The tech industry can – and should – take the lead in the Trump era

first.We need to decentralize a wide range of our efforts. Make everything local. Let’s use principles like federalism and exploit them to our advantage: Instead of focusing on federation to give us things like national broadband, let’s duplicate Its efforts at the local, city, and state levels to secure broadband access. Make cities innovative so that they manage to be open, intelligent, transparent – and at the same time act as protected areas. For example, in New York, you have Silicon Harlem, a for-profit social venture that aims to create a hub for technology and innovation in Harlem; you also have the New York Public Library, with a library hotspot program. In Michigan, you’ve got Data Driven Detroit, a low-profit limited liability company that acts as a data intermediary: It partners with societal groups, organizations, and governments to help bring them forward. Decide based on data. The US Department of Transportation has even awarded millions of dollars in funding to cities committed to integrating cutting-edge technologies, such as self-driving cars and smart sensors. More than ever, smart, localized change has become essential. Technology companies and individual technology leaders can work more closely with local authorities, communities, and other stakeholders to fill in places that the government does not have access to. 2. Asking companies, instead of governments, to promote social change. Let’s ask the tech community to be at the forefront of ensuring equality, privacy and non-discrimination – because the law probably won’t give us much inspiration. When Facebook introduced more than 50 genders or when Google announced its support for the transgender community a week after the election, these companies positioned themselves as the leader. They not only advocate for social change and equality at their headquarters in the face of potential government helplessness and hostility, but also tacitly remind us that social change does not just happen in the box. votes: Sometimes it happens because the market demands it.

The courage to force Yahoo to refuse to comply with the NSA’s Prism Surveillance program is also the kind of courage that can force tech companies to oppose (and if necessary, disobey) blatant discrimination laws . Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is a great example here: In 2015, he fought with Indiana (and Vice President-elect Mike Pence) over laws that allow businesses to refuse to serve those who contradict their beliefs. believe in their religion. Benioff spearheaded a similar movement in Georgia in 2016 and he’s openly fighting for equal pay for women, starting with his own company. Technology can always do better in terms of diversity, in supporting unions and supporting equal remuneration for women. It is especially important to show progressive leadership in these matters, not only because it is the right thing to do but also because the government is likely not going to do anything.

3. Dilute the strength of the feds by providing more ways to retain funding for creative ideas and disruptions. Find out better ways to do it for yourself. Examples that can provide inspiration include social venture or impact investments, crowdfunding (and now equity crowdfunding), social innovation funds, sponsorships, awards and contests. Don’t rely on government funding for scientific and biological innovation; Let’s look to organizations like Breakout Labs, IndieBio, X Prize and other public-private partnerships. Steve Case’s “Rise of the Rest” is a tour of American communities (run by his venture capital firm, Revolution) that supports startup ecosystems in places like Nashville, Des Moines. and Twin Cities. Partnering with mayors, local authorities and – most importantly – of local entrepreneurs, Rise of the Rest leverages a startup ecosystem outside of New York City and Silicon Valley.

Universities, too, may be well-positioned to take over some of these opportunities for the public good. Educators can think more creatively about how to use our lucrative partnerships with the private industry – technology transfer, licensing, patent portfolio – to protect Our undocumented students, those of our DREAMers. Here, obviously, technology cannot become a holy land. But it can feed the reserve by protecting educational institutions from threats of loss of federal funding and by increasing our funding to protect the most vulnerable of we.

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