The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group, hosted by former Secretary of Defense and Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Director Ash Carter and Harvard SEAS Dean Frank Doyle, will convene its second session of the spring semester. This session will explore private sector investment in emerging technologies and the impact investing practices have on the development of these technologies.
Many emerging and disruptive technologies enter the market as start-up companies backed by venture capital (VC) firms. These technologies often deliver better and more affordable products to consumers, and provide improvements to critical public goods such as a free press, public transportation, and housing. However, new technologies also often result in the unintended and/or unanticipated disruption of critical public services, as well as undesirable applications of services by users. Today a new generation of start-ups are building the next round of disruptive technologies and services. These include blockchain, genome editing, quantum computing, space-based technologies, advanced AI, IoT, and neurotechnologies—just to name a few; all of which have enormous market potential, but will also have transformational impacts on society.
A sustainable and peaceful future will depend on whether the next generation of innovators are able to anticipate and mitigate the challenges these technologies will bring, and this session will examine how VCs fit into this landscape.