• Completed: April 9, 2020 PST

    One Plan that Can Solve Both the Pandemic & Climate Emergency at the Same Time

    Almost overnight America has gone from a booming economy and full employment to an economy in free-fall and mass unemployment that soon will reach levels last seen at the height of The Great Depression. We are now in the midst of a pandemic emergency that may take trillions of dollars to solve. But the country is still in the midst of a slower moving but potentially more destructive climate emergency that also must be solved. Saul Griffith thinks now is the time to kill two birds with one stone with the ultimate infrastructure bill.

    Participants: Saul Griffith
  • Completed: April 7, 2020 PST

    Our Moment of Radical Uncertainty and the Extreme Scenarios We Now Face

    The coronavirus crisis arguably has thrown the world into a moment of profound uncertainty last seen in 1941 and the early years of World War II. This is the perfect time to use the proven tool of scenario planning in order to better understand the possible scenarios that lie ahead. And so we had a deep conversation with Peter Schwartz, an internationally renowned scenario planner who is the Chief Futures Officer and Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning at Salesforce. He led a team of people inside and outside Salesforce to quickly develop scenarios as the coronavirus crisis mushroomed.

    Participants: Peter Schwartz
  • Completed: March 5, 2020 PST

    Where the Long Symbiotic Relationship of Tech & Media Might End Up

    Kara Swisher has watched the rise of tech and the fall of media since the beginning of the trouble with the arrival of the Internet in the mid-1990s. She knows better than almost anyone how entangled the two industries are from her long prominent perch as a well-known tech journalist. Kara can lay out that story and make the definitive analysis of what’s going on today and potentially in the future like almost no other. Her storied career covering the tech business began with the Wall Street Journal. She regularly interviewed the top tech titans and media moguls at her “D: All Things Digital” conference. She’s gone on to co-found Recode that was acquired by Vox. And she’s now got one of the rare slots as an opinion columnist for the New York Times. Watch what she has to say now.

    Participants: Kara Swisher
  • Completed: February 18, 2020 PST

    The Future of Food, Alternative Meats, and Many Materials

    If you take the really big picture view, and look ahead over the coming decades, the biggest technological development of our time could well be synthetic biology, our ability to now engineer biological systems. To catch up, you can start by sinking your teeth into an Impossible Burger. Alternative meats, whether plant-based like the Impossible Burger or cell-based and grown in vats, make up one of the first waves of products that has moved off the speculative drawing boards and into the actual public marketplace to give people some taste of what’s to come. This future of food, which is a harbinger to the future of bio-materials and an entire bio-economy, is the subject of this What’s Now: San Francisco event with Liz Specht, Director of Science and Technology at the Good Food Institute.

    Participants: Liz Specht
  • Completed: November 19, 2019 PST

    Today’s Tech Unicorns May Be the New Dotcoms Heading for a Crash

    Will the year 2020 be another 2000 for tech investors who seem to have forgotten the lessons of the great Dotcom crash from just 20 years ago? Scott Galloway feels that the way investors are treating tech unicorns gearing up for IPOs today seems eerily similar to how they treated dotcom companies in 1999 in the run-up to that disaster.

    Participants: Scott Galloway
  • Completed: November 14, 2019 PST

    A Path to Humane Technology – with Tristan Harris

    Tristan Harris believes that many technology companies have gone too far. They are tapping into base desires and fears hardwired into our primitive animal brains to keep people hooked on social media. The result is what he calls “human downgrading” which is leading to a wide range of social ills, from depression to political polarization. Harris is a world expert on how technology steers us all, the former Design Ethicist at Google who left to co-found the Center for Humane Technology, and he was our featured guest at What’s Now: San Francisco in November.

    Participants: Tristan Harris
  • Completed: September 18, 2019 PST

    The Real Timetable for Robust AI that We can All Trust

    The media world is filled with breathless accounts of how artificial intelligence soon will transform almost all fields, take away countless human jobs, and keep improving until, by some accounts, AI ends up running the planet as our overlords. Gary Marcus is here to reset the conversation with a more realistic assessment of the actual capability of AI today, in the next few years, and in the decades to come too. He’s the co-author of the brand new book Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust, and our featured guest at the September What’s Now: San Francisco.

    Participants: Gary Marcus
  • Completed: July 18, 2019 EST

    The Many Ways We Will Soon Be Talking to Robots

    What if in the near future the must-have gift for a one-year-old was a robot Teddy Bear that could be playmate, teacher, security guard – all in one? Would it be lauded as the wonder tool of early childhood development and childcare? Or would it be feared as way too creepy? And who would program what the robot said every day in every situation to that young mind – parents or some engineer? These are the kinds of questions that David Ewing Duncan explores in his new book Talking to Robots, Tales from Our Human-Robot Futures, and that he will lay out in conversation as our featured guest at our next What’s Next: New York.

    Participants: David Ewing Duncan
  • Completed: June 27, 2019 PST

    The Co-Founder of 23andMe on the Next Phase of Consumer Genetic Testing

    Few people have as much perspective on what average people can know about their genetic makeup both now and in the near future than Linda Avey, the co-founder of the pioneering biotech company 23andMe. That company offered the world’s first personal genetics service and its method of using saliva and working directly with consumers earned the award of Time Magazine’s Invention of the Year in 2008. It also set off a wave of competition and growth in the field throughout the developing world. Ten years later Avey has co-founded a new company that is positioned for the next phase of expanding easy access to genetic testing in the developing world, particularly in India. And this month Avey will share her thoughts on the state of genetic testing in developed and developing world alike as our next featured guest at What’s Now: San Francisco.

    Participants: Linda Avey
  • Completed: May 16, 2019 EST

    How the World of Hardware Will Soon Transform Like Software

    Hardware is the new software – or will be soon. Working in the world of software today is relatively easy and fluid compared to a decade or two ago. Many basic software components are modular, are freely shared through open source, and can make use of standardized interfaces and APIs that allow easy interoperability. That is not the case in the world of hardware today. Tools in the manufacturing process do not link together like software. Companies actually work to prevent others from quickly and easily building off their hardware tools and products. Yet that may soon change. That’s the message of Nick Pinkston, the young founder of two successful startups that applied advanced software to accelerate the manufacturing of hardware, and who will be our featured guest of the next What’s Now: New York event.

    Participants: Nick Pinkston
  • Completed: March 14, 2019 PST

    Our Best Shot at Creating a Future of Shared, Electric, Autonomous Transport

    Tim Papandreou wants to give everyone a healthy wake-up call that society is on the verge of a once-in-a-lifetime transition to a transportation system that is shared, electric and automated. And all three of these major shifts in 21st century transport are already happening and will be realized in the next 10 years. Papandreou, the former manager of strategic partnerships at Google X and Waymo, key leaders in the development of automated vehicles, will deliver his wake-up call as our featured guest at the next What’s Now: San Francisco at Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange.

    Participants: Timothy Papandreou
  • Completed: January 16, 2019 PST

    Fixing our Broken Online Advertising Ecosystem from Facebook to Amazon

    America’s got a fundamental problem with how information flows through its  economy and society. Encouraged by a light touch regulatory framework, early internet business models – from Amazon to Facebook –  have metastasized, in the process creating an information architecture that’s proven toxic to our society. As John Battelle, our guest at the January What’s Now: New York event, sees it, the problem comes down to who controls the flow of information in our increasingly interconnected world. But to understand that flow, we first have to visualize it, then we must imagine alternatives.

    Participants: John Battelle
  • Completed: December 6, 2018 EST

    The Future of Mass Consumer Desires Via Millennial Hipsters Today

    Almost all businesses – from early stage investors to small firms to multinational corporations – wrestle with some form of trying to figure out what leading consumers really want now, and what the bulk of consumers will obviously want tomorrow. Soraya Darabi, our next guest at What’s Now: New York, is a bonafide expert in figuring out what’s cool now that’s coming next. The relatively young entrepreneur co-founded a couple highly successful venture-backed businesses, the retail startup Zady, one of Fast Company’s top 10 most innovative retail companies in 2014, and the Foodspotting app, acquired by OpenTable.

    Participants: Soraya Darabi
  • Completed: November 28, 2018 PST

    Practical Policy Plans for Solving Climate Change Now

    Almost two years ago environmentalist Paul Hawken used a What’s Now: San Francisco event to launch Project Drawdown that identified 100 of the best ways to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and start to reverse global warming. In our November 28th What’s Now event, energy expert Hal Harvey takes the next step by laying out the best policies that could be enacted right now to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with climate change. Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation, is one of the field’s most respected thought leaders who is known for giving practical, realistic advice about climate policy to government officials, cities, states, utilities, and energy-conscious businesses.

    Participants: Hal Harvey
  • Completed: November 14, 2018 PST

    Will China Supersede Silicon Valley in the Next Era of AI?

    Kai-Fu Lee, our guest at the next What’s Now: San Francisco, thinks China is poised to supersede the United States and lead the way into the next era of AI. Lee makes a compelling case that China is better positioned to drive the practical applications of AI through the economy. Lee will be traveling from China to the San Francisco Bay Area and will anchor a conversation with our community, including many locals working in AI who might challenge his argument.

    Participants: Kai-Fu Lee
  • Completed: September 24, 2018 EST

    From Today’s Traffic Congestion to the Future of Urban Mobility

    Traffic congestion in New York City is bad, but it soon could be much better. Really. Take it from Robin Chase, the co-founder of Zipcar who now leads NUMo, the New Urban Mobility Alliance, our featured guest at September’s What’s Now: New York. One way to understand the current urban mobility problem in New York City and many cities around the world is to see our transportation system trapped between two paradigms. The old paradigm was organized for the last century around personal cars, while the new paradigm that’s emerging will be based on shared modalities, newly easy and convenient because of  technology.

    Participants: Robin Chase