top of page

The Greater Good Gathering

"Technology, The Economy

and the Greater Good"


February 6th and 7th, 2020

School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University

420 West 118th Street, New York City 10027

The Kellogg Center, 15th Floor


Great Line-Up of Speakers & Panelists

George Friedman, geopolitical forecaster and strategist, founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures, author of the forthcoming, The Storm Before the Calm: America's Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond.

Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., an internationally renowned clinician and researcher of all types of lymphoma, has been co-chair of the Global Council on the Future of Health and Healthcare for the World Economic Forum since 2015.

Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Director of Microsoft Research, Founder of the One Hundred Year Study on AI, Founding Chair of the Partnership on AI, Recipient of the Allen Newell Award and Feigenbaum Prize for advances in AI.


Vijay Modi, Columbia University Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Director, Infrastructure Programs, UN Millennium Villages Project.


Jim Davis, Vice Provost for IT at UCLA, co-founder Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, leader of US DOE’s Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

Kyle Zimmer, President, CEO, and Co-founder of First Book, and one of Fast Company’s 45 Social Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World. 

Tom Vilsack, former US Secretary of Agriculture.

Marina Gorbis, executive director of Silicon Valley's Institute for the Future, author of The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World. 

Jay Angoff, former head of Obamacare implementation for US Department of Hralth & Human Services.

Malcolm Frank, President of Cognizant Digital Business, co-author of What To Do When Machines Do Everything.

Kalev Leetaru, one of Foreign Policy Magazine's Top 100 Global Thinkers, Google Developer Expert for Google Cloud Platform, Media Fellow at the RealClearFoundation and  Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security.

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly.

Amy Dean, Fellow at The Century Foundation, labor activist, social entrepreneur, and co-author of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.

Angela Jackson, head of Future of Work Initiative at New Profit Inc.

Lynn Barendsen, Project Director, the Good Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

David Rotman, editor at large of the MIT Technology Review.

Robert Kuttner, cofounder and coeditor of The American Prospect and former columnist for both Business Week and the Boston Globe, Ida and Meyer Kirstein Chair at Brandeis University.

Steven Greenhouse, former labor and workplace writer for the New York Times, contributor to The American Prospect, and author, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor.

Linda M. Rhodes, expert on health and aging, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging, author of recent study for 1199SEIU on technology's impact on the future of health care jobs.

Tracy Sefl, nationally recognized communications specialist with particular expertise in elite media and issue advocacy.

Rob Pergoraro, Contributing Writer to USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Wirecutter, Fast Company and others.

Andrew Rasiej, civic and social entrepreneur, technology strategist, and Founder of Civic Hall.

Merit Janow, Dean, Columbia School of International & Public Affairs, Professor of Professional Practice in International Economic Law and International Affairs. 

Dr. Laura DeNardis, Professor and Interim Dean of the School of Communication at American University, author of six books including the just-released The Internet in Everything: Freedom and Security in a World with No Off Switch.

Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT professor and Director of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, co-author of several books including Machine Platform Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future and NYTimes best-seller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.

Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, co-founder of Veniam, author of Peers Inc: How People and Platforms are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism.

Soroush Abbaspour, program director, Blockchain for Healthcare at IBM; director, Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain & Data Transparency.

Sree Sreenivasan, Visiting Professor of Digital Innovation and Audience Engagement at Stony Brook University School of Journalism; digital and social consultant for nonprofits, corporations, startups and executives; former Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, Columbia University, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (keeping the 150-year-old institution relevant in the smartphone age); named one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business and the world's most influential Chief Digital Officer.

Ester Fuchs, Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, former Special Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for Governance and Strategic Planning.

Sara Menker, Founder & CEO of Gro-Intelligence, former Morgan Stanley commodities group vice president, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.


Kathleen McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science and director of the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, Columbia University.

Christopher Sealey, President and Co-Founder, CoverUS mobile healthcare-data app, and founding general partner, Chain Link crypto asset hedge fund.


Brian Selander, President & COO, Ownable; former executive VP, Whistle Sports Network, Fast Company's #3 Most Innovative Company in the World in Video (Disney was #2).

Barry C. Lynn, Director, Open Markets Institute; author, Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction.

Barbara Askins, President & CEO of the 125th Street Business Improvement District in Upper Manhattan (Harlem), New York City.

Daniel Araya, consultant and advisor to companies within tech industry, focusing on innovation, public policy, and business strategy. 

Ivan Wicksteed, Chief Marketing Officer of Oscar, a health-insurance start-up that is using technology, design, and data to help humanize and simplify healthcare.

Peter Shanley, Co-Founder, CoverUS mobile healthcare-data app, has launched innovative products and services for Fortune 500’s, startups, and non-profits for over fifteen years.

And, as always, a concluding panel of student social entrepreneurs developing new ways to advance the Greater Good across the country and worldwide.

Plus, representatives from the six Greater Good “policy hackathons” and “town halls” in New York City, Los Angeles, and across Iowa, bringing citizens nationwide into the discussion.

The mechanisms by which societies govern themselves – how they define, create, promote, and defend the “Greater Good” – will be increasingly refashioned and dispersed, and increasingly “multi-polar,” in the 21st Century.  Technological advances are changing the ways that people can aggregate with or separate from others, thus changing the nature of “society” and “government.” 

All of these changes are profoundly impacting all aspects of human

society and culture, on both the level of the lived daily experiences

of individuals andthe level of societies, nations, and the world itself. 


At Greater Good Gathering 1.0, October 20-22, 2017, we looked

deeplyamong cross-disciplines at how the means for addressing

and promotingthe Greater Good is changing in today’s world and

how together we can chart a course that assures good societies.

Greater Good Gathering 2.0, February 6-7, 2019, focused on the ways that technology today can threaten a shared sense of “community” and the common good – or fulfill its original promise to help build them, from

how we think to how we interact to how we govern ourselves. Check out our video on GGG 2.0 above.


This year’s “Greater Good” conference will focus on how technology is changing the economy, jobs, and work.  This will be a timely debate, as the conference this year will fall in the week between the Iowa presidential caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.  One highlight will be a discussion about the future between President Donald Trump’s White House advisor on technology and innovation, and Silicon Valley’s Democratic Congressman, Ro Khanna, moderated by renowned journalist James Fallows of The Atlantic.  This year’s conference will also be the culmination of “Greater Good” conversations on this topic involving average citizens in New York, Los Angeles, and around Iowa in the preceding weeks.


The Greater Good Gathering is a unique place for thought-leaders in academia, technology, advocacy and public service to come together in an elite setting to discuss how we can best shape the future, and how it is shaping us. 



Conference Agenda

               Conference Program

Greater Good Gathering 3.0:

Technology, Community and the Greater Good


School of International & Public Affairs

Columbia University in the City of New York

February 6 & 7, 2020



The Greater Good Initiative was launched in 2017 to address how best to pursue and promote the “greater good” in a world being rapidly changed by the interconnected forces of technological innovation, economic disruption, ideological polarization, and governance challenges.


Sponsored by Columbia University, the School of International & Public Affairs, and the Academy of Political Science, this year’s conference will focus on how technology is changing the economy, jobs, and work.  Sessions are held for a half-day session on Thursday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm followed by a networking cocktail reception and a full-day session on Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm. The event will be held at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.


The topics we will be covering are:


Overview:  What are new technologies doing to the economy?


Report from America: The "Hackathons"


The Robots Are Coming: Machine Displacement of Human Workers:

The Fate of Manufacturing, Agriculture, and Secondary Regions


The Effect on Low-Skilled Jobs Beyond Manufacturing and Agriculture: 

Retail, Trucking, and Other Market Disruptions


It's Not Just Blue-Collar Blues: The Effects of AI on High-Skill, High-Income Professions


New Industries & Opportunities: The Case for Techno-Optimism


The Changing Nature of Jobs, Work and Meaning

The Impact of Technology on Jobs: The Worker's Viewpoint


What Do We Do? 

The Micro-Economic Future – Worker Training & Education


What Do We Do?

The Macro-Economic Future – National Policy


A Completely New Kind of Economy?


The Great Debate: Political Implications of Economic Change


Solutions: Student Social Entrepreneurs

Need more details? Contact us

Contact us by phone, email or via our social media channels.

bottom of page