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Tech Policy 101: Fall 2022 Educational Seminar Series for Congressional and Federal Staff

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 to Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Capitol HillWashington DC 

Event Summary

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.

Presenter(s):

Robert Atkinson, President and Founder, ITIF

Readings:

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.

Presenter(s):

David Hart, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Clean Energy Innovation, ITIF

Readings:

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.

Presenter(s):

Nigel Cory, Associate Director, Trade Policy, ITIF

Readings:

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.

Presenter(s):

Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF

Readings:

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.

Presenter(s):

Joe Kane, Broadband and Spectrum Policy, ITIF

Readings:

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.

Presenter(s):

Daniel Castro, Vice President, ITIF & Director, Center for Data Innovation

Ashley Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst, ITIF

Readings:

About ITIF

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.

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