Silicon Valley is broadly viewed as a unique achievement of American capitalism. Nowhere else has produced so many companies that have fundamentally reshaped the modern world. Yet, looking behind the prevailing narrative of heroic self-made founders and investors like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, Silicon Valley’s history reveals deep connections with the federal government.
Government policies and programs have supported many foundational technologies that made today’s leading technology companies possible, including innovations like GPS, the Internet, and key components in our smartphones. Policymakers have also set up legislative frameworks that cleared the way for these companies to operate, helping make America the leading global innovator.
Not everyone agrees what role the federal government should play in the future in promoting science and technology, particularly in the face of growing competition from China. It’s also clear that there’s an increasing knowledge gap between Silicon Valley and DC, which may have us flying blind on key strategic issues.
Join Lincoln Network for a special evening with Tom Kalil, Chief Innovation Officer at Schmidt Futures and a veteran of two presidential administrations; and Dr. Tim Persons, Chief Scientist at the Government Accountability Office, and a former technical director at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and the National Security Agency. They’ll explore questions surrounding the federal government’s role in science and technology, innovation and national security, and how we can build deeper technical expertise in Congress.
Learn more about Lincoln Network’s policy work at https://lincolnpolicy.org.
Chief Innovation Officer at Schmidt Futures
Chief Scientist and Managing Director of the Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics team of the United States Government Accountability Office