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Tech leader’s bid to stop us drowning in data

Jim McKelvey. Image courtesy of City of Sydney

The world is at risk of “drowning in data”, according to global fintech entrepreneur Jim McKelvey, who is urging organisations around the world to commit to transparent personal data collection.

Co-founder of Silicon Valley success story Square – a high-growth $20B fintech startup that revolutionised mobile payments for millions of small businesses – Mr McKelvey says technology presents huge opportunities for entrepreneurship, but warns there is also a dark side.

Mr McKelvey is the key speaker at the free CityTalks Sydney event, ‘Democratising Technology – Jim McKelvey on the Square revolution’ to be held at Sydney Town Hall on Tuesday 22 May 2018. The event will explore the global impact of greater participation in tech.

“Technology links us all together. For those of us with products to sell it provides connection with people everywhere and has enabled millions of ordinary people to open small businesses. But there is a dark side,” Mr McKelvey said.

“We’re at risk of drowning in data and losing control of our online identities to organisations that collect our data, and we have almost no control over how our information is used. People should be given the chance to know how their personal data is being used. The need to correct that problem is my current focus.”

The talk is part of the City of Sydney’s Visiting Entrepreneur Program created in partnership with the NSW Government.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the program was part of the City’s commitment to supporting our diverse and thriving tech sector – and keeping pace with a fast-moving digital world.

“Sydney has the largest tech startup ecosystem in Australia and is ranked 17th on the Startup Ecosystem Index. By working closely with global startup leaders and other levels of government, we are supporting the growth of this critical sector and helping to give entrepreneurs the skills to continue to launch and grow successful global businesses,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Here at the City, we are committed to supporting community connectedness through digital inclusion – this is at the core of both our Digital Strategy and our new Social Sustainability Action Plan on public exhibition now.

“We want Sydney to be one of the most innovative cities in the world, which means arming both our residents and businesses with the digital literacy to respond to a time of continuing technological change. The concerns raised by Jim McKelvey are very real ones – and I welcome the opportunity to learn from our local and global business leaders on the impacts of the democratisation of technology and how we as a City can support businesses to build digital skills, knowledge and infrastructure for the future.”

Mr McKelvey will be joined by a group of international tech leaders for a panel discussion exploring the local and global effects of making technology more accessible and affordable:

  • AI entrepreneur and inventor Liesl Yearsley, CEO and co-founder of  A·Kin
  • local analytics expert Gen George, managing director of tamme
  • Sydney entrepreneur Ben Wong, CEO & co-founder of Academy XI
  • Alex Gruszka, COO of the non-profit advocacy group, StartupAus

CityTalks Sydney, Democratising technology – Jim McKelvey on the Square revolution
Tuesday 22 May 2018 at 6.30pm–8.00pm
Lower Town Hall, Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney

Source: City of Sydney

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