Technology & Innovation
OverviewTechnological advances have transformed the human experience and have led to vast increases in well-being. These advances are best enabled by a policy framework of permissionless innovation and a culture that embraces technological progress. We are currently focusing on these three areas of technology and innovation:
The Case for InnovationTechnology has the potential to continue to provide dramatic increases in well-being for all Americans. But not all disruption is welcomed. Increasing automation, shifting norms regarding employment, artificial intelligence, and other technological changes can come with increased public concern about the future of labor and public safety. In order to preserve a culture of permissionless innovation that facilitates technological progress, we must address how innovation improves well-being.
Digital Free Speech & Free AssociationAccess to information is a critical element of a free society. As conversations move online, the design, structure, and legal rights and obligations of those forums must enable free speech and civil discourse. Free speech, data, privacy, surveillance, and encryption are also deeply intertwined. In order to have free speech and association, individuals must be able to communicate legally and securely through digital means. Without meaningful privacy, intermediary liability protections, and strong encryption, rights of expression will be chilled. This digital transition also provides an opportunity for private firms to use big data to unleash significant technological advancements.
Industries Ripe for InnovationMany areas of our economy are ripe for technological disruption, but outdated legal frameworks often hinder potential advances.
- Health Care: Current medical regulations should adapt to potentially life-saving technologies such as wearables, virtual reality, genetic testing, and the sharing economy, allowing patients and their doctors to make responsible choices for individual circumstances.
- Financial: Provided they are not overregulated, new forms of payment, contracting, investment, financing, and insurance have the potential to transform the financial services industry by reducing or eliminating the costs of exchange. These new financial tools can lower barriers and increase exchanges in ways that were not previously possible. For example, blockchain technology can enable direct financial transactions as well as facilitate greater public accountability.
- Manufacturing: New forms of manufacturing, such as 3-D printing, and new material advances have the potential to improve the daily lives of individuals. We often do not consider these types of technological advances, but they are found in products we all use every day and can lead to improved goods for all.
- Transportation: Driverless cars, drones, and transportation network companies are just some of the significant recent developments in transportation. As those technologies expand, the potential benefits to individuals and firms can be stymied by outdated regulatory barriers and crony opposition.
From the Blog
By Editorial Team | January 19, 2017
Interface and user experience designers could have a hand in promoting free speech and civil discourse through online platforms like Medium. As online platforms create more opportunities for people to engage in debate and discourse, there’s a large role for interface and user experience (UX) designers to help showcase thoughtful content and spur civil interactions. […]Read More
By Editorial Team | December 13, 2016
Academics and venture capitalists recently came together in New York City to discuss how automation will affect employment. Earlier this month, the Charles Koch Institute, along with the Adam Smith Society and the Lincoln Network, brought together professors and venture capitalists for a discussion on the evolving nature of work and the challenges and opportunities […]Read More
By Editorial Team | November 22, 2016
Technological advancements and cultural diffusion through cuisine have made it easier for more people to celebrate Thanksgiving in their own style. Thanksgiving may not have the carols and gifts of Christmas, but what it lacks in festivities it makes up for with food. And though today’s Thanksgiving bears little resemblance to the first harvest celebration […]Read More
By Editorial Team | October 21, 2016
Policy analysts and entrepreneurs discuss transportation innovation and the policies stifling progress in Austin. The Charles Koch Institute, along with the Lincoln Initiative, brought together policy analysts and Texas-based entrepreneurs on October 13 to discuss the current state of transportation policy, its impact in Austin, and the future of innovation. The night opened with a […]Read More
By Rick Barton | September 23, 2016
Services like Flytenow and technology for supersonic flights could have vastly improved air travel in terms of cost, speed, and ease. Yet regulations have stalled these innovations. The history of human transportation is a story of innovation. From the wheel to the airplane, improvements in our ability to move goods and people are driven by […]Read More