Silicon Valley Tech Policy Summit Has Plenty Of Tech Policy… Not Much Silicon Valley

from the where-is-everyone dept

On Monday, I attended the Silicon Valley Tech Policy Summit, and wrote about a few of the panels and talks at the event. While the list of speakers was impressive, something didn’t feel quite right about the event. I noticed it early in the morning when I realized that, despite the event organizers making it clear that this was a business casual event, probably 80% of the attendees were in suits. This clearly was not a Silicon Valley crowd. Most of the people were from DC. In side conversations, I heard a few people even complain that there was simply no reason to have this event in Silicon Valley — and that they should have just held it in Washington DC. I pointed out to one person that I thought the idea was to bring the policy folks to the techies so that tech world could be a little more in touch with policy issues and she laughed and asked me to point out a single tech person in the room. The tech press was there — but no real tech people. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to notice. While it was nice that this wasn’t just “the usual crowd” that you find at Silicon Valley events, it probably would have been a bit better if there were more crossover. It’s not clear if this was due to the organizers not inviting enough techies (there were a few tech CEOs who spoke, but they didn’t stick around for the rest of the event) or if the old story that the tech world just doesn’t care about policy remains true. Hopefully the organizers will do more events like this one, but it would be nicer if they actually brought in more technology folks to take part.

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