Friday, Dec 01, 2017
  • In November, I was proud to co-host our fifth annual Connect Conference. This year’s Connect17, “Disruptive Technologies that Impact our Communities,” was held at the Gilead Sciences headquarter in Foster City. Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, Assemblyman Marc Berman, and Rosanne Foust, President & CEO of SAMCEDA, and I were pleased to welcome a roster of distinguished speakers who shared their ideas, stories, passions and best practices for using disruptive technologies to better impact our schools, nonprofits, services and public agencies.

    The Connect17 Speakers spoke on a range of topics. Below is a summary of the issues covered:

    • Christopher Finan, CEO & Co-Founder, Manifold Technology, shared his expertise setting cybersecurity policy in the Obama administration, and offered his thoughts for what the public sector should be doing to secure information.


    • The “Big Data vs. The Dark Side” panel addressed the dangers of cyberattacks on troves of government data.  Experts discussed how big data can be safely shared and utilized and how sensitive information can be protected. They emphasized that collaboration between public institutions, universities, and private companies can help to keep big data safe. The panel included: Michael McNerney, Co-Founder, Technology for Global Security, Arbor Networks; Rod Ogawa, Co-Founder, Silicon Valley Data Trust; Victoria Virasingh, Public-Private Partnerships, Palantir


    • Barbara Simons, Ph.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Verified Voting, spoke about protecting the integrity of our elections. She emphasized that election hacking and security is a voting rights issue, and that if votes are not correctly recorded and counted, it poses a major risk to our democracy.


    • Mark R. Rosekind, PhD, Chief Safety Innovation Officer, Zoox, Inc, discussed how rapidly advancing technology is changing how we think about mobility, and moving things and people from place to place. He addressed the need for public agencies and lawmakers to explore new best practices when it comes to safety, mobility and sustainability.


    • The “Age of Autonomous Things” panel discussed autonomous and electric vehicles, ride-sharing, robots and the imminent autonomous vehicle revolution: a major disruptor that will impact all our lives.  Panelists included: Henry Harris-Burland, VP of Marketing, Starship Technologies; Ryan Popple, President & CEO, Proterra; Peter Gigante, Head of Policy Research, Lyft

    WATCH the Connect17 Conference here.

    San Mateo County is home to some of the country’s most innovative and creative technological minds. It is more important than ever that we are hearing from these thought leaders, and learning about ways to embrace technology to increase citizen engagement in government, incorporating advanced technology to improve our communities, and preparing our agencies, institutions, and laws for the disruptive technologies to come.

    The Connect17 Conference was once again a great opportunity to hear from key thought leaders, government officials, and those at the forefront of technological innovation and advancement. Already looking forward to Connect18!