University of Portland will host a symposium titled “Sharing Economy meets the Driverless Car” at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7. The symposium, free and open to the public, will be in the Buckley Center Auditorium on campus, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd.
Emerging technologies bring the promise of progress coupled with the danger of disruption. In this timely symposium, three thought leaders – Steve Brown, Steve Gutmann, and Diane Michelfelder — discuss and debate the intersections of two potentially disruptive innovations: driverless cars and the sharing economy.
Driverless cars present exciting business opportunities and potential social benefits, but also have tremendous disruptive potential. The panelists will explore such questions as: If our driverless car hits someone, who’s responsible? Would we drive more or less? What’s the consequence for climate change? Would people commute from farther away or live closer in? What’s the consequence for suburban sprawl? What about hacking and privacy?
The sharing economy, and car sharing in particular, is a social innovation with equally impressive capacity for positive change and disruption. Sharing is often seen as a way to reduce our environmental impact and increase our social connections. Other questions the panelists may explore include: If car sharing were coupled with driverless cars, would we have less traffic? Would it result in fewer parking spaces or more efficient use of cars? Will it affect climate change? What’s the effect on employment?
“By thinking about these consequences before these technologies are widespread, we as citizens can get out in front and help to guide the development.” notes Greg Hill, a University of Portland professor of mathematics and environmental studies.
The three panelists bring a wide range of perspectives to the symposium, according to Hill, an organizer of the event:
Steve Brown is the “Chief Futurist and Evangelist” of Intel corporation. A thoughtful technological optimist, Brown scans the horizon for opportunities for Intel while deeply considering the broader questions those opportunities imply.
Steve Gutmann has been “a driver” in the car sharing industry since its birth. Through his work in that industry, and his latest project Stuffstr, Gutmann creates transformative business models with social and environmental values built into the core.
Diane Michelfelder is a leading researcher into the ethical considerations presented by emerging technologies. A renowned scholar and professor at Macalester College, Michelfelder brings an incisive and constructively critical voice to any discussion of innovation.