonomy, a New York-based conference and media group, will host its fourth annual Techonomy Detroit conference Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.

The conference will examine how technological advances in transportation, education, health care and government are driving the social and economic evolution of our cities.

Techonomy officials say they are assembling all-star speakers to look at what cities mean today and the evolving role they’ll have tomorrow for citizens, businesses and institutions, for jobs, work, play, culture and community. Experts will give briefings on the future of work, the interconnectivity of ideas, innovation and improvisation and more.

Confirmed speakers include:
Carl Bass, president and CEO, Autodesk
Bill Hoffman, head of data-driven development, World Economic Forum
Jennifer Crozier, vice president, global citizenship initiatives, IBM
Annmarie Levins, general manager, technology & civic engagement, Microsoft
Mark Bertolini, chairman and CEO, Aetna Inc.
Andrew Yang, founder and CEO, Venture for America
Elizabeth Baron, virtual reality and advanced visualization technical specialist, Ford Motor Co.
Kanwalinder Singh, senior vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies
John Webb, user experience researcher, Google Civic Innovation
Raj Batra, president, Siemens digital factory division, U.S., Siemens
Beth Niblock, CIO, City of Detroit

The conference integrates a number of different formats, allowing for interactive, engaging dialogue and discussion throughout. Topics will include:
Is Silicon Valley Today’s Motor City? New, agile entrants are pushing the boundaries of how tomorrow’s cars will run (on their own), what they’ll do (everything), and what they’ll be (an iPhone with wheels?) What does it mean to be an automaker of the future and who is driving that change?
Can We Hack Our Way to the Cities We Need? The digital economy and tech are transforming American cities. There are apps and hacks for every problem. But the resulting benefits are incomplete. Can we create enough jobs? Is access getting fairer? Healthcare improving? Transit? What more can cities and citizens do to inclusively reinvent themselves for this interconnected, technologized era?
Movements, Cities and Economic Development: What if makers started making more than things? What if they started making policies and services? What if the maker ethos made its way into government? Could a bottom-up model, with everyday citizens more actively engaged, drive economic development and redefine what cities mean today and going forward?
Mapping Detroit’s Information Ecosystem: A robust and dynamic, inclusive information ecosystem is critical to the ability of any city to serve its citizens. As more and more public data becomes available, people do not lack information. But mounds of data alone are not enough; humans and their communities are still actors in the system. How can we design systems and content that are truly of benefit, trusted and usable?

This year’s opening reception Sept. 14 will also feature the first Autodesk Design Night hosted outside of San Francisco. Techonomy has also partnered with Venture for America to help them kick off City as a Startup (CaaS) on Sept. 16, their annual conference that brings together leaders from startups, the public sector, and beyond, for a conversation on the intersection of entrepreneurship, urban development and emerging technology.

Techonomy Detroit partners include Ford, Autodesk, Monster, Microsoft, Edelman, Steelcase, Venture for America and Wayne State Law School.

For more information on the program, visit

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