FiReGlobal : West Coast Tech Conference Delivers New Solutions to Regional Problems
For the first time ever, a technology conference has taken the lead in solving large-scale regional problems. FiReGlobal : West Coast, held October 15th in Seattle, produced radical new ideas and proposals in almost every area discussed. FiReGlobal was hosted by Strategic News Service (SNS), producer of the highly regarded Future in Review (FiRe) conferences.
This new conference offered a world-class gathering in technology and economics, uniting thought leaders in major global and regional sectors. Regional problems were selected by a steering committee of 50 community leaders. Solutions were achieved beforehand by CTO work groups and produced on-the-fly by presenters on stage.
Solutions included state protection of $500 per student, to fund 1:1 computing in K-12 classrooms; a new “bubble of protection” surrounding startups for the first 1-2 years, to minimize taxes, government filings, and professional fees; a redesigned fast-switching energy grid enabling rapid ramp-up of alternative energy sources; and much more. Breakout sessions on each topic led to creation of ongoing discussion and work groups.
SNS CEO Mark Anderson opened the conference by encouraging participants to “not just talk, but to take action.” Speakers included Michael Dell, chair and CEO, Dell Inc.; Irwin Jacobs, co-founder, Qualcomm; Rob Glaser, founder, chair, and CEO, RealNetworks; Lee Hartwell, Nobel Laureate and president and director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Steve Reynolds, president and CEO, Puget Energy and Puget Sound Energy; Rogers Weed, director, Washington State Department of Commerce; Larry Smarr, director, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, UCSD; Denis Hayes, president and CEO, Bullitt Foundation; and Roger Payne, founder and president, Ocean Alliance.
Major problem areas included ocean health, broadband, education, healthcare, energy independence, use of social media, promoting entrepreneurial growth and successful startups, and encouraging intelligent discourse in problem-solving. Eight FiReStar companies talked about how they will improve the world in areas such as telemedicine, proteomic disease treatment, alternative energy, unified communications, electric vehicles, and more. Tesla Motors provided free rides in its famous electric car, the Roadster.
“From new state programs funding 1:1 in schools to great new ideas for enhancing entrepreneurship and creating jobs, every panel at FiReGlobal came up with practical solutions to major regional problems, as defined by the community’s own leaders. At the same time, I think we’ve created the best technology conference in the Northwest. Everybody won on this one,” Anderson said this week.
“We have a new must-see conference. FiReGlobal has a clear mission: use technology to help save the world,” remarked Brenda Cooper, award winning Science Fiction Author and CIO.
The evening ended with an interview of Anderson by Fortune Magazine Senior Writer Michael Copeland, during which Anderson suggested the U.S. economy would remain split for several more years, the price of oil would begin heading toward its past $147 record, and that China had reversed its economic program, in a stealth currency war against the U.S. dollar.