Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 8:40 AM

A tech conference with perspective

I want to have a tech conference where everyone on stage is over 50. People who accomplished something when they were in their 20s and 30s, talking about what they've seen in their lives.

It's time to start this process because in tech we throw out so much experience, it's why progress is so slow. Also because these people are approaching retirement, and we've already lost a few of our heroes, people who I would love to have interviewed.

I'd look for people who were not the widely-heralded heroes of their day, esp people who didn't make billions of dollars. People whose work really added up to a lifetime of achievement.

This would be a non-commercial conference, and recurring, and very low or no cost. A university would be ideal. I've done similar conferences at Harvard and Stanford. Both schools have excellent facilities for this kind of thing.

It would be webcast of course, available for perpetuity on YouTube and wherever else people might like to put it.

We'd encourage young technologists to participate as well, in meaningful ways. To create cross-pollination of ideas, so we don't lose so much of the experience we fought so hard for.

What would be in it for a university? Having these ideas flow through your campus would give you a public connection with accomplishment in technology, which means a lot more than teaching your kids how to "code." Here we would teach how very successful people thought about technology, and turned those ideas into results on a societal level. At the time, people thought techies were weird, but now we know they were actually visionaries.

PS: This post began as a Facebook thread.

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By Dave Winer, Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 8:40 AM. When in doubt, blog.