It's finally P Day for How To Fix The Future! My new book is finally being published and now the real fun starts. The early reviews have been very positive and it's already got a quite a lot of press coverage including this entertaining Recode podcast interview with tech doyenne Kara Swisher. But this week things get serious. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be doing events in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, New York City and Washington DC.
I'm kicking off on the West Coast. Tonight, Tuesday February 6, as a launch event, I'm speaking at Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Tomorrow evening, Wednesday February 7, I'm being interviewed by Marshall Kirkpatrick at Powell's in Portland. On Thursday evening, February 8, I'm at the Town Hall in Seattle in conversation with Alex Stonehill.
Next week, I fly East. The evening of Tuesday, February 13, my generous friends at Intelligence Squared are hosting a book party in New York City. Please email me if you'd like an invitation. On Thursday February 15, I'm in conversation with the brilliant Nuala O'Connor at an invitation only event at the Center for Technology and Democracy in Washington DC. And on the evening of Friday February 16, I've being interviewed by my old friend Chris Schroeder at Politics and Prose bookstore in DC.
I'd love to see you at one of these events. Most importantly, I really really hope you'll not only buy the book, but then read it and tell me what you think.
I'm thrilled to announce that my new book, How To Fix The Future, will be released on February 5 in the US and March 6 in the UK. Rather than another critique of contemporary technology, it focuses on how people all over the world - from Estonia to Singapore to India to Brussels and Silicon Valley - are solving the most pressing problems of the digital revolution. I travelled 200,000 miles and interviewed more than 100 entrepreneurs, technologists and politicians to research the book. So it's packed with practical solutions to everything from surveilliance capitalism and fake news to internet addiction and the existential threat of artificial intelligence.
Pre publication reviews have been very positive. It just got a starred review on Kirkus Reviews - the publishing industry's gold standard for reviewing new books. "Valuable insights on preserving our humanity in a digital world," Kirkus concluded. Booklist described it as "complex yet accessible" and Leonardo da Vinci author Walter Isaacson called the book "bracing" saying it "offers tools for righting our societies and principles to guide us into the future."
I've already got quite a busy schedule for the first half of next year, so please let me know if you want to book a How To Fix The Future speech. Journalists should email if they want review copies. And all early orders or would also, of course, be much appreciated.
What's going to happen to tech in 2018? Is it going to be the year of AI, VR, AR, IoT or Blockchain? Or will everything come crashing down again, as it did in 2000? Few people are better positioned to peer presciently into the future than Ina Fried, Chief Technology correspondent for Axios and one of Silicon Valley's most farsighted writers. So I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be interviewing her at our final Futurecast of the year, in the evening of December 13, at the Palo Alto Foundry. Expect a festive crowd of entrepreneurs, investors and technologists as well as a fascinating glimpse into the future from Ina Fried and our other guests. Please RSVP if you can come.
In other news, my latest Innovate2017 Techcrunch show features an interview with Rappler founder Maria Ressa and the Oxford Internet Institute's Phil Howard - co-winners of the prestigious 2017 Democracy Award from the DC based National Democratic Institute. Both Ressa and Howard are on the frontlines of the war against fake news and we should do everything we can to support their invaluable work. See also my latest take on Silicon Valley for the UK website Unherd. And also read an interview I did for LitHub with the former editor of the New Republic, Frank Foer, about the existential threat of big tech.
I'm just back from Kitzbuhel in Austria where I spoke at ReComm alongside (for my sins) Nigel Farage. And at the end of next week, on Friday December 8, I'll be giving a keynote at one of my favorite annual events - the OEB elearning conference in Berlin. Please let me know if you'll be there.
I'm not sure whether 2018 will the year of AI, VR, AR, IoT, Blockchain or, for that matter, an existential crisis of big tech. What I do know, however, is that ou Futurecast event on December 13 in Palo Alto will inspire you to reimagine the future of tech. So really hope to see you on December 13 at the Foundry.
So how do we fix the future? That's the question I'll be discussing with the founder of ViaEuropa Deutschland, Anke Domscheit-Berg at DLD New York this Thursday, May 11. Our discussion kicks off the event at 8.30 am - so get there early if you want to hear the very stimulating Domscheit-Berg. How To Fix The Future? Hmmm. Good question. Somebody should write a book about that.
If you can't make it to New York, then I'll be in St Petersburg June 1-3 for the Russian Davos - the St Petersburg Economic Forum. I did request an opportunity to interview Vladimir Putin - but that slot, apparently, has been filled. So i'm moderating an "Is big data a national asset or a commodity?" panel with (they promise) Jeff Bezos, the EU Commissioner of a Single Digital Market and lots of important Russians. Hmmm. Might be fun.
And then I'm off to Rekjavik June 8-9 for the OEB MidSummit where I'll be moderating a debate between e-learning superstars (if that's not a contradiction in terms) Roger Schank and Donald Clark. I've heard that it's a bit dark and miserable in Iceland in June. But we'll see.
Finally, for those of who happen to find yourself on a certain High Road in N17 this coming Sunday afternoon, I'll be there.
Hope to see you somewhere soon. It's going to be a fun few weeks.
Futurecast is back on the road. Having done events in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington DC, we are now headed to Los Angeles for a very special evening at the Fox Studios in Century City. On May 18, I'll be interviewing Hanno Basse, the CTO of 20th Century Film Corp, about the future of video entertainment. As always, the event will be both intimate and interactive and we are looking forward to having some of LA's most innovative entrepreneurs, investors and media execs in our audience. If you want to come, please RSVP. I look forward to seeing you.
For my East Coast friends, I'll be at DLD NYC tomorrow and Wednesday, recording some shows for my TechcrunchTV INNOVATE2016 show. So please let me know if you are around.
Also check out my Guardian interview with the Estonian President, Toomas Henrik Ilves. Fascinating guy and even more fascinating country. Much more to come from me on this Eastern front over the next few months.
Hope to see you somewhere soon.
or are you just pleased to see me?
I'll be debating the promise of that little ROBOT in your pocket in New York on Wednesday evening. Intelligence Squared are holding one their Oxford style debates at the 92nd Street Y and i'm thrilled to be partnering with my friend Jaron Lanier on the skeptics team. I think there are a few tickets left. Hope to see you there for what should be a memorable evening.
From New York, I go to Berlin, where I'm speaking about virtual public space at the Demo-Polis event on Friday evening. And I'm in Moscow early the following week, launching the Russian language version of THE INTERNET IS NOT THE ANSWER with a lecture at Bauman Moscow State Technological University. Then I go to Estonia where I'm excited to be interviewing their President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
Busy busy busy. I'll need that little ROBOT in my pocket to remind me where I am.
I've been busy recently on the writing front. Here's why we should be worried, very worried indeed, about the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. Here's my defense of children's safety against free speech fundamentalists. And here's my take on the first skirmish in the looming war between Apple and the US government.
My Techcrunch Innovate2016 show is also keeping me busy. See, in particular, my interview with the French Economics Minister Emmanuel Macron who insists that France is back. Perhaps. What is certain, however, is that Macron is the next big thing in France. You couldn't make a ROBOT half as smooth as him.
Up the Spurs! (where I'll be on March 17 for the Dortmund game).
and let's hope it's a good for all of us.
2015 was certainly a great year for me. The Internet Is Not The Answer has exceeded all my expectations in terms of both sales and reviews. The book got into a number of "best of the year" lists including Kazuo Ishiguro who wrote that it was "the most compelling, persuasive and passionately negative thing I've yet read on this topic." It also featured centrally in this week's Washington Post piece about the new movement ofdigital dissenters. Much more to come in 2016 including paperback editions in the UK & US as well as Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese language editions.
2015 was also a great year for Futurecast including memorable interviews with Steve Case, Ben Jealous andDavid Hornik. Futurecast starts early in 2016 with a Monday January 4 event at the AT&T Developer conference in Las Vegas featuring my old friend Robert Scoble. Sign up has been amazing, so let me know if you want a ticket.
Other personal highlights of 2015 include my new Techcrunch show, INNOVATE2016, focusing on the intersection of tech and the upcoming Presidential election. This month I was in Las Vegas for the Republican debate. I also flew to Baltimore to talk with Martin O'Malley and plan to interview a number of the other candidates in early 2016. I've also started a new column on The Next Web with recent pieces about digital addiction and unemployment.
And there's much more to come in early 2016. I'll be interviewing the French Economics minister Emmanuel Macron at CES in the evening of Wednesday January 6. Then I'll be in Munich for DLD where I'll be moderating a panel about "The New World Order" on Sunday January. So hope to see you somewhere in the early new year.
Happy New Year!!
I'm having a lot of fun with my new Techcrunch show, INNOVATE2016. This week, Iinterviewed California's Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who argued that American politics needs to be systemically reinvented. Radical stuff from the guy who is likely to be the next Californian Governor. Last week, I talked with Ben Jealous, former CEO of the NCAAP and now a partner at Kapor Capital, about how digital technology can help correct systemic social problems. And as we get closer to the 2016 election, expect to see some equally interesting guests on INNOVATE2016 - including leading Presidential candidates from both parties.
Speaking of technology's potential to improve our lives, I participated in a very entertaining conversation about big data last week in Berlin with MIT's Sandy Pentland. I'm not really sure who won - indeed, what was striking about the Vodaphone event was the level of agreement between us. I wish every "debate" between so-called techno-optimists and pessimists was conducted with this kind of civility and good faith.
I still have a few more trips before the end of the year. I'll be in New York City for a World Economic Forum "Future of the Internet" event on December 1st. I hope to be in Baltimore to interview Governor O'Malley at some point in December and I'll definitely be in Las Vegas for the next Republican debate on December 15. I'll also be in the UK in the week of December 7 for a Ditchley Foundation conference about the digital economy. So please let me know if you want to get together.
The paperback version of the Internet Is Not The Answer has just been published in the UK with this very generous review in the Guardian. Yes, the digital dream probably has died - but that's only the beginning of the story. The challenge now is to fix the future before this dream becomes a nightmare. This challenge will be my focus in 2016 and beyond.