Aneesh Chopra + Idea Festival


Jason Clark
Jason Clark

on 9/23/2011

I had the honor of sitting in on a small round table discussion today with Aneesh Chopra, CTO to President Barack Obama. Mr. Chopra was in town for a talk at Idea Festival, but before his presentation he sat down with a small group (12 or so) of Louisville business owners and innovators. The discussion centered around using technology & innovation as a driving force in charging the economy. His agenda was enthusiastic and non-partisan (which was a relief for us, hoping that we weren’t sitting in on a campaign sales pitch).

A client specific topic of conversation was related to the local food movement. April Perkins and Ellen McGheeney from Grasshoppers Distributions (one of our clients) discussed the challenges with improving the local food infrastructure specifically related to technology. Mr. Chopra was extremely thoughtful in the discussion, and mentioned several ways to spur funding and more importantly, ideas.

After the roundtable, Mr. Chopra went on to Idea Festival and gave a fantastic presentation on technology and innovation. He challenged everyone in attendance to stay engaged and become agents of change.

Some interesting takeaways from his visit today:

  • Challenge.gov: A government run website that crowdsources ideas to challenges great and small, and helps pay for the successful ideas.
  • The federal government’s commitment to openness and data liberation. There are tremendous entrepreneurial opportunities available with the data available through the open initiative. An example is WeatherBill, a data aggregator that helps identify crop insurance needs.
  • Healthcare.gov: A model for simplifying access to information.
  • Blue Button Initiative: To liberate personal health data

There’s much more that could be discussed, but really, you should have been at Idea Festival.

xoxo… ~jason

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