• 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
  • Completed: September 13, 2018 PST

    Could Tech Rethink the Value of Data and Who Profits from It?

    One way to understand the plight of the tech world right now is to pull back and understand the field of economics in the last 400 years. For much of that time the field has debated where value in the economy actually comes from – such as land, labor, capital. According to economist Mariana Mazzucato, our featured guest at our next What’s Now: San Francisco, it is necessary first to publicly debate what is really adding value to our economy so that we can create a new form of capitalism that works for us all, including in the tech industry.

    Participants: Mariana Mazzucato
  • Completed: August 7, 2018 EST

    How Machine Learning Will Accelerate Innovation in New Ways

    First the good news: the world is going through an explosion of knowledge in pretty much every industry and field. Every day 10,000 new scientific papers are published, just in English, to give just one example. Now the bad news: No human being in any field can possibly keep up with all that new knowledge production. Most authors are aware of less than 1 percent of information related to their topic. Here’s the even worse news: Most innovation comes from connecting up insights across multiple fields. But now for the really good news: Artificial Intelligence has arrived just in time to augment our human brains and help us master that explosion of knowledge and consequently accelerate innovation in every industry and every field.

    Participants: Brian Sager
  • Completed: July 18, 2018 PST

    How the Tech World is now Transforming the Sports World

    What started out as a simple game of shooting a ball through a hoop has turned into a high-tech juggernaut. The NBA, more than any other professional sports league, has attracted owners from the tech world, built super high-tech stadiums, and adopted big-data analytics and other tech tools to run the business. No team is more representative of this trend than the Sacramento Kings – who built a state-of-the-art stadium that won Best Elite Sports Facility in the world by the Sports Technology Awards in 2017. Our July What’s Now: San Francisco will feature Chris Kelly, one of the major owners who bought the Kings in 2013 and who now sits on the Executive Board. Chris also was Facebook’s first Chief Privacy Officer, first General Counsel, and Head of Global Public Policy who helped take the startup from its college roots to one of the most successful companies in the world.

    Participants: Chris Kelly, Ryan Montoya
  • Completed: July 12, 2018 EST

    What’s a Nice Tech Investor Doing in Muskegon, Michigan?

    What’s a nice tech investor like Esther Dyson doing in Muskegon, Michigan? Dyson was an early tech guru, impresario of the highly influential conference PC Forum and newsletter Release 1.0, friendly with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Yet now she’s regularly flying from her base in Manhattan into a handful of small communities in America’s heartland, trying to spread the same message of long-term thinking and learning through trial and error that pervades Silicon Valley. The problems she’s addressing have a lot to do with time. At July’s What’s Now: New York event, presented in partnership with Capgemini at their Applied Innovation Exchange, Dyson will lead a conversation about how we need to rethink private and public behavior by shifting from short-term to longer-term horizons.

    Participants: Esther Dyson
  • Completed: June 7, 2018 PST

    Stewart Brand on the Whole Earth Catalog’s Long Legacy over 50 years

    Fifty years ago the Whole Earth Catalog burst onto the cultural scene and helped set in motion waves of innovation that reverberated through the San Francisco Bay Area and the rest of America – and that continue to this day. The one-and-only Stewart Brand was the creative force behind that unique media publication and cultural phenomenon and we’re honored that he talked about the Whole Earth’s intellectual and entrepreneurial legacy at our What’s Now: San Francisco. He also talked the positive side of having to solve a civilizational-scale problem like climate change and why he believes we will solve it. The event also featured a dozen remarkable people give moving testimonials about the legacy of the catalog and Stewart. Be sure to watch this unforgettable evening.

  • Completed: June 5, 2018 EST

    The New Technologies of Scent and the Future of Food & Health

    Of all our senses, the sense of smell is probably the least studied and appreciated. However, in recent years our scientific understanding of how we perceive scents and what they do to our brains and immune systems has deepened. It turns out that scent accounts for around 80% of the experience of flavor, a dominant force in the experience and enjoyment of eating. We also are learning how scents clearly and directly affect our emotions. Some scents (even when you hardly perceive them) will pick you up and give you energy while others will help calm you down or take you to a remembered experience. Our deepening understanding has reached the point where a new wave of technologies is being developed by a new crop of startup companies that promise to make an impact on a range of industries from food and restaurants to health and wellness.

    Participants: David Edwards
  • Completed: May 22, 2018 PST

    What Responsible Innovation Means in this New Tech Era

    What have we wrought? Many in the tech community are increasingly pondering that question in the past year as public scrutiny roams from election hacking on Facebook to #metoo charges in the Valley. One tech veteran has been thinking about what tech has wrought longer than most and has developed some ideas about what could be done about some of these unintended consequences. Julie Hanna has founded or run five venture-backed startups (including Healtheon, formerly WebMD), and currently is an advisor to X (formerly Google X) and Executive Chairwoman of Kiva, to name just some of what she does. She has spent a lot of time thinking about purpose-driven profit, values-based leadership and responsible innovation.

    Participants: Julie Hanna
  • Completed: May 3, 2018 PST

    Daisy Robinton: A Young Cell Biologist on How Science Might Prolong and Impact Her life

    Daisy Robinton is a postdoctoral research fellow in Beth Stevens’ lab at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She spoke about her current research on neurodevelopment, cellular identity and the cell-to-cell interactions that contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. She is a co-founder of Weird and Wonderful, a production company aimed at bridging the knowledge gap in science by connecting with creativity and entertainment to engage, educate and inspire people from all walks of life.

  • Completed: May 3, 2018 PST

    Lee Hood: Getting Real About Radical Wellness

    Dr. Lee Hood has been a influential scientist since the 1960s. Throughout his career, he has adhered to the advice of his mentor, Dr. William J. Dreyer: “If you want to practice biology, do it on the leading edge, and if you want to be on the leading edge, invent new tools for deciphering biological information.”

  • Completed: May 3, 2018 PST

    Alexandra Drane: Massive Data

    Alexandra Drane, the President and Co-Founder, Eliza Corporation, has devoted her career to inspiring people to lead healthier, happier and more engaged lives through the use of innovative technology. She has launched four successful healthcare ventures over the past 15 years. She is currently president and co-founder of Eliza Corporation, a leading provider of integrated healthcare communication strategies and one of Entrepreneur magazine’s “100 Brilliant Companies” (2009).

  • Completed: May 3, 2018 PST

    Iya Khalil: AI & Analysis (Can We make Sense of the Data?)

    Iya Khalil is the Co-Founder & CCO, GNS HealthCare – a technology entrepreneur and physicist with a vision of transforming medicine into a discipline that is quantitative, predictive, and patient-centric via big data analytic approaches. She co-founded two big data companies, Via Science and GNS Healthcare, and is the co-inventor of the proprietary computational engine that underpins both entities. Dr. Khalil’s expertise spans applications in drug discovery, drug development all the way to treatment algorithms that can be applied at the point of care.

  • Completed: April 26, 2018 PST

    Funding the Blockchain Revolution to Build More Momentum

    Interest in new blockchain technologies has exploded in the last year as the possibilities for applications keep rapidly expanding. One way to understand the blockchain revolution is through a technical discussion – something we did early in our What’s Now: San Francisco series with Brian Behlendorf. This month we will look at the financial side of blockchain – how those with money are wading into the space and how the revolution can get funded better and really scale up.

    Participants: E. David Ellington