Tech 4 President?

My cup iconoclasts

Cornfields in the rearview mirror.  Time to park the personalities – and focus on the key issues.

Innovation ignites America’s economy. Let’s face it, China’s not trying to steal our Constitution.  Europe doesn’t covet our right to bear arms.  Isn’t Putin trying to make Russia great again?

Think Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Oracle.  These tech titans define this nation’s competitive advantage.  Tech provides the juice that powers our economy, which feeds our tax base, which pays for healthcare and muscles up our military.  It’s that excitement that makes people want to come to live here.

But, if tech increases the divide between the haves and have nots – distancing the one percent – those displaced citizens will attack progress at the ballot box.  What will taxi drivers do when cars drive themselves?  Consider the top 62 folks in the world own as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.  If tech continues to amplify the divide, we have big problems.

And, tech has utopian and dystopian personalities.  Without regulation, industry will run amok.  But, with too much government control, it’s 1984. Balance is everything.

What have we heard from the candidates on tech policy?  Crickets …


So, if the candidates don’t seem to have a tech agenda – how about we give them one?  That’s exactly why a group of former Federal CIOs, IT execs, and some of my MeriTalk colleagues have spent the last year hard at work.  Known as the Tech Iconoclasts, this group and its policy platform aim to shake things up.  No 25-points to fix government IT.  And, it’s much more ambitious than government IT – the Iconoclasts provide five big tech policy recommendations for America.

If you want to know more, join the Tech Iconoclasts for breakfast at the National Press Club in D.C. on February 11th for the launch.  Register for the breakfast here.

As you drive to New Hampshire, Cruz, Trump, Hillary, and Bernie – we’re talking to you.

Steve O'Keeffe
About Steve O'Keeffe
Steve O'Keeffe is the founder of MeriTalk, the government IT network. MeriTalk is an online community that hosts professional networking, thought leadership, and focused events to drive the government IT dialogue. A 20-year veteran of the government IT community, O'Keeffe has worked in government and industry. In addition to MeriTalk, he founded Mobile Work Exchange, GovMark Council, and O’Keeffe & Company.
6 Comments
  1. Anonymous | - Reply
    Sounds like quite the initiative...look forward to learning more on the 11th.
  2. Anonymous | - Reply
    The candidates seem to be ignoring technology. Agree we need to step up our innovation to remain competitive. Look forward to reading these recommendations.
  3. Anonymous | - Reply
    Interesting that we are this close to the Primary elections and the candidates have not introduced any type of tech policy. Excited about the event on the 11th, look forward to learning more about the recommendations and am curious to see how it will influence the 2016 candidates.
  4. Anonymous | - Reply
    Glad to hear someone is stepping up and taking the reins on the tech front. Looking forward to the event on the 11th.
  5. Anonymous | - Reply
    The funny thing here is that Science Fiction writers have been from both sides for nearly a century. And now that's it's coming to pass no one wants to talk about it. One of the common answers was what amounts to equitable taxation and funding for those who have been relieved of work through modernization, the Utopian side. The Dystopian side was, of course, well covered by Orwell, amongst others who feared what the increased use of technology would bring about. Or consider Coma, or The Stepford Wives, to say nothing of WestWorld.
  6. Anonymous | - Reply
    I think it is important to not only have a tech policy, but also to raise awareness of the fact we need one. Politicians drive the government and media drives the politicians. If more farmers, welders, cab drivers, non-techies, etc. become aware of the need for a tech policy and make it a talking point the candidates will speak to it. I think it is important to make, and to promote those recommendations to all those who will be touched by the technology. If the people demand something loud enough it starts to stand a chance of becoming a reality.

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