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TBD: Technology By Design
47 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
48 • Leaving Well
How do organizations create a healthy culture? Mike Rognlien, a founding member of Facebook’s Learning and Development team, shares the lessons he learned from building and teaching culture at Facebook. After leaving Facebook, Mike wrote a book, This Is Now Your Company, that focuses on how people can take ownership in the workplace. He also started his own consulting agency, Multiple Hats Management, where he provides coaching and learning to organizations, including training on implicit race and gender bias. In this episode, Mike talks about the frustrations of his departure from Facebook, how he runs his business, and the shift towards more flexibility in HR. Listen in.
52 minutes | Aug 4, 2021
47 • Tech’s Newest Industry Coalition
Tech policy discussions about privacy, competition, and speech often center on benefitting the consumer - but which policies actually do it? Adam Kovacevich is the Founder and CEO of the Chamber of Progress, a new center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future. Adam previously worked at Lime, where he was the head of government relations and public affairs for North America and Asia Pacific. Before that, he was a senior director on Google’s public policy team. In this episode of TBD, Adam and Matt discuss Section 230, competition policy, business models, Democratic values, and the role of industry in policy development. Listen in.
47 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
46 • Lifting Up the Startups
Debates in tech policy are often dominated by a focus on a small handful of companies, but the tech sector encompasses a far broader group of companies of all sizes. Kate Tummarello is the Executive Director of Engine, a nonprofit organization that works with a community of thousands of high-tech, growth-oriented startups across the nation to support technology entrepreneurship. Kate is focused on ensuring that the voices of these startups are included in tech policy debates on issues like Section 230, antitrust, and diversity and inclusion. In this episode, Kate and Matt discuss Engine’s role in the tech sector, how startups view key issues like content moderation and antitrust, and the tactics Engine uses to lift up the voices of startups.
39 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
45 • Taking a Leap
It’s daunting to leave behind the perks, resources, and stability of a steady job. But Nancy Scola, a former senior technology reporter at POLITICO, took a leap to pursue more independent and entrepreneurial projects. She currently publishes “Slow Build”, a newsletter exploring the intersection of technology and society, on Substack and teaches digital journalism at Georgetown University. In this episode, Nancy talks about what led her to her decision, how it gave her an opportunity to look at tech issues through a different lens, and how journalists cover the tech sector. Listen in.
60 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
44 • Big Tech, Antitrust, and Liberty from All Masters
Barry Lynn is the director of the Open Markets Institute, which aims to “address threats to our democracy, individual liberties, and our national security from today’s unprecedented levels of corporate concentration and monopoly power.” Barry has worked in this field for many years, but is probably best known for his work on concentration in the tech sector. In this episode of TBD, he and Matt discuss his new book, (Liberty from All Masters: The New American Autocracy vs. the Will of the People) his advice for running advocacy campaigns, and how he views his role as a mentor to the new generation of antitrust scholars. Listen in.
50 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
43 • How One Chef Innovated During COVID
Cheetie Kumar is a musician and a chef, and she owns the Raleigh-based restaurant Garland, the music venue Kings, and the cocktail bar Neptunes. In this episode of TBD, she and Matt sit down to talk about how she innovated as a chef and business owner to keep her businesses alive during COVID. As restaurants faced shutdowns, declining revenue, and health risks to their employees, Cheetie joined with other chefs to create the Independent Restaurant Coalition and advocate with policymakers for relief grants for small restaurants. Congress eventually passed a relief package that included a $28 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Listen in.
41 minutes | May 26, 2021
42 • Tech Policy from Rural Tennessee
When people think about tech policy, they typically think about Washington or Silicon Valley. But Victoria McCullough has spent the pandemic working on tech policy from her family’s beef cattle farm in Tennessee. Formerly, she served as the Director of Social Impact and Public Policy at Tumblr, and she recently started a new role at TikTok as the Head of Outreach and Partnerships for Trust and Safety in the Americas. In this episode, she and Matt discuss what it’s like doing tech policy work from rural Tennessee, how her surroundings have kept her “zen” over the past year, and what the shift into her new role has been like. Listen in.
51 minutes | May 12, 2021
41• Federal Privacy Legislation for the 21st Century
Suzan DelBene represents Washington’s 1st Congressional District. First sworn into the House of Representatives in November 2012, Suzan brings a unique voice to Congress with over two decades of experience in the tech industry. In March of this year, Representative DelBene introduced the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act, legislation that would create a national data privacy standard. In this episode of TBD, she discusses the story behind this legislation, how her background in tech has influenced her work in Congress, and how the pandemic has affected work for members of Congress. Listen in.
38 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
40 • Merger Reform and Venture Capital
Jeff Farrah is the general counsel of the National Venture Capital Association. He’s tracking this policy debate closely because he believes it could have a significant impact on the startups and venture capitalists he represents. He came on the podcast to discuss the evolving debate about merger and acquisition policy, how the recent proposals in Congress could affect startups, and what he’s doing to make his case in DC. Listen in.
47 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
39 • Directing the Social Dilemma
The Social Dilemma is a Netflix film about how technology is designed and regulated, and the implications of those design and regulation decisions on our lives and our choices. Jeff Orlowski directed the film, devoting several years to talking with people throughout the tech sector about the design of products and business models. In this episode, we talk about The Social Dilemma, what we can do to address the challenges it raises, and how making the film changed Orlowski's own relationship with technology. Listen in.
48 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
38 • Behind the Battle Between Apple and Facebook
Apple and Facebook are at war. When Apple announced plans for its latest operating system updates, Facebook threatened to file an antitrust lawsuit, and Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg traded barbs in the press. The new operating system requires users to opt-in to certain types of data usage. Apple claims it’s protecting privacy; Facebook claims it’s threatening competition and the ad-supported business model. To get a better understanding of the two sides of the issue, Matt discussed it with Steve Satterfield, a director of privacy and public policy at Facebook, and Michelle Richardson, the Director of the Privacy & Data Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology. We invited Apple to join the discussion, but they didn’t respond. If you’re interested in checking out a few of Apple’s statements on the issue, they outlined the new privacy features in iOS 14 and updated their user privacy and data use guidelines for App Store developers. Also check out Apple’s explanation of how your data is collected and protected through this family’s hypothetical day at the park.
40 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
37 • Discussing Silicon Values: Free Speech and Censorship
What kinds of speech—political, controversial, or otherwise—should be protected? What kinds of speech should be censored? The ongoing content moderation debate has raised pressing questions about what kinds of speech can and should be regulated by companies and governments. Jillian York is the director for international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and an expert on free speech and censorship. In this episode, we talk about global free expression policies, decentralized approaches to local engagement, working from another continent, and her new book, “Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism.”
44 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
36 • The Technology that Runs Krzyzewskiville
If you’ve ever been a fan of college basketball, then you’ve probably heard of the Duke-UNC rivalry. It’s the stuff of legends. The infamous eight miles that divide these two schools make it impossible to live in the Triangle without picking a side. In non-COVID times, Duke Students camp out for months just to gain entry to this basketball game. Welcome to Krzyzewskiville – the tent village that can be found on Duke’s campus during the coldest months of the North Carolina winter. But how do these students live outside for months on end, and still keep their status as Duke students? Listen in to hear as Matt interviews some of the students who run the behind-the-scenes technological network that makes K-Ville possible.
45 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
35 • Founding ClimateVoice
Bill Weihl founded ClimateVoice in 2020, with the goal of “mobilizing the voice of the workforce to urge companies to go ‘all in’ on climate, both in business practices and policy advocacy.” ClimateVoice is urging companies to be more active in the policy debates on climate change, and creating frameworks for students and employees to push companies in that direction. Bill founded ClimateVoice after working on these issues at Google and Facebook, where he started the companies’ sustainability teams. In this episode of TBD, Matt and Bill discuss the mission of ClimateVoice, the tactics Bill’s using to achieve that mission, and what it’s been like to build an organization during a global pandemic. Listen in.
46 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
34 • The Making of Morning Tech
If you work in tech policy, then you’ve probably read the words of Alexandra Levine. Every weekday morning at 6 AM, Politico's Morning Tech newsletter is delivered to subscribers, who read it to learn about the most important news in the field. Alex is the force behind Morning Tech, deciding each day what to cover and how to present it. In this episode of TBD, Matt and Alex discuss the making of Morning Tech, how Alex sets boundaries in a 24-hour job, and the tech policy agenda of the Biden Administration. Listen in.
46 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
33 • Ten Principles for Tech Policy in a Biden Administration
We’re in a moment of transition in tech policy. With the start of a new administration and fallout from the Capitol riots, there is increasing pressure to enact sweeping reforms in tech regulation. Scott Wallsten and Thomas Lenard of the Technology Policy Institute recently published a set of 10 principles to guide tech policymaking in a Biden Administration. In this episode, Matt speaks with Scott and Tom about the role tech played in the Capitol riots, overlooked factors in assigning accountability, and the principles that should guide President Biden’s tech policy agenda. Listen in. TPI's Ten Tech Principles for the Biden Administration
51 minutes | Jan 6, 2021
32 • One Door Closes, Another Opens Up
After Pierce Freelon lost an election for a seat in the North Carolina state senate, he embraced the sudden “silence” in his life, brought on by the lost election, the onset of COVID, and the death of his father. As one door closed, others opened: he released "D.A.D", a music album in memory of his father, and in August, he was appointed to the Durham City Council. In this episode, Matt and Pierce discuss Pierce’s approach to parenting, how he’s tackling tough issues on the Durham City Council with a “listen first, speak second” approach, and the debate in Durham about deploying ShotSpotter technology. Listen in. D.A.D. Album ShotSpotter in Durham
48 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
31 • TBD's Year in Review
This month, we here at TBD celebrated our 1st birthday! 2020 has been one hell of a year, and even amidst all the chaos, we can't help but reflect on how technology has enabled us to continue living in a post-pandemic world. In this episode, we look back on some of our favorite highlights and interviews from the past year. Listen in, enjoy, and we'll see you next year.
47 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
30 • A Section 230 Quid Pro Quo
The Section 230 debate continues, and it seems like new legislation to reform the law is being introduced every week. This week, we spoke with Paul Barrett, who spent 30 years as a journalist before making the switch to policy. He now works at NYU’s Stern School of Business, where he serves as the deputy director for the Center of Business and Human Rights. He recently published a paper outlining possible reforms for Section 230. Listen in to hear Paul’s thoughts on Section 230 and his proposals for how to make it better.
45 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
29. UNICEF Tackles the COVID Digital Divide
As we approach the end of 2020, and the global pandemic continues to rage on, one problem that has continually affected our world is the digital divide. Now more than ever, communities are separated by those that have access to a good internet connection, and those who don't. In this episode of TBD, Matt connects with Juan Pablo Giraldo Ospino and Thomas Dreesen of UNICEF. Throughout the pandemic, they've been working to create UNICEF’s Reimagine campaign, which calls for urgent investment to bridge the digital divide, reach every child with remote learning, and, most critically, prioritize the safe reopening of schools. Lessons from COVID-19: Getting Remote Learning Right At least a third of the world’s schoolchildren unable to access remote learning during school closures, new report says
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