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Kara Swisher has watched the rise of tech and the fall of media since the arrival of the Internet in the mid-1990s. Her prominent perch as a well-known tech journalist means she knows better than almost anyone how entangled the two industries are. Tech companies on the Internet blasted away the information distribution monopolies of the old media and their advertising business models, but after a desperate couple decades floundering to transition to the online world and groping for sustainable business models, the media industry arguably may be heading into a future where it could stabilize and even thrive. The crazy cacophony of social media and fake news is raising the value of good journalism and other media that you can trust. Subscription models for written journalism on the web and visual streaming media show promise and could scale to large global audiences.
Watch the live stream here:
Kara lays out that story and make a definitive analysis of what’s going on today and in the future. Her storied career covering the tech business began with the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. She regularly interviewed the top tech titans and media moguls at her “D: All Things Digital” conference that she co-founded with Walt Mossberg. She’s gone on to co-found Recode, acquired by Vox. And she is now an opinion columnist for the New York Times.
Join us at the next What’s Now: New York as we talk about the past, present, and future of the symbiotic relationship between the media and tech businesses. Our host is Peter Leyden, a classmate of Kara’s at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. They have tracked the tech story from complementary angles and may have different thoughts about its future – as you may as well. Arrive early at Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange to meet your peers for drinks and food, and stay after to network.
Date: July 18, 2019
Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm EST
Livestream at 6:30pm
Speaker: David Duncan
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.
Today many people have simple conversations and even the beginnings of emotional connections to our crude talking robots like Siri and Alexa. But Duncan interviewed a wide range of experts in artificial intelligence and robotics and then projected out an array of scenarios about how people might interact in extremely complex and emotional ways with machines in the near future. He will lay out some of the ways that are coming just ahead that we would be wise to prepare for right now. Many of the fundamental design questions that will shape what AI can and can not do are being made today within leading companies and startups that are pioneering this new world.
Duncan is a great guide to this new world. He’s an experienced journalist who has covered the world of technology and life sciences and has written 10 books that help open up the future to business and general audiences. He also understands the business side of these fields and will help us understand what companies are wrestling with right now and how government policies can help guide towards more optimal outcomes. Join us for what will be a fascinating conversation and come celebrate the launch of his new book. This event will be the first public event after the official launch that week and we expect a great crowd.
Date: December 6, 2018
Time: 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Livestream at 6:30
Speaker: Soraya Darabi
The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed, the Sci-Fi author William Gibson famously said. That insight has inspired many a trendspotter to seek a glimpse of the future before everyone else comes to understand that it’s actually the next big thing. 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. She went on to found her current company Trail Mix Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in trend-setting companies that are primarily appealing to the Millennial Generation.
The Millennial Generation is America’s biggest generation and now ages 36 to 22. Millennials are not kids anymore – they are the key consumer demographic that increasingly drives the economy. One key differentiator is that MIllennials value experiences over things. These can be physical experiences, or even mental experiences. Soraya says these experiences often have something to do with living well, leading more healthy, balanced lives. She also says when it does come to buying things, they want fewer but better things. Look at some of the most successful new companies that are connecting with Millennials: like Allbirds, the unicorn selling wool shoes, or Sweetgreen, promoting simple, seasonal, healthy food, or Casper, upending the old-school mattress business. They all have some common characteristics like selling direct to consumers, partly to drive down prices for hard-pressed Millennials, but mostly to build a direct relationship with them. These pioneers as showing the way forward for many businesses. Join us as we explore this future of consumer products and experiences and get a better glimpse of what’s coming next.
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