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“Personal data: time to argue about money, not privacy” argues Ariadne Capital’s Julie Meyer

Julie Meyer speaker [Official]Writing in the Financial Times, Ariadne Capital’s Julie Meyer argues that “consumers should benefit financially from their information.” She highlights the work of the pioneering Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, who she argues has much to contribute to the dialogue raging in the so-called developed world about privacy and data.

In a world with zero privacy, Julie notes that “Google’s use of my data drives their business model and their multibillion-dollar market capitalisation…[however] we get no economic benefit for that beyond free search and online stalking.” She goes on to say that “if we believe that my data — whether related to my finances, telecoms, health, transportation or property — are my data, than their use surely must accrue value to me.”

Julie demonstrates how De Soto changed the world for Peruvian farmers by establishing property rights for them. Drawing from this idea, she posits whether data could be established as legal assets for everyone. Moreover, “if data are the new universal assets, instead of arguing about privacy, should we just argue about money?”

Julie argues that “if the starting point is ‘they are my data’, then there should be a corresponding accrual for their use in the financial accounts for any business whose model uses them. Data, and the cost of purchasing them, would become a “cost of sale” in transactions.”

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For more information on how to book Julie Meyer or Hernando de Soto as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

White House names DJ Patil as the first US Chief Data Scientist

DJ Patil, who is exclusively represented by Chartwell, has been named by the White House its first Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy. Recruited personally by President Obama, DJ will work in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, reporting to US Chief Technology Officer and former Google executive Megan Smith.

DJ – who has worked inside several big-name Silicon Valley operations, including LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal, Skype, and venture capital firm Greylock Partners – will now act as an evangelist for new applications of big data across all areas of government, with a particular focus on healthcare. He joins the Beltway after four years as Vice President of Product at RelateIQ, a data-mining start-up that was acquired by Salesforce last year.

There is arguably no-one better suited to help the US better embrace the relatively new discipline of data science than DJ; he is often credited with coining the term. Over the course of two decades of work in the private and public sectors and in academia, he has pioneered new ways for institutions to benefit from data.

A press release from the White House’s office of Science and Technology Policy said, “DJ will help shape policies and practices to help the US remain a leader in technology and innovation, foster partnerships to help responsibly maximize the Nation’s return on its investment in data, and help to recruit and retain the best minds in data science to join us in serving the public.”

Megan Smith wrote a blog post for the White House to welcome DJ to the team. Read it here.

Peter Diamandis, co-founder of Singularity University, shares his top tech picks for 2015

Peter Diamandis speakerPeter Diamandis, the co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University and the X PRIZE Foundation, has singled out 11 of the most exciting new technologies moving from deceptive to disruptive this year. Here are his top tech picks for 2015:

  1. Virtual Reality: Expect a lot more action on the virtual and augmented reality front. Watch out for game changers like Magic Leap (in which Google just invested over $500 million.
  2. Mass-market robots: 2015 is going to see the introduction of consumer-friendly robots in a store near you.
  3. Autonomous vehicles: Beyond Google, many major car brands are working on autonomous solutions.
  4. Drones everywhere: They’re getting cheaper, easier to use, more automated, and are now finding more useful and lucrative applications.
  5. Wireless power: Companies like uBeam, Ossia and others are developing solutions to charge your phones, laptops, wearables, etc. wirelessly as you go about your business.
  6. Data & machine learning: There is gold in your data. This year will see data collection and mining that data becoming more turn-key.
  7. Large-scale genome sequencing and data mining: In 2015, we will see explosive, exponential growth in genomics and longevity research.
  8. Sensor explosion: The combination of sensors and wearables, increased connectivity, new manufacturing methods (like 3D printing), and improved data mining capabilities will create a smart, connected world.
  9. Voice-control and “language-independent” interaction: The Star Trek universal translator is just around the corner!
  10. 3D Printing: The number of applications is increasing, and printers, scanners, and CAD modelling software will become more accessible, cheaper, and easier to use.
  11. Bitcoin: Emerging smartphone markets in developing countries, better “interfaces”, and more commercial adopters who accept bitcoin as a form of payment will all play a role in a brighter bitcoin future.

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For more information on how to book Peter as a keynote speaker for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call on +44 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Keynote by Parag Khanna: “Future Trends in the Century of Cities”

Dr. Parag Khanna, a leading next-generation voice on the nexus between international affairs, economics and technology, gave an insightful opening keynote on “Future Trends in the Century of Cities” and moderated a discussion, titled “Reimagining Cities: Transforming the 21st Century Metropolis”, at the 2014 New Cities Summit in Dallas.

In this talk, Dr Khanna lays out some of the context and challenges that cities around the world are facing today, and argues that the city has to reinvent itself. He begins by looking at Big Data – currently 50% of people live in urban environments, and that number is increasing by 10% per year. By 2025, 100 of the 600 richest cities will be based in China, representing the majority of the world’s GDP. When combining these figures with India, the pace of urbanisation becomes staggering – the two largest countries demographically will become collections of cities.

Future Trend in the Century of Cities

Reimagining Cities: Transforming the 21st Century Metropolis

But how will cities reinvent, adapt and transform themselves to fit the capacity of these growing populations, integrate new technologies, and become more dynamic both economically and culturally? Watch discussions from the summit below for more insight!

Hiroo Ichikiwa, Executive Director, the Mori Memorial Foundation
Jaime Lerner, Celebrated Urbanist, Former Mayor, Curitiba, Brazil
Arturo Sarukhan, Former Ambassador to the US, Mexico
Richard Sennett, Centenial Professor, London School of Economics
Mpho Franklyn Parks Tau, Executive Mayor, Johannesburg

Dr. Parag Khanna, Managing Partner, Hybrid Reality

For more information on how to book Parag Khanna as a speaker, please contact Alex Hickman at or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004.

John Tolva on how big data informs urban design

John TolvaJohn Tolva, Chicago’s tech guru, was recently interviewed on why Chicago is the locus for a new approach to urban design.

Last week, the Chicago Architecture Foundation opened “City of Big Data,” an exhibition about the relationship between information and design. John served as the lead advisor for this show, appropriating his expert knowledge on big data and how it is used in urban design.

But what, exactly, does big data tell us about architecture? Does it give us insight into the urban condition? Does it make places more livable, more equitable, more fun? Does it limn the contours of future cities?

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Vivek Wadhwa on the possibilities and perils of Big Data

In his latest musing for the Washington Post, Vivek Wadhwa, a leading thinker the on future of technology and innovation, argues that the rise of big data brings tremendous possibilities and frightening perils.

Big Data is accumulating at an exponentially increasing rate: the NSA has been mining our phone metadata and occasionally listening in; marketers are using this to sell more to us; and politicians are fine-tuning their campaigns.

But Vivek believes that this is minor compared to what lies ahead, noting that in the not-so-distant-future we “will be able to analyse all data we have collected from the beginning of time—as if we were entering a data time machine.” He goes on to say that “if information is power and power corrupts, we’ll need to be careful about making sure the potential of big data isn’t misused.”

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