Alexander Howard

Director of the Digital Democracy Project

Demand Progress Education Fund

Howard, an internationally recognized digital governance analyst and open government advocate at, now leads a new digital democracy initiative at Demand Progress.

He is the former deputy director of the Sunlight Foundation, the Washington Correspondent for O’Reilly Media, a columnist for TechRepublic at CBS Interactive, senior editor at the Huffington Post and TechTarget, and has held fellowships at Harvard and Columbia University.


The tradeoffs of technology

06/11/2019 11.50 - 12.30

BeginnerGreen stageBreakout session

Since the first human invented technology, we’vre struggled with the ethics of efficiency. Technology is knowledge put into practical use to solve problems or invent useful tools. And when those problems and tools replace human jobs, or change the social construct, we have to discuss tradeoffs. Until recently, technology was analog—levers, pulleys, wheels, and automation. But where the steam...

Open compute, open source, open data, and the battle for digital sovereignty

06/11/2019 13.30 - 14.10

ExpertBlack stageBreakout session

The Open Source movement promised free, open, editable software. But that movement didn’t anticipate the rise of for-profit services built atop such free tools. Today, you’re more likely to use open source code as part of a paid service than you are to use open source products on your own machines.
That’s a problem. Because when you lose the right to edit code, you give up...


06/11/2019 15.20 - 17.00

CirclesquareGreen stageInteractive session

We surveyed people to find the critical technologies and departments. And we chose these to create four concurrent half-hour discussions, four times over. It’s a choreographed dance of experts, ideas, and disruption.