Alec Ross, New York Times best selling author and former senior adviser for innovation to the Secretary of State, is confirmed as the keynote for The Gazette’s inaugural Iowa Ideas conference. Ross will speak Wednesday, September 20 at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, before an opening celebration that will kick off the full two-day Iowa Ideas conference.
Ross’s best-selling book, “The Industries of the Future,” explores the technological and economic trends and developments that will shape the next decade. An accomplished entrepreneur, Ross served as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State and advised President Barack Obama on the intersection of technology and geopolitics during his first presidential campaign. Most recently, Ross declared his candidacy to run for governor of Maryland.
“We feel that Alec’s work around the globe showing a variety of paths to success and opportunity made him an ideal person to keynote the Iowa Ideas Conference,” said Gazette Executive Editor Zack Kucharski. “Alec’s ability to draw connections across a variety of emerging industries stood out to us because he sees common ground. In planning the various sessions for Iowa Ideas, we’ve been repeatedly surprised at how interconnected some of challenges facing the state are.”
But it isn’t just the foresight about the future that stood out, Kucharski added.
“He’s passionate about lifelong learning and provides practical ideas that are widely applicable, making complex trends like genomics, big data and the code-ification of markets understandable.”
“Industries of the Future” takes readers on a journey from Ross’s home state of West Virginia to the farthest corners of the global innovation economy. The emerging issues, ranging from automation, cybersecurity, big data and the code-ification of money, markets and trust, are poised to impact many of the world’s — and Iowa’s — largest industries.
Read more: Our interview with Alec Ross
Drawing from his book along with experience in government and industry, Ross will speak to Iowa Ideas participants on the next big drivers of change that will impact our future, for good and ill, along with the geographic and cultural contexts out of which they are emerging.
The Iowa Ideas conference will present eight tracks representing issues that continue to impact the economics and people of Iowa. More than eighty sessions will feature panel discussions and keynotes while encouraging connection among various parts of the state to understand perspectives, build on ideas and offer opportunities to interact.
Early registration and track details for the September 20-22 Iowa Ideas conference is now available at www.iowaideas.com.