Tech Policy 101: Fall 2022 Educational Seminar Series for Congressional and Federal Staff
About This Course
ITIF’s fall seminar course explores core emerging technologies that are reshaping our world and, in the process, creating public policy challenges and opportunities. The course is open to congressional staff only. It is designed to help those who already have basic level of understanding of technology and tech policy develop a deeper understanding of key emerging technologies and the policy issues associated with them.
Participating Hill staff will be exposed to an array of complex tech policy issues confronting Congress, with the opportunity to discuss and debate the questions and policy challenges presented by new technologies with ITIF analysts and other experts. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course if they attend at least five out of the six classes. The course and certificate are free of charge.
Topics to Be Explored in the Fall 2022 Seminar Series
- Next Steps in Tech and Industry Policy
- Clean Energy Innovation
- Information Technology, Data, and Trade
- Industrial Internet, Robotics, and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
- The Future of Broadband, including “Next G”
- Section 230 and Content Moderation
Tuesday, September 20: Next Steps in Tech and Industrial Policy (Intro)
The first seminar serves as an introduction and overview to technology policy, with a particular focus on technology and competition policies, as well as the political and organization landscape for these issues.
Robert Atkinson, President and Founder, ITIF
- Adam Thierer, “On Defining 'Industrial Policy',” The Technology Liberation Front, September 2020.
- Robert D. Atkinson, “How Nine Flawed Policy Concepts Hinger the United States From Adopting the Advanced-Industry Strategy It Needs,” ITIF, August 2020.
- Chris Riley, “The future of tech policy involves CATS-and they will be SAD,” R Street, August 2022.
Tuesday, September 27: Clean Energy Innovation
The FY 2023 budget request signals America’s commitment to sustaining bipartisan momentum for clean energy innovation. ITIF's Director of the Center for Clean Energy Innovation David Hart, one of the authors of the report below, will discuss key findings regarding how Congress should seize this opportunity to accelerate domestic clean energy industries and shape the U.S. response to climate change.
David Hart, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Clean Energy Innovation, ITIF
- Hoyu Chong and David M. Hart, “Further Energizing Innovation in Fiscal Year 2023,” ITIF, May 2022.
Tuesday, October 4: Information Technology, Data, and Trade
Supporting innovation in the United States requires open access to global markets via fair, clear, and enforceable trade rules. The Internet and digital technologies allow all firms to more easily engage in trade. Yet, trade rules with many U.S. trading partners, and at the multilateral level at the World Trade Organization, have failed to keep up with the modern nature of trade, which creates space for countries to enact new ways (such as those around the use and transfer of data) to disadvantage U.S. firms and their goods and services. This session will discuss the major technology-trade policy issues and possible solutions.
Nigel Cory, Associate Director, Trade Policy, ITIF
- Nigel Cory and Stephen Ezell, “Crafting an Innovation-Enabling Trade in Services Agreement,” ITIF, June 2016.
- Nigel Cory, “U.S. Options to Engage on Digital Trade and Economic Issues in the Asia-Pacific,” ITIF, February 2022.
- Nigel Cory, “How Barriers to Cross-Border Data Flows Are Spreading Globally, What They Cost, and How to Address Them,” ITIF, July 2021.
Tuesday, October 11: Industrial Internet, Robotics, and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
Modern information and communications technologies—such as AI, big data, IoT, cloud computing, robotics, 3D-printing—are transforming modern industrial practices and business models. The companies and countries that most effectively leverage these technologies will position themselves for leadership in the advanced manufacturing economy of tomorrow, but smart corporate practices and effective government policies will be needed to effectively facilitate this transformation. Vice President of Global Innovation Policy, Stephen Ezell, will lead the class in discussion surrounding the roadmap for success throughout this technological evolution.
Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF
- Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell, “The Manufacturing Evolution: How AI Will Transform Manufacturing & the Workforce of the Future,” ITIF, August 2019.
- Stephen J. Ezell, “Why Manufacturing Digitalization Matters and How Countries Are Supporting It,” ITIF, April 2018. (Read Pages 1-12)
Tuesday, October 18: The Future of Broadband, including “Next G”
This seminar provides an introduction to major issues in broadband and spectrum policy. After an overview of the different types of broadband access technology, we will explore the implications of recent efforts to close the digital divide and what barriers remain. We will also explore new opportunities in wireless broadband that effective spectrum policy can enable.
Joe Kane, Broadband and Spectrum Policy, ITIF
- Joe Kane, “Spectrum Sharing: Holy Grail or False Hope?,” ITIF, July 2022.
- Joe Kane and Jessica Dine, "Ten (Suggested) Commandments for Closing the Digital Divide,” ITIF, May 2022.
Tuesday, October 25: Section 230 and Content Moderation
Who is liable when somebody posts something illegal, or harmful, on the Internet? There are two main laws that cover intermediary liability: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which addresses copyright infringement, and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which addresses most everything else. Section 230 limits liability for online services and users for third-party content—protecting them both when they remove objectionable content as well as when they do not remove it. However, there is an ongoing debate about whether to keep, repeal, or update this law.
Daniel Castro, Vice President, ITIF & Director, Center for Data Innovation
Ashley Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst, ITIF
- Overview of Section 230: What It Is, Why It Was Created, and What It Has Achieved
- The Exceptions to Section 230: How Have the Courts Interpreted Section 230?
- Fact Checking the Critiques Section 230: What Are the Real Problems?
- How Other Countries Have Dealt With Intermediary Liability
- Proposals to Reform Section 230
Founded in 2006, ITIF is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate, evaluate, and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress. ITIF’s goal is to provide policymakers around the world with high quality information, analysis, and recommendations they can trust. On the strength and influence of its work, the University of Pennsylvania has ranked ITIF as the top science and technology think tank in the world.
While ITIF takes positions on many policy issues, this course is not intended to advocate for its positions. Instead, ITIF aims to further its educational mission by fostering rigorous discussion and examining various facets of contemporary tech policy issues.
Legal Compliance and Ethical Guidelines
ITIF has worked closely with counsel at Perkins Coie LLP to ensure these seminars comply with House and Senate ethics guidelines concerning events attended by congressional staff. ITIF does not employ or retain registered lobbyists, and lobbyists will not be involved in any part of the planning or execution of this series.