March 10, 2017


TechNet Presenting Two Panels at SXSW 2017

Austin — TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today announced it is presenting two panel discussions at SXSW 2017 that will focus on critical issues facing our nation and the technology industry.  The topics of the panel discussions are how the gig economy impacts the future of work and how the tech industry can make a business case to defeat measures that allow discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Details of the panels are provided below.

What: The Business Case for LGBT Equality
When: March 10, 2017, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Where: JW Marriott, Salon AB, 110 East 2nd Street, Austin, TX

  • Caroline Joiner, Executive Director, Texas and the Southeast, TechNet
  • Franz Paasche, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, PayPal
  • Jim Green, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Salesforce
  • Karrie League, Owner & Founder, Alamo Drafthouse

In a majority of states, there are no clear state laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  Over the past two years, there have been bills and ballot initiatives proposed and passed that eliminate non-discrimination protections or that explicitly authorize discrimination by individuals, businesses, and state and local agencies.  These policies have already had a devastating impact on the ability to attract the best talent and investment in states like North Carolina and Indiana.  How can the tech industry make a strong business case for equality to defeat these measures?

What: How the Gig Economy Impacts the Future of Work
When: March 12, 2017, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Where: Hilton Austin Downtown, Salon F, 500 East 4th Street, Austin, TX

  • Linda Moore, CEO of TechNet
  • Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork
  • Tekedra Mawakana, Vice President, Global Government Relations & Public Policy, eBay
  • Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser (D-Hampden & Hampshire)

The rise of the gig economy is giving professionals freedom to build their careers on their terms, forgoing traditional bosses and the nine to five workday.  More and more companies are tapping into independent workers expecting them to be flexible, autonomous, and earning money in a way that fits their lifestyle.  Technology is powering careers that allow individuals to work when and how they choose.  eBay provides a platform for entrepreneurs to start an online business and Upwork offers a website where clients can find top freelancers.  Is this gig mentality the future of work?  How does the independent work model impact public policy, and how do we see this evolving in the years to come?

In addition to these two panels, TechNet and the U.S. Conference of Mayors are presenting Innovation Nation: A SXSW Celebration of Public Service and Innovation.

What: Innovation Nation: A SXSW Celebration of Public Service and Innovation
When: March 11, 2017, 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Where: Empire Control Room, 606 East 7th Street, Austin, TX
Presenting Organizations: TechNet and the U.S. Conference of Mayors
Sponsors: Amazon Web Services, Apple, Comcast, CompTIA, Consumer Technology Association, Google, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Intel, National Instruments, PayPal, Route 50, U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center, and Visa

About TechNet
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level.  TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups to the most iconic companies on the planet and represents more than two million employees in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, advanced energy, biotechnology, venture capital, and finance.  TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Austin, Boston, Seattle, Albany, and Tallahassee.

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