Join Us: Xconomy Forum on Innovations with Widespread Human Impact

Over the past 30 years or so, design theorists have promoted the idea of putting humans at the center of the process that innovators use to design everyday things. At the UC San Diego Design Lab, director Don Norman talks about the importance of studying and understanding how people are actually using something—whether it is a computerized interface or a door handle.

In recent years, this concept of human-centric design has percolated into all kinds of other fields—from business management to problem-solving in general. Here at Xconomy, we are gathering prominent scientists, executives, investors, and others in San Diego to take a similar approach by focusing on the human impact of innovation.

We began by asking, “What are the innovations that are expected to have the biggest overall impact on humans—on the way we live, on our health, and security—and what role will San Diego play in the advancement of these technologies?

As we identified some of these innovations, a few themes began to emerge. For example, the proliferation of sensors used in healthcare has been generating enormous amounts of data. So much data, in fact, that no human can manage it all. So machine learning is now being applied in a variety of fields to help manage what might be best described as information overload.

On the road to self-driving cars, innovators developing autonomous navigation technology are encountering similar problems with the sheer volume of data being generated by cameras, accelerometers, and other onboard sensors—and are also using machine learning to suss out the most-important takeaways.

In organizing this forum, we also are seeking to chart the convergence of San Diego’s renowned life sciences cluster with the software sector—and to highlight emerging opportunities for innovation and startups for tech entrepreneurs in healthcare and the life sciences.

The Xconomy forum for examining these questions convenes in San Diego’s Torrey Pines Mesa on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 19th at The Illumina Theater at the Alexandria, 10996 Torreyana Road. As Xconomy San Diego’s convener-in-chief, I will be there as master of ceremonies, with speakers we have brought together from San Diego and beyond.

We hope you will join us. You can sign up here:

Our roster of confirmed speakers so far includes:

Larry Smarr, founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)

Clayton Lewis, co-founder and CEO, Seattle-based Arivale

Henrik Christensen, director, UC San Diego Institute for Contextual Robotics

Steven Steinhubl, director of digital medicine, Scripps Translational Science Institute, and Scripps Health cardiologist

Jay Lichter, entrepreneur and partner, Avalon Ventures

Jeff Hawkins, vice president, reproductive and genetic health, Illumina


Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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