Silicon Valley ThinkFWD - Did Government Create Silicon Valley? How Public Investment Promotes Technological Innovation


January 28, 2015 at 7pm


Microsoft Mountain View
1065 La Avenida St
Galileo Auditorium, Bldg 1
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States


Katie Aragon



ThinkFWD is a quarterly speaker series focusing on issues at the intersection of tech and politics. 


From the internet to GPS, clean tech to microchips, government investments have helped spur game-changing innovations and laid the foundation for hundreds of Silicon Valley companies. How can public investment and public-private-university partnerships continue to promote technological innovation and economic dynamism?


Steven Chu: Steven Chu is a Professor of Humanities & Sciences and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. He received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 and served as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Barack Obama (2009-2013). 

Jeannette Wing: Jeannette Wing is Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research. Prior to 2013, she was the President's Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. She also served as assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the NSF.

Fred Block: Fred Block is Research Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Davis. In previous work he studied US government programs that have supported the commercialization of technology. His current research centers on the kinds of financial reforms and institutions required to support innovation in this new context of public-private collaboration.

Ray Rothrock: As a venture capitalist for more than two decades, Ray has assisted entrepreneurs in achieving their dreams and produced outstanding financial returns for his limited partners. Ray’s areas of investment expertise and interests span the globe, and include energy, information technology infrastructure and cyber security. An avid spokesman for the venture industry, innovation, and entrepreneurship, Ray is also active in educational and community causes.

Leslie Berlin
Leslie Berlin has been studying the history of innovation in Silicon Valley for nearly two decades. She is Project Historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University and author of The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley, a biography of Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the microchip and co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor.

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