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Welcome back for season two of Confluence! On this week’s episode, host Rana Sarkar sits down with James Crabtree, Executive Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies - Asia office to discuss the current geopolitical and geoeconomic moment. Prior to joining the IISS, James was a Singapore-based author and journalist, and an Associate Professor of Practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. His best-selling 2018 book, The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age was shortlisted for the FT / McKinsey book of the year. Prior to academia, James worked for the Financial Times, most recently as Mumbai bureau chief, and has written for a wide range of global publications. He also worked as a senior policy adviser in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit under Tony Blair. Crabtree recently hosted the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, a conference of heightened importance in this critical time in the Indo-Pacific region. In the weeks prior to the conference, we spoke to Crabtree about the wide range of issues facing the Indo-Pacific region including the impact of climate change on our current geopolitical moment; the rise of minilateralism; the evolving posture of the tech sector in the Indo-Pacific; the role of China and how the United States and Canada are engaging in the region.LINKS:James Crabtree WebsiteJames Crabtree TwitterThe 2022 Shangri-La DialogueJames Crabtree May 26, 2022 Financial Times essay - “Still Top Gun? What Tom Cruise’s new movie tells us about American Power”
On this week’s episode of Confluence, we tackle the critical issue of diversity in company leadership. Host Rana Sarkar speaks with two experts on the topic: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder and Chair of theBoardlist, and Jennifer Holmstrom, Head of Platform at GGV Capital. Both women have long histories of advocating for both inclusive talent acquisition and hiring practices, as well as diverse boards. In this episode, learn more about why making sure that talent—at the top and bottom—is equitable and representative, and the role that both companies and government policy play in keeping our business and innovation ecosystems fair and representative. What tools do we need to ensure diversity in the boardroom? How can we work together to nurture diverse talent pools with equal opportunities? And why is this good for business?LINKS:·       Sukhinder Singh Cassidy LinkedIn·       Sukhinder Singh Cassidy Twitter·       theBoardlist ·       Forbes: Aim For Impact With Your Choices, Advises Founder Of theBoardlist Sukhinder Singh Cassidy·       Bloomberg: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy on Entrepreneurship·       Jennifer Holmstrom LinkedIn·       Jennifer Holmstrom Twitter·       GGV Capital·       Go Big, Go Vertical: with Dave Vasen (Brightwheel) and Jen Holmstrom (GGV Capital)
On this week’s episode of Confluence, host Rana Sarkar sits down with Dr. Janice Stein, founding director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, to discuss how organizations and leaders must adapt to our rapidly changing geopolitical moment. Dr. Stein shares observations and lessons from years of advising with leaders and organizations allocating scarce resources to respond to rapid scale crises. How can leaders prepare to succeed in today’s uncertain environment and what is the cost of doing nothing? What critical skillsets are needed for organizations to adapt? What new frameworks will be needed as the fourth industrial revolution continues to change how we work and live? How can the private sector and government build co-literacy to improve collaboration going forward? LINKS:Janice Stein, University of TorontoJanice Stein LinkedInJanice Stein TwitterJanice Stein WikipediaCanada School of Public Service – The State of the World with Janice Stein
With massive global shifts happening due to forces like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, people have started to migrate further away from cities. To understand how people, ideas, and innovation are moving around the world, host Rana Sarkar talks to geo-strategist Parag Khanna: Founder and Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario-based strategic advisory firm. Khanna recently authored a new monograph MOVE: The Forces Uprooting Us. According to Khanna, economic collapse, the destablization of democracy, and technological disruption is leading us into a new era of mass migration. In this episode, we try to understand how we got here, and follow along with Khanna on a journey to where we’re going. In times of unequal resource distribution, how will people organize themselves in the future? How will governments adapt to changing population demographics? And how can we come to terms with new climate geographies for the future?LINKS:Parag Khanna WebsiteParag Khanna LinkedInParag Khanna TwitterFutureMap WebsiteMove: Mapping Human Talk at GoogleMcKinsey & Company Author Talks: Parag Khanna on the forces creating a new geography of opportunityMigration, geography and humanity: Parag Khanna, author of ‘MOVE’ on the Book Club PodcastImmigration, booming population and global influence: Is this the ‘heroic’ Canadian dream?
How does immigration policy impact Canadian tech’s ability to thrive globally? How do flows of both Canadian and foreign talent into and out of the country work? How can the private sector work to actually make companies, and their leadership, more diverse? And what ‘secret sauce’ makes Canada such an amazing place to work?To help us better answer those questions, you’ll hear from two key players working to make Canada’s technology sector more robust and diverse. Host Rana Sarkar speaks to Marco Mendicino—Canada’s former Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship who recently transitioned to become Minister of Public Safety—on the importance of immigration for opportunity, growth, and innovation. The policies that the government creates to foster inclusion and dynamism in the workforce are crucial to creating the kind of ecosystem that Canada has become known for. We also sit down with Andre Charoo, Toronto-born founder of Maple VC, to discuss the Canadian values that give our tech companies a competitive advantage. We discuss how diverse populations increase economic opportunity, and how true diversity in technology will only happen when the people at the very top are representative of the communities they serve.LINKS:Min. Marco Mendicino ProfileMin. Marco Mendicino WebsiteMin. Marco Mendicino LinkedInMin. Marco Mendicino TwitterAndre Charoo LinkedInAndre Charoo TwitterMaple VCC100Andre Charoo on Need to Know PodcastAndre Charoo on Rep Matters Vlog
In order to understand what’s happening in Silicon Valley today, we look back at the history of the world’s most famous innovation hub. On this week’s episode of Confluence, host Rana Sarkar speaks with Margaret O’Mara, Professor in the Department of History at the University of Washington and author of The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America. Her book traces the region’s lineage back to its humble beginnings as the agricultural, “prune capital” of the world. It describes the unique set of circumstances and environmental factors which made Silicon Valley a global research hub before today’s leading tech companies had even been conceived. Rana then connects with Jennifer Stojkovic, Executive Director of sf.citi, an organization that represents and advocates for tech with the City of San Francisco. Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, sf.citi has been researching and reporting on demographic changes in the city—mapping the so-called “techxodus.” Growing costs of living in the city have led to a real housing crisis, which leaves the road ahead for Silicon Valley somewhat uncertain. As global communications technologies make remote work easier than ever before, will Silicon Valley remain in the San Francisco Bay area? Could there be a “Silicon Valley” somewhere else in the world, or in other words, is Silicon Valley a place, or an idea? Tune in this week for sharp discussion on the past and future of Silicon Valley. LINKS:Margaret O’Mara WebsiteMargaret O’Mara TwitterMargaret O’Mara LinkedInMargaret O’Mara Wikipedia Margaret O’Mara New York TimesThe Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America at Penguin Random HouseJen Stojkovic TwitterJen Stojkovic LinkedInJen Stojkovic WikipediaSf.citi WebsiteVegan Women’s Summit Rolling Stone Culture Council
On this week’s episode of Confluence, we speak with President of Microsoft, Brad Smith. In 2019, Smith penned Tools & Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age, a book which explains how Big Tech has a core responsibility to address the issues and potential harms of the technologies they create. This year, Smith updated the book with a second edition for 2021 that includes new chapters on cybersecurity and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke to Smith about these updates, and how he’s seen the landscape in Silicon Valley change in the years since the book’s first publishing. How should Government policy makers be engaging with the private sector? What kinds of collaboration can lead to the development of more ethical innovation? And, from the perspective at the helm of one of the most important companies in the world, where is Microsoft headed for the future? LINKS:Brad Smith LinkedInBrad Smith TwitterMicrosoft HomepageLink to Tools & Weapons at MicrosoftHow Top-Valued Microsoft Has Avoided the Big Tech BacklashMicrosoft president Brad Smith on the cloud, tech outages, and Boston’s ‘extraordinary advantage’Microsoft’s larger lesson from TikTok: Brad Smith on the future of U.S.-China tech relations
On this week’s episode of Confluence, we continue our conversation with leading Canadians who are at the forefront of global tech. Michelle Zatlyn, co-founder of Cloudflare, is back to talk about whether or not there is a special Canadian sauce that puts Canadian entrepreneurs in a unique position to foster innovation. We also spoke to Atlee Clark, Director of Operations at Ottawa-based Shopify and former Executive Director of the C100 in the Bay Area. These women have set standards in their fields for innovation and business leadership and we set out to find out how. Is Silicon Valley confined to its geographical location or has its ‘borders’ expanded? Could Canada be home to the next Big Tech Hub? As talent continues to circulate around the world, how should we be paying attention to ‘brain flow’, and what strategies can be deployed at scale to attract and retain talent? And finally, what values should leaders be focusing on to support diverse communities and more equitable innovation?LINKS:- Michelle Zatlyn LinkedInMichelle Zatlyn TwitterAtlee Clark LinkedInAtlee Clark TwitterC100C100 TwitterShopifyCloudFlareHemispheric Partners: Trade, Technology, and Innovation Ties Between the Bay Area and CanadaGlobe and Mail - Opinion: Is Canada in line to be the next Silicon Valley?The Logic - Origin Story: Canadians in Silicon ValleyCNBC - Why Canada is becoming a start-up mecca rivaling Silicon ValleyBusiness Insider - Why tech companies in Silicon Valley should expand to CanadaSan Francisco Chronicle - Canada to Silicon Valley’s International Talent: We Want YouForbes - CloudFlare Cofounder Michelle Zatlyn Is New Billionaire As Stock Reaches New HighBusinessWire - Cloudflare Announces First Office in Canada to Further Support Canadian Customers, Innovation, and GrowthFortune - Cloudflare Co-Founder Michelle Zatlyn: ‘Somebody Should’ Decide What to Delete OnlineC100’s Founding Executive Director, Atlee Clark, Launches Backbone Angels
On this week’s episode of Confluence, we’re coming back home and talking about Canada’s role in defining the future of tech. There seems to be a special Canadian sauce that gives us an edge. To help us figure out where Canada belongs in this conversation, we’re talking to three powerhouses in the tech landscape (who also all happen to be Canadian!). First, you’ll hear from C100s Laura Buhler and Chris Albinson, two Canadian expats working in the Bay Area to galvanize the global Canadian tech diaspora . We also sat down with Michelle Zatlyn, founder of Cloudflare, who reveals the differences between Canadian and American cultures within tech and how much community matters within Canada’s growing landscape. Is Silicon Valley confined to its geographical location or has it become so much more than that? How is Gen Z reshaping the way we think and work within tech? Will global pandemic provide an opportunity for Canada to define best business and investment practices for the future? And finally, is there something holding Canada back from being a top player on a global scale?LINKS:Laura Buhler LinkedInLaura Buhler TwitterChris Albinson LinkedInChris Albinson TwitterMichelle Zatlyn LinkedInMichelle Zatlyn TwitterC100C100 TwitterCloudFlareHemispheric Partners: Trade, Technology, and Innovation Ties Between the Bay Area and CanadaGlobe and Mail - Opinion: Is Canada in line to be the next Silicon Valley?The Logic - Origin Story: Canadians in Silicon ValleyCNBC - Why Canada is becoming a start-up mecca rivaling Silicon ValleyBusiness Insider - Why tech companies in Silicon Valley should expand to CanadaSan Francisco Chronicle - Canada to Silicon Valley’s International Talent: We Want YouForbes - CloudFlare Cofounder Michelle Zatlyn Is New Billionaire As Stock Reaches New HighBusinessWire - Cloudflare Announces First Office in Canada to Further Support Canadian Customers, Innovation, and GrowthFortune - Cloudflare Co-Founder Michelle Zatlyn: ‘Somebody Should’ Decide What to Delete OnlineSilicon Valley Digital: Canadian Technology Accelerator
The need to create and shift towards pro-human tech is more important than it’s ever been. The question is, how do we get there? Do we leave it up to the governments, policy makers and diplomats to figure out or do we let Big Tech answer this for us? Does a world exist where they can all work together while our democracy is at stake? This week, Rana sits down with Zvika Krieger, Director of Responsible Innovation at Facebook, who is searching for the answers to these questions everyday. His breadth of experience in every corner of the tech world has equipped him with unique perspectives on how to tackle these issues. We talk to Zvika about what motivated his career trajectory to go from journalism, government, and now into the private sector. We also discuss the evolution of tech diplomacy in Silicon Valley, the biases that are inherent to product decisions, and how the societal impact of products are an existential risk for Big Tech companies like Facebook. Connect with us on Twitter. We’re @CanCGSF and @RanaSarkar_. We look forward to continuing the conversation. Links:Zvika KriegerZvika Krieger TwitterScoop: Facebook hire aims to infuse ethics into product designA Practical Guide for Building Ethical TechWEF Centre for the Fourth Industrial RevolutionCenter for Humane TechnologyAll Tech Is HumanMarkkula Center for Applied EthicsOpinion | Who Will Teach Silicon Valley to be Ethical?The World’s First Ambassador to Silicon Valley
Pro-Human Technology

Pro-Human Technology

2021-07-1540:13

On this episode of Confluence, host Rana Sarkar turns to the private and not-for-profit sectors to get the perspective of folks who really understand the human side of technology and the implications of technology policy on real people. To do this, Sarkar speaks with Aza Raskin—Co-Founder of the Center for Humane Technology and the Earth Species Project—as well as Yael Eisenstat—Future of Democracy Fellow at the Berggruen Institute, Founder of Kilele Global risk advisory firm, and former Senior Intelligence Officer for the United States. Coming from diverse backgrounds in engineering, intelligence, and corporate leadership, these two guests understand the harms that misuse of tech can cause to unwitting citizens. These harms are serious, and both guests advocate for a more humane standard for the tech industry that is grounded in supporting rather than exploiting users. In this conversation, Sarkar and his guests discuss the role that public-private partnership in tandem with comprehensive regulation can have in shaping the landscape.Links:Aza Raskin LinkedIn  Aza Raskin WebsiteAza Raskin WikipediaYael Eisenstat WebsiteYael Eisenstat LinkedInYael Eisenstat TwitterYael Eisenstat WikipediaCenter for Humane TechnologyEarth Species ProjectBerggruen InstituteKilele GlobalAdditional Resources:Section 230 Debate on Electronic Frontier FoundationSection 230 Debate on The VergeSection 230 review by US Department of JusticeYour Undivided Attention PodcastYael Eisenstat TED TalkYaël Eisenstat: 'Facebook is ripe for manipulation and viral misinformation'What This CIA Veteran Learned Helping Facebook With Elections
Techplomacy Deep Dive

Techplomacy Deep Dive

2021-07-0842:07

In this episode of Confluence, host Rana Sarkar takes a closer look at what techplomacy is, how it works, and why it’s important. To better understand the global stakes at play, we hear  from two experts from Stanford University: Eileen Donahoe—Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator and former US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva—and Marietje Schaake—International Policy Director of the Cyber Policy Center and former Member of the European Parliament. Both guests have strong backgrounds in governance and law, with extensive practical experience working on the frontlines of diplomacy for public good. This episode takes the conversation from Episode 1 on the importance of techplomacy deeper by focusing on specific policy issues and their international ramifications. Both speakers explain some of the thorniest problems faced by governing bodies today—like the rise of digital authoritarianism and a growing digital divide . They offer some possible solutions and frameworks for action that can be achieved through greater diplomatic coordination. Links:Eileen Donahoe Stanford Profile Eileen Donahoe LinkedInEileen Donahoe TwitterMarietje Schaake Stanford ProfileMarietje Schaake LinkedInMarietje Schaake WebsiteMarietje Schaake TwitterCyber Policy CenterGlobal Digital Policy IncubatorAdditional Resources:The Digital Technology Agenda at the Summit for DemocracyDemocratic Source Code for a New U.S.-EU Tech AllianceReport of the Working Group on Platform ScaleTop Technology Policy Priorities for the New AdministrationA Transatlantic Effort to Take on China Starts with TechnologyA Rights-Respecting Digital Policy Agenda: Human Rights Community Perspectives for the New U.S. Administration
Welcome to Confluence

Welcome to Confluence

2021-07-0148:31

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Confluence! Meet Consul General Rana Sarkar, Canada’s Tech Envoy in Silicon Valley. In this first episode, Sarkar introduces the concept of techplomacy, or technology diplomacy. Over the past five years, Sarkar and his team at the Consulate of Canada in San Francisco have been using diplomacy to help shape the future of technology regulation. To help illustrate this work, Sarkar speaks to Peggy Hicks—Director, Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures, and Right to Development Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)— and Anne Marie Engtoft Larsen—Tech Ambassador for Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former Technology and Sustainable Development lead at the World Economic Forum. Both guests are diplomats working at the intersection of human rights and technology policy. Together, they help Sarkar introduce the concept of techplomacy,  give examples of this kind of diplomatic work, and describe the  global importance of techplomacy—with implications for everyone. Both guests on this episode provide a global perspective that is both rooted in yet extends far beyond Silicon Valley. While their approaches to dealing with the enormous impact of the tech industry may differ, human rights frameworks are a  common throughline that many actors can agree upon as a guide for action.Links: Peggy Hicks WEF ProfilePeggy Hicks LinkedInPeggy Hicks TwitterAnne Marie Engtoft Larsen WEF ProfileAnne Marie Engtoft Larsen LinkedInAnne Marie Engtoft Larsen TwitterDanish Tech EmbassyUnited Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human RightsCanada in San Francisco TwitterRana Sarkar TwitterConsulate General of Canada in San FranciscoAdditional Resources:The rise of TechPlomacy in the Bay AreaWhy techplomacy is more important than everIntroducing ‘Techplomacy’: A roundtable with Denmark’s Tech Ambassador - Casper KlyngeAll Tech is Human, August 2020Massey Dialogue, September 2020Dane against the machine: Tech-diplomat aims to protect fundamentals of democracy in digital ageCitizen Lab Submission to the Government of CanadaCanada Digital GovernmentGlobal Affairs CanadaCanada’s Efforts to Support Human RightsCanada and the United StatesFederal Anti-Racism Secretariat
In the Consulate of Canada’s first podcast, Rana Sarkar, Canada’s Tech Envoy in Silicon Valley, will delve into the issues shaping technology, diplomacy, and economic recovery through the lenses of Silicon Valley, Canada, and the world. In each episode, he will discuss pressing topics with subject matter experts to gain an unrestricted, deep dive into the tech policy issues shaping our times. Working at the intersections of big tech, public policy and change, Sarkar brings a unique perspective to these conversations and offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the global technological revolutions happening all around us. Audiences can tune in for sharp, informative, and entertaining conversations in this limited series. 
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