There was a fascinating panel between Joi (pronounced Joey) Ito, Director of MIT's Media Lab, and Reid Hoffman, famous Silicon Valley billionaire entrepreneur/author/investor. Here are some of the pearls that fell from their lips. These are not necessarily responses to each other.
Joi: The problem with ads is they are trying to get you to give in to your wants when you are most vulnerable. Don't you want a drink this evening? The problem is, if you are alcoholic, you want it, but you don't want to want it. The mission of the ad is to get the alcoholic to cave.
Reid: Companies are not going to build privacy safeguards until consumers care about it. Consumers love free and they are lazy.
Joi: 50% of all philanthropy goes to religion.
Joi (speaking to Reid): We create the standards upon which you build the monopolies (Reid wrote the book Blitzscaling that argues you should build a monopoly). Loud audience laughter.
Reid: You should strive to build companies that make the front page of The New York Times, and you'd feel good about what they write.
Reid: In order for a consumer business to succeed, it has to address one of the 7 deadly sins.
Reid: We're trying to cope with negative impacts of the Trumpacolypse.
Joi: Much of the research we're doing here is a result of the Obama brain initiative.
Joi: 50 years ago there were students clashing with police outside this building at MIT. The hippie movement then had an element of disengaging from society. The students now are all about tuning in, turning on and taking over (cheers from audience).
Reid: I am a student of systems at scale. Systems at scale are all about incentives.
Reid: All conferences have to be limited in scale or they become a free for all.
Joi: The elites tend to be from either engineering or finance. How do we give voice to the non elites?
Joi: The threat of pitchforks helps reformers.
Reid: Many people believe that if you make education better and more available, bad actors will fade away. I don't fully believe that. You have to come to terms with how many murderers use your products.
Joi: Mindfulness is good, but it's being packaged as aids to efficiency.
Esther Dyson (from the audience): The biggest problem is short termism.
Joi: You should ask what kind of ancestor you want to be. It's a shame we always think in terms of the impact we can have in our lifetimes.