INNOVATE2017: Why tech should resist a Trump presidency

As some tech leaders trooped off to Trump Tower to talk peace with the President-elect, others argue that we should resist a “sycophantic response” to the election.

According to Ben Jealous  the former CEO of the NCAAP, a partner at Kapor Capital and a surrogate for Bernie Sanders during the election, the correct response is to “resist” Trump. That’s because, Jealous argues, Trump is “all over the place” and thus, like other “fickle” dictators in history, definitively untrustworthy.

What the tech community needs to remember, Jealous argues, is “the power we have”. The economic recovery of the last few years, he insists, has been pretty much exclusively driven by tech – not only in Silicon Valley, but also in other innovation hubs like New York, Austin and the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Triangle. Tech matters, Jealous insists. So we should be determining the terms of our conversation with the new President.

I caught up with Ben Jealous at Kapor Capital’s second annual $100,000 People’s Ops Tech Competition which was won by Tiffany Smith, a Chicago based entrepreneur, for her impressive start-up Tiltas, a networking platform designed to connect the formerly incarcerated with job opportunities. And it’s innovation like Tiltas, focused on the interests of genuine working people, Jealous argues, that we should be actively supporting over the next four years.

As always, many thanks to the folks at CALinnovates for their support in the production of this interview.