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Tech Policy 202: Spring 2023 Educational Seminar Series for Congressional and Federal Staff

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 to Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Capitol HillWashington DC 

Event Summary

About This Course

ITIF’s spring 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 Spring 2023 Seminar Series

  • Blockchain
  • 5G and Spectrum
  • Quantum Computing
  • Gene Editing
  • Energy Storage and the Electronification Connection
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality

Tuesday, March 7: Blockchain

This session will explain the fundamentals of blockchain technology. It will explain how blockchains and distributed ledgers work, examine their strengths and weaknesses, and highlight several applications of the technology. It will also discuss the policy implications of blockchain-enabled decentralization across various industries, including financial services to identity management.

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

Tuesday, March 14: 5G and Spectrum

This session will give participants a deep understanding of wireless networks, the transition to the fifth generation (5G) of mobile networks, and how it intersects with a variety of policy issues. Advanced wireless networks represent a key platform for future innovation, and successful development and deployment of improved spectrum technologies represents a tremendous opportunity for economic growth.

Presenter: Joe Kane, Director, Broadband and Spectrum Policy, ITIF

Tuesday, March 21: Quantum Computing

The session will explain what quantum computing is, discuss how quantum computing applications are being developed across a wide range of commercial sectors (from finance and manufacturing to biomedical innovation), and consider the telecommunications and defense/security implications of quantum computing. It will examine what types of policies nations have implemented in their quest for quantum computing leadership and discuss implications for U.S. policymaking around quantum computing.

Presenter: Hodan Omaar, Senior Policy Analyst, ITIF

Tuesday, March 28: Gene Editing

The session will explain what gene editing is, how it works, how it was discovered, and what folks are trying to accomplish with it across a wide spectrum of applications in biomedicine, agriculture, and industry. The session will review different approaches to policy issues in different countries, including intellectual property and regulation. It will also examine les- sons that should inform the direction of U.S. policy.

Presenter: Val Giddings, Senior Fellow, ITIF

Tuesday, April 4: Energy Storage and the Electrification Connection

This session will explain the connections between the drive to electrify energy use with low-carbon sources (e.g. renewables) and the ability to store energy from intermittent sources so it’s available 24/7. This will include a discussion of the major pieces of this puzzle, hurdles, and insights for policy enablers.

Presenter: Ed Rightor, Director, Clean Energy Innovation, ITIF

Tuesday, April 11: Augmented and Virtual Reality

This session will give participants an understanding of augmented reality, virtual reality, and the metaverse. It will explain the current state of immersive technologies, the different devices that leverage AR/VR, and their different applications. As the next iteration of the Internet, the metaverse will need to tackle various policy challenges, both new and inherited, such as barriers to adoption, privacy concerns, user safety, and content moderation. This session will provide a primer on the current policy priorities surrounding immersive technologies and the metaverse.

Presenter: Juan Londoño, Policy Analyst, ITIF

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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