HKS Dean David Ellwood opens the Technology & Governance 2.0 Conference via video-link from the Harvard Center Shanghai.
Martha Stewart Photo
Technology & Governance 2.0: STPP Begins a New Initiative in Critical Public Policy Area at HKS
September 30, 2010
Author: James F. Smith, Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Information and Communications Technology and Public Policy; Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Leaders of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)'s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs brought together about 80 of the nation's top policymakers and entrepreneurs in information technology for a two-day conference this month to brainstorm ideas for a new HKS initiative on information and communication technology (ICT) and governance.
Professor Venkatesh Narayanamurti, who directs the STPP program, assembled government officials including Aneesh Chopra, President Barack Obama's chief technology officer and a 1997 HKS Master of Public Policy graduate, and Karen Gordon Mills, administrator of the Small Business Administration. From the technology sector were leading innovators such as Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, Paul Sagan, CEO of Akamai Technologies, and Ian Freed, vice president for Amazon Digital Services—at just one of the eight working sessions.
The conference itself exploited some innovative technology: on the opening evening, HKS Dean David T. Ellwood engaged in a spirited question and answer session with the conference delegates from a room at the Harvard Shanghai Center during his trip to China.
The conference examined critical aspects of the intersection of technology policy and governance, including net neutrality, looming technological advances in broadband, privacy, and open government issues that could shape technology and communications innovation in coming years. A panel of HKS students talked about some of their own uses of cutting-edge technology in their studies.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave a provocative lunch address challenging governments, businesses, and academic institutions to recognize the need for free online access to data of all sorts. He reminded the audience that there are "ten to the eleventh power web pages out there" on the Web—about the same number of neurons in the human brain.
Narayanamurti described the goal of the conference "as a workshop where all participants will contribute ideas on how HKS can best educate its students and influence government policy on information and communication technologies as well as the global impact of ICTs on governments."
He noted that several Harvard centers tackle technology and communication policy issues, including the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Harvard Business School. "Our intention is to integrate the HKS program with these other efforts at the university," he said.
Read the Harvard Gazette article: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/09/technology-in-governance/
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