Databite No. 104: Tim O'Reilly

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Data & Society Research Institute

36 West 20th Street

New York, NY 10011

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WTF: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us

Data & Society Research Institute is thrilled to welcome Tim O'Reilly as he shares insights from his latest book WTF: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us (Harper Collins, 2017).

WTF? can be an expression of amazement or an expression of dismay. In today’s economy, we have far too much dismay along with our amazement, and technology bears some of the blame. In this combination of memoir, business strategy guide, and call to action, Tim O'Reilly, Silicon Valley’s leading intellectual and the founder of O’Reilly Media, explores the upside and the potential downsides of today's WTF? technologies.

O'Reilly draws on lessons from Amazon, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Uber and Lyft to show how those platforms prosper only when they create more value for their participants than they extract for the platform owner. He also explores how, like those platforms, our economy and financial markets have become increasingly managed by algorithms, and how we must rewrite those algorithms if we wish to create a more human-centered future.

The core of the book's call to action is an exhortation to businesses to DO MORE with technology rather than just using it to cut costs and enrich their shareholders. Robots are going to take our jobs, they say. O'Reilly replies, “Only if that’s what we ask them to do! Technology is the solution to human problems, and we won’t run out of work till we run out of problems." Whether technology brings the WTF? of wonder or the WTF? of dismay isn't inevitable. It's up to us!

WHEN: Wednesday, October 11, 2017

3pm Doors open.

3:30-5pm Public talk + Q&A. **Please note 3:30pm start time.**

5-7pm Book Sale and Reception: food and drink provided.

WHERE: Data & Society, 36 W. 20th St., 11th Floor

RSVP is required to attend.

Data & Society's Databites speaker series is geared toward engaging our network and the broader public on unresolved questions and timely topics of interest to the D&S community.

Questions about Databite No. 104? Contact Data & Society Research Institute.






About the Speaker

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc. His original business plan was simply “interesting work for interesting people,” and that’s worked out pretty well. O’Reilly Media delivers online learning, publishes books, runs conferences, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators.

Tim has a history of convening conversations that reshape the computer industry. In 1998, he organized the meeting where the term “open source software” was agreed on, and helped the business world understand its importance. In 2004, with the Web 2.0 Summit, he defined how “Web 2.0” represented not only the resurgence of the web after the dot com bust, but a new model for the computer industry, based on big data, collective intelligence, and the internet as a platform. In 2009, with his “Gov 2.0 Summit,” he framed a conversation about the modernization of government technology that has shaped policy and spawned initiatives at the Federal, State, and local level, and around the world. He has now turned his attention to implications of AI, the on-demand economy, and other technologies that are transforming the nature of work and the future shape of the business world. This is the subject of his forthcoming book from Harper Business, WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us.

In addition to his role at O’Reilly Media, Tim is a partner at early stage venture firm O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) and on the boards of Maker Media (which was spun out from O’Reilly Media in 2012), Code for America, PeerJ, Civis Analytics, and PopVox.

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Data & Society Research Institute

36 West 20th Street

New York, NY 10011

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