OPINION

Presidential candidates: Let's talk about technology and innovation

Groups work on their final presentations tolocal entrepreneurs at the conclusion of Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids at the Iowa Startup Accelerator in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, March 8, 2015.  (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Groups work on their final presentations tolocal entrepreneurs at the conclusion of Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids at the Iowa Startup Accelerator in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, March 8, 2015. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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The popularity of non-traditional Presidential candidates such as Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, and that of candidates with less traditional views, such as Bernie Sanders, has made some wonder if American voters are after nothing less than a revolution. But the fact is, we're already in the middle of a revolution that's rapidly changing the way we work and live.

Exponential developments in technology aren't just leading to smarter smartphones and gadgets. They're also transforming industries such as health care. They're affecting public-sector services such as public safety and human services. They are fundamentally altering the way many businesses operate and many individuals work.

That's why The Gazette is joining the Technology Association of Iowa and Engine, a San Francisco-based nonprofit policy coalition supporting technology entrepreneurship, to invite Democrat and Republican Presidential contenders to an Iowa Presidential Tech Town Hall, to discuss their vision for supporting the innovation economy, which already, according to TIA, employs more than 76,000 Iowans and accounts for 9 percent of the state's GDP.

We'll ask candidates to present their plan for tech and entrepreneurship, and to answer questions posed by some of the leaders in Iowa's tech and startup community. We'll talk about technology innovation, STEM education, broadband access and entrepreneurship.

The event will start at 3 p.m., Dec. 7, at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids. To find out more or register for this free event, visit www.prestechtownhall.org

You also can watch the live stream and follow the event on Twitter: #IowaTech2016

• Comments: jennifer.hemmingsen@thegazette.com; (319) 398-8469

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