Lifelong Learning, Inaugural Interview, The Davos Divide

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Lifelong Learning /// The Economist featured a special report on the importance of lifelong learning in a world of continuous technological innovation. The report explored how General Assembly is building deeper connections between education and employment, the drop in on-the-job training provided by employers between 1996 and 2008, the re-emergence of online courses to reduce costs and provide credentials and initiatives to re-skill workers. Many of the themes echoed policies and programs included in Thomas Friedman’s new book, Thank You For Being Late, which explores how individuals can adapt in an age of accelerations for markets, technology and climate change.

Inaugural Interview /// In their debut article for Axios, Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei sat down with President-elect Trump on Tuesday. A more tempered Trump expressed concern about health care plans that left low-income Americans without coverage, acknowledged the gravity of the national security challenges detailed in his intelligence briefings — which he prefers to be short and bulleted — and assured that he is “not really a divisive figure.” Yet, on the eve of his inauguration, President-elect Trump has the lowest approval rating of an incoming president. One thing Americans are not divided on: 74% of them still want to see the President-elect’s tax returns.

The Davos Divide /// Global leaders convene in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum. Following a year of wins for nationalism, rising inequality, and social unrest around the world, attendees are scratching their heads about how to better build bridges between classes, cultures and countries. Earlier this month, WEF published an index charting how 109 economies stack up in terms of inclusive growth and development. The United States came in 23rd out of 30 advanced economies, falling at the bottom of the pack in compensation and productive investments by businesses.

OFA to NGO /// The Chronicle of Philanthropy outlines a number of high-level Obama alumni who have taken leadership roles in non-profits, foundations and social enterprises. Included in the list: David Plouffe as president of policy and advocacy at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Arne Duncan as managing partner at the Emerson Collective and Rajiv Shah as incoming president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Driving Innovation /// Amazon has patented a network to communicate with self-driving cars in reversible lanes as part of the company’s broader effort to develop its logistics and distribution network. Alphabet’s Waymo slashed costs of LiDAR sensors by 90%. The sensors use light beams to create a three-dimensional map of car surroundings, and are critical for self-driving technology. Uber launched a new initiative called Uber Movement in three cities. The company plans to expand to dozens more cities early this year. The platform shares overall traffic patterns with city officials and urban planners, akin to the data Google Trends shares about web search.

Ms. Smith Goes to Washington /// Vogue profiles the women organizing the Women’s March on Washington, which started as a small effort on Facebook and is now expected to bring together more than 200,000 participants this Saturday in D.C., as well as more than 1.3 million marchers in more than 600 events across the country. The march has even been a boon for bus sharing company Skedaddle, which will transport roughly 11,000 of the participants.

Tech Titans Talk Philanthropy and Politics /// In an interview with the Financial Times, Bill Gates explains his approach to giving, advances in research for vaccines for HIV and malaria, and why low-income countries provide a greater return on philanthropic dollars. In a separate interview with the New York Times, Peter Thiel discusses the controversy in Silicon Valley around his support for Trump and what the new administration means for tech, innovation and civil liberties.

Newsfeed /// Facebook launched the Facebook Journalism Project, which will foster new partnerships and products catering to the news industry. The effort will advance new storytelling products, support local news, provide training to help journalists surface stories and empower users to flag and curb fake news.

Ethical AI /// The Knight Foundation, Omidyar Network and Reid Hoffman announced a joint $27 million fund to apply cross-discipline considerations to the development of artificial intelligence. The effort, anchored by the MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, will tap a range of voices in the advancement of AI research and development, including “social scientists, ethicists, philosophers, faith leaders, economists, lawyers and policymakers.”

Upcoming Events /// New America panel asks “Will the Internet Always be American?” on January 24th in DC. Sidewalk Labs talk on how data and technology can improve healthcare on January 25th in NYC. General Assembly panel on “Digital Philanthropy” on January 31st in NYC.


Senior Manager, Public Policy /// Amazon /// DC
Public Policy, Senior Manager /// Uber /// DC
Public Policy Manager /// Facebook /// Menlo Park
Online Communications Officer /// The World Bank /// DC
Assistant Press Secretary / Communications Manager /// NYC Mayor’s Office /// NYC
Policy Manager /// ONE /// DC
Impact Manager, Delivery & Compliance /// Pencils of Promise /// NYC
Associate Director, Public Policy /// APCO Worldwide /// DC