When We Talks

Agenda released for our annual conference, Oct. 6-7 – GeekWire


(Clockwise from upper right) Amazon’s Ken Washington, U.S. Sen Maria Cantwell, Microsoft’s Jaime Teevan, Smartsheet’s Megan Hansen, Kin Ventures’ Tina Hoang-To, Magic Leap’s Julie Larson-Green, Aurora’s Chris Urmson, Microsoft’s Charlie Bell, UW’s Nadya Peek, and Zillow’s Skylar Olsen are a few of the business, science and tech leaders slated to appar at this year’s GeekWire Summit.

This year’s GeekWire Summit is two weeks away, and today we’re excited to offer a preview with the release of our near-final agenda, featuring tech leaders and newsmakers addressing the most pressing issues facing the industry and the world. 

Now in its 11th year, our signature technology and business conference is known for providing early insights into the tech trends that have since reshaped key industry sectors, including drones, the shakeup of the U.S. wireless industry, the rise of mobile payments, artificial intelligence, voice-recognition, virtual reality, and the gig economy, to name a few.

So what’s next? We’ve put together one of our best lineups ever this year, addressing issues including cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, home robots, augmented reality, the state of the economy, the link between humans and machines, and the future of work. 

Continue reading for highlights, and check out the full agenda for session times and more details under the “schedule” tab on the GeekWire Summit event site. The event is Oct. 6-7 in Seattle.

Tickets are available here or below to attend either virtually or in-person.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell: The GeekWire Summit begins with introductory remarks from Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, who is tackling numerous challenges as the leader of a city seeking to maintain its status as one of the world’s top innovation hubs.

Charlie Bell, Microsoft EVP, Security, Compliance, Identity & Management: Can the digital world leave its medieval times behind and become civilized? That was the question on Charlie Bell’s mind when he decided to join Microsoft to lead the Redmond company’s $15 billion cybersecurity business, taking on what he described as “one of the greatest challenges of our time.” More than a year into that quest, the veteran technology leader will give us a status report — sharing insights from his career, the state of digital security, and the potential for progress in the years ahead. 

Panel: What the heck is happening with the economy? Inflation, corporate cutbacks, hybrid work, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have turned 2022 into a year like no other, and provided an uncertain backdrop for what many once hoped would be a full-fledged economic recovery. What’s happening now, and where are things headed next? We’ll get insights from two experts in the field: Skylar Olsen, chief economist at Zillow Group; and Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Indeed. Moderated by Noah Buhayar, data editor at Bloomberg News.

Fireside Chat: U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell: U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, a former Seattle tech executive first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, will join us to discuss the future of U.S. innovation, and recent progress including the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. Moderated by GeekWire reporter Lisa Stiffler.

Venture Capital Panel: Against the backdrop of an uncertain economy and a pullback in startup funding, we’ll get a read on the most promising areas for investment, innovation, and growth in the months and years ahead with an expert panel of venture capitalists and tech investors: Tina Hoang-To, founding partner at Kin Ventures; Chris DeVore, founding managing partner at Founder’s Co-op; and Annie Kadavy, managing director at Redpoint. Moderated by Amy Bohutinsky, venture partner at TCV and former Zillow Group chief operating officer.

Julie Larson-Green, Chief Technology Officer at Magic Leap: What’s the promise of augmented reality in our work and lives? As an engineer who has worked on some of the world’s most widely used products, Julie Larson-Green has a unique perspective on what’s achievable and realistic in this field in her current role as chief technology officer of Magic Leap. It’s a timely conversation, as well, following the Sept. 30 release of the Magic Leap 2 augmented reality headset. 

Jaime Teevan, Chief Scientist & Technical Fellow at Microsoft: Drawing from years of deep research into the rapidly changing nature of work, Jaime Teevan, Microsoft chief scientist and technical fellow, provides key takeaways for business and technology leaders grappling with seismic shifts in the ways teams connect, collaborate and communicate in the quest to turn great ideas into world-changing products and services.

Nadya Peek, Assistant Professor, Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington: An inside look at the dynamic and increasingly impactful connection between humans and technology with Nadya Peek, assistant professor in the University of Washington department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE), and director of the Machine Agency. 

Panel: Future of Work: Is the new era of hybrid work a temporary trend or a long-term reality? What are the most effective strategies for business and technology leaders, seeking a balance between productivity and flexibility, and taking into account the many different contexts and backgrounds of employees? Informed by our newfound understanding of the underlying data science, we’ll check in on the changing workplace with Megan Hansen, chief people and culture officer at Smartsheet; Julia Anas, chief people officer at Qualtrics; and Holli Martinez, vice president and head of diversity, equity and inclusion at T-Mobile.

Elevator Pitch Finals, presented by WestRiver Group: Live on stage, witness the epic Season 3 finale of GeekWire’s Elevator Pitch startup competition and video series, as the winning entrepreneurs from each of this season’s four episodes make one final pitch to the GeekWire Summit audience and to our panel of judges: Anthony Bontrager, managing director of WestRiver Group; Maria Colacurcio, CEO of Syndio and winner of Elevator Pitch season two; and Kirby Winfield, entrepreneur and founding general partner of Ascend.vc. 

Chris Urmson, CEO at Aurora: Fully autonomous vehicles are closer to commonplace than you might expect, as cars and big rigs gain the ability to operate safely on our streets and highways. As one of the pioneers in the field, Chris Urmson has been there from the beginning, competing in the landmark DARPA Grand Challenge before going on to lead Google’s self-driving car initiative. Now he’s following through on the vision as the CEO of Aurora, which is developing self-driving technology for use by a variety of car and truck manufacturers. We’ll glimpse the road ahead for autonomous vehicles from one of the pioneers in the field. 

Inventions We Love: We’re excited to bring back a beloved GeekWire Summit tradition, as the entrepreneurs and innovators behind four hand-picked inventions share breakthroughs big and small, live on stage. Hosted by GeekWire reporter Kurt Schlosser. 

Hill Harper, Founder of The Black Wall Street: Actor and author Hill Harper knows how to turn words into action, taking an idea from one of his books, “The Wealth Cure,” and turning it into The Black Wall Street, a digital wallet designed to help the Black community address and overcome financial inequities. Known for his roles on such shows as The Good Doctor, CSI: NY, and Limitless, Hill Harper shares insights from an extraordinary life and remarkable career spanning business, technology, and the arts. 

Ken Washington, VP of Consumer Robotics at Amazon: Ken Washington has been preparing for his job as Amazon’s vice president and GM of consumer robotics for his entire career. A nuclear engineer by training, with a doctorate from Texas A&M, his past roles include CIO for Sandia National Laboratories; the first chief privacy officer for Lockheed Martin; and CTO for Ford Motor Co. as the automaker expanded into autonomous technology. Now he’s combining all that expertise and experience to help usher in the age of home robotics and automation, overseeing initiatives including the Astro home robot. We’ll learn what’s next for the autonomous home with an industry leader pushing the boundaries of the field.

We’ll be returning this year to Block 41, a great indoor-outdoor space in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. See the FAQ for more information, and register to attend in-person or virtually at geekwire.com/summit or below. Email [email protected] with any questions.

Thanks to presenting sponsor Bank of America, to all the sponsors who make the GeekWire Summit possible, and to all of you for supporting GeekWire’s work. See you there!


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