This Week in D.C.: Think Tanks Discuss U.S.-China Diplomacy, AI’s Effects on American Jobs and the Government Software Supply Chain

By IPWatchdog
April 22, 2019

Capitol Hill remains quiet this week as both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate enter a second straight week of work periods. Technology and innovation events continue, however, at the many policy think tanks residing in Washington, D.C. Monday starts with a discussion on U.S.-China relations at the Brookings Institution, while a pair of events at the Cato Institute look at whether human ingenuity can improve resource availability in the face of a growing world population and the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) on the future of work. In the middle of the week, the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts two events exploring threats to the government’s software supply chain, as well as counterspace threats faced by the U.S. The week wraps up on Friday with a Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes event that explores the positive effect that creative play can have on business innovation.

Monday, April 22

The Brookings Institution

US-China Diplomacy: 40 Years of What’s Worked and What Hasn’t

At 10:00 AM on Monday at Falk Auditorium, Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Intellectual property has been one of the main issues at the center of the trade tensions which have grown between the United States and China during the administration of President Donald Trump. The current diplomatic relations between the two countries are perhaps the most strained that they’ve been since the U.S. formally recognized the Communist government of China in 1979 but 40 years of diplomacy between the two nations can help develop ideas on how to reduce tensions between them. This event features a discussion with a panel including Ambassador David Shear, Senior Advisor, McLarty Associates; Amy Celico, Principal, Albright Stonebridge Group; and Dennis Wilder, Assistant Professor of Practice, Georgetown University, and Director, Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues. The discussion will be moderated by James Green, Senior Research Fellow, Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues and host of Georgetown University’s “U.S.-China Dialogue” podcast.

The Cato Institute

The Simon Abundance Index: A New Way to Measure Availability of Resources

At 11:00 AM on Monday at Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.

Since the 1960s, intellectual debate has raged about whether the world’s population was growing faster than its resources could keep up with, or whether humans themselves were a kind of resource that could make other resources more plentiful. This event features an address by David Simon, Lawyer at Eimer Stahl LLP and son of the late humanist and Cato Senior Fellow Julian Simon, a proponent of the theory that increased population could increase the world’s resources. The event also includes a presentation of a report on the Simon Abundance Index by Gale Pooley, Associate Professor of Business Management, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and Marian Tupy, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute. The event will close with a discussion on the link between human ingenuity, innovation and prosperity from George Gilder, author of Life After Google. 

The Cato Institute 

CyberWork and the American Dream

At 4:00 PM on Monday at Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.

The political debate focused on the potential threats posed to American jobs by the advent of new technologies, especially artificial intelligence (AI), has risen in recent years. However, there are many historical examples of past technological advances which have increased productivity and disrupted traditional work while creating new types of jobs. This event will explore whether there are appropriate policy solutions to the potential impact of AI on American jobs and includes a screening of the PBS documentary CyberWork and the American Dream. It also features a discussion with a panel including the documentary’s director, James Shelley, and Elizabeth Cobbs, Professor and Melbern G. Glasscock Chair in American History, Texas A&M, and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute at Stanford University. The discussion is moderated by Matthew Feeney, Director, Project on Emerging Technologies, Cato Institute.

Tuesday, April 23 

Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Evaluating the Global Counterspace Landscape

At 4:00 PM on Tuesday, 2nd Floor, CSIS Headquarters, 1616 Rhode Island Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released a report on U.S. space and counterspace threats which discussed both the daily impact that space technology has on the lives of American consumers as well as threats posed by the counterspace programs of Russia, China and others. This event includes a keynote speech from Steve Kitay, DoD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. After Kitay’s keynote, a discussion on counterspace developments will be held with a panel including Dr. Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning, Secure World Foundation; Victoria Samson, Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation; Todd Harrison, Director, Defense Budget Analysis, Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program; Kaitlyn Johnson, Associate Fellow and Associate Director, Aerospace Security Project; and Thomas Roberts, Research Associate and Program Manager, Aerospace Security Project.

Wednesday, April 24

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Supply Chain Security and Software

At 1:00 PM on Wednesday, 2nd Floor, CSIS Headquarters, 1616 Rhode Island Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

As the U.S. federal government has increased its software acquisition activities to support government agency activities, there has been increasing awareness of the need to secure the software supply chain and be able to quickly respond to threats. This event will explore efforts to secure the supply chain, such as the DoD’s Deliver Uncompromised program, which are designed to reduce the risk that compromised software will enter critical government systems. This event begins with a speech from William Stephens, Director, Counterintelligence, DoD Defense Security Service. Following his speech is a discussion on the issues with a panel including Allan Friedman, Director of Cybersecurity Initiatives, National Telecommunications Information Administration; Chris Nissen, Director, Asymmetric Threat Response, MITRE Corporation; Tommy Ross, Senior Director, Privacy, BSA | The Software Alliance; Roberta Stempfley, Director, CERT Division, Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute; and Derek Weeks, Vice President, Sonatype Inc. The panel discussion will be moderated by James Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, CSIS Technology Policy Program. A closing speech by Nissen will follow the panel discussion.

Thursday, April 25

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

End of the Road for Gas Taxes: The Case for Switching to Road User Charges

At 10:00 AM on Thursday at 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

Technological advances in fuel efficiency for automobiles and the proliferation of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles have been reducing the amount of money collected by state governments through gas taxes. As a result, policymakers have contemplated finding other ways to raise these funds, which are used to pay for maintaining surface transportation systems. Road user charge systems use technology to track vehicle mileage and charge vehicle owners accordingly, but these systems have raised concerns regarding privacy threats and outsized impacts on rural drivers. This event will host a discussion with a panel including Emil Frankel, Senior Fellow, Eno Center for Transportation; Susan Howard, Program Director for Transportation Finance and Director, BATIC Institute, and American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials; and Adrian Moore, Vice President of Policy, Reason Foundation. The panel discussion will be moderated by Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Friday, April 26

Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes

New Tools for Science Policy: Gaming the Future

At 8:30 AM on Friday at Carnegie Conference Center, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.

Traditional foresight tools employed by private businesses and government agencies are often inadequate at helping those entities take advantage of growing trends or respond proactively to prevent crises. Creative play, on the other hand, can support innovation and build better professional connections but play is rarely seen as an important part of daily business. This event features a discussion on games for business professionals and organizations that are designed to enable better navigation of both problems and opportunities in the future. This discussion is led by Lauren Withycombe Keeler, Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and Assistant Research Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University.

 

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