Boston Consumer Tech and 4 Views of the Future: A 2034 Preview

6/4/14Follow @gthuang

Will Boston ever be known for its consumer-tech companies? What could make that happen? And how do innovation leaders see technology and society evolving over the next 20 years?

If you’re interested in these kinds of questions, you’re in luck. We are convening an all-star cast of business leaders across tech, life sciences, and energy for Boston 2034 next week. The all-day conference is taking place on Tuesday, June 10, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. The space is filling up fast, but you can still get a ticket here.

I wanted to highlight two sessions in particular:

1. Future of the Consumer Web

There’s a well-worn notion that it’s hard to build a successful consumer-tech company in Boston. Yet there are big counterexamples: Kayak, Zipcar, Wayfair, Bose, TripAdvisor. I’ll be doing a fireside chat with Steve Kaufer, the co-founder and CEO of TripAdvisor, to talk about lessons from the travel sector applied to broader markets. We’ll touch on the company’s strategy over the years, leadership lessons, and themes around the future of Web content. I hope to draw some conclusions about where the Web is heading, and what entrepreneurs and their companies can do to be there when it gets there.

2. Technology and Society 2034: Four Views of the Future

This closing session will be moderated by Kara Miller, host of Innovation Hub, a national radio program based at WGBH in Boston. We’ll hear from four top voices in innovation: Rodney Brooks from Rethink Robotics, Mark Levin from Third Rock Ventures, Terry McGuire from Polaris Partners, and Alfred Spector from Google. Each will present his view of what the next 20 years will bring. Two tech guys, two life sciences guys—should be interesting, inspiring, and thought-provoking. Then we’ll have an interactive jam session with the panelists, and plenty of audience Q&A.

So bring your questions and conundrums. Get ready to network, and maybe start solving some of society’s biggest problems. 2034 is just days away. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you on June 10.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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