I really hear you, John. And I’d welcome more information about the workers you are talking about, the challenges they are facing, and the ways that technology can help them overcome those challenges. Send some links our way.

Let me be clear about a couple of things:

  1. I’m trying to tell a story with this event. This story is about how technology is changing the world of work. Think of the on-demand economy and the issues it raises as the center pole of a large tent. In one direction, we explore the issues of workers in a world of continuous partial employment, mediated by algorithms, marketplaces, and platforms. (This is the subject of my next post.) In another direction, we explore the way that technology can be used to augment workers rather than just replace them. (This is what ties together IBM Watson, Daqri, and Uber, for example, and even ties in to why GE and Adafruit are part of the program.) In yet another direction, we will explore how technology allows us to do new kinds of work. And so on.
  2. I really do want lots of voices here. And I’m trying to curate a really interesting mix of technologists, entrepreneurs, labor activists, economists and policy makers, together with real workers who are being affected by technology changes.
  3. The price is driven by the business model of the event. Selective events like TED (and this one) draw a particular crowd, yes. And it’s precisely that crowd that can help to raise the profile of workers’ issues, when they see the latest technology put in the context of social issues and the changes they are driving.

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Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media. Watching the alpha geeks, sharing their stories, helping the future unfold.

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