Editor’s note: There’s no respite at hand for former Triangle tech entrepreneur and WRALTechWire contributor Vivek Wadhwa. Fresh from his debate about the role of women in technology, Wadhwa writes in a note to friends and colleagues that he has an extremely busy week ahead, including a debate with a Nobel Prize winner in economics and two other talks.
My new Washington Post column is about a project that I have been working on for many months: To help bridge America—and the world’s—digital divide. We have the opportunity to positively impact billions of people by providing them access to the same knowledge and tools as we have—and by connecting them to one another. Look at how our lives changed over the last decade with email, Internet, social media, etc. Imagine what happens when the rest of humanity becomes connected—when 3 billion more people come online.
As the recent Apple and Microsoft product announcements show, we certainly can’t wait for the big players to make technology available to the masses. They are busy adding more features, faster processors, and retina screens. That why I have been working with a who’s who to orchestrate the projects you will read about below.
[This] week was already a crazy one for me—with the nationally broadcast Intelligence-Squared debate in New York City on “Let anyone take a job anywhere,” two talks on Big Data at SUNY Building a Smarter University conference, and a keynote at TieCon Canada in Ottawa on my way home.
You won’t believe this either: The Economist and my friends at TechCrunch asked if I would debate Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller at Economist’s high-powered Buttonwood Gathering on “Goldman versus Google: A career on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley?” [Editor’s note: The debate is scheduled for Wednesday.]
To my friends, this is a no-brainer. Why would anyone in their right mind want graduates to sell their souls to Goldman? But this is a conference of the elite of the financial services industry. These people actually believe the opposite.
Needless to say, I can use all the help I can get. Shiller is brilliant—that is why he just won the Nobel Prize. If any of you know Schiller’s work and want to send me some pointers on how to debate him, please do. Note how even The Economist is positioning this in a sympathetic way for the financial services industry!
Goldman versus Google: A career on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley?
For decades, the best and brightest minds from American business schools were attracted to Wall Street by the promise of high pay and prestige. But at least since the financial crisis, high-tech companies have become an increasingly appealing destination, and today, when Silicon Valley competes head-to-head for top talent with a financial services firm, it’s often winning. In this spirited debate, two heavyweight thinkers argue over the respective merits of these two diverse career paths. Can Wall Street regain its preeminence and if so how? Does it need to-and can it-sell itself as a place where Millennials can both makes lots of money–and have a positive impact on society? Or will tech firms continue to win the war for the most creative and quantitative minds?
- Robert J. Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University
- Vivek Wadhwa, Vice president of innovation and research, Singularity University
More from Vivek can be read at his website.
(C) Vivek Wadhwa