Last week I had the pleasure of attending a conference titled "Here Be Dragons: Governing a Technologically Uncertain Future." It was put together by the Future Tense, a partnership of the New America Foundation, Slate, and Arizona State University.  The speakers and panels focused on how innovations within synthetic biology and the internet are helping shape US public policy and regulation of the private sector. While these are not topics we normally cover here at the Bivings Report, I think the intersection of tech innovation, business, and government regulation is a fascinating topic.

This one and a half day conference looked at the emergence of Synthetic Biology and proliferation of the internet as two case studies for the challenges associated with (government) regulation of the private sector. Mobile computing and the state of the social web was used as the more ‘mature’ of the two examples – with #SynBio being the nascent science. Consumers are affected daily by ecommerce on a daily basis, but currently,  very little government regulation stands in the way of monopolies consumer fraud online. This is not to mention the alphabet soup of federal agencies that watch over incredibly small portions of the internet (such as the FCC, FTC, DHS, DOJ, and NTI  – just to name a few).

Some of the most notable panels and videos of the conference included:

  • Groping for the Online Master Switch: The Elusive Quest to Govern the Internet [Video]
  • Can Technology Policy be Democratic? [Video]
  • Can Washington Keep Up With the Next Big Thing? [Video]
  • as well as  The Dragons Online: The Internet’s Coming Surprises [Video]

You can watch the highlights and steam of the conference proceedings in the video below:

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