TBD: Technology By Design
TBD: Technology by Design

TBD: Technology By Design

Technology By Design is a podcast devoted to exploring the tech industry, the products and policy decisions that shape it, and its impact on our everyday lives. Hosted by Matt Perault, Director of the Center on Science and Tech Policy at Duke University, a joint effort of Duke Science & Society and the Sanford School of Public Policy. About the Center on Science & Tech Policy Earn a Masters in Tech Ethics & Policy

All episodes are now available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Episode 11, Brad Cook, Now Available

Episode 010: Brad Cook • 04.01.20

Music-Making with Technology (From Inside Quarantine)

Brad Cook is a music producer based out of Durham, NC, who has produced bands like Bon Iver, Waxahatchee, and Hiss Golden Messenger. In this episode, he talks us through the technology of music-making and also gives us an update on the life of a music producer from inside quarantine. Are virtual reality concerts on the horizon? Stay tuned to find out. 

Episode 019 with Dr. Paul Farmer now available

Episode 010: Dr. Paul Farmer • 03.25.2020

#COVID-19: Technology in Medical Deserts

Paul Farmer is a Harvard professor, the founder of Partners in Health, and a global leader in public health. In our current moment, a moment of health chaos, when each day brings news that seems unprecedented and frightening, Dr. Farmer’s voice is a voice we need. He urges us to think broadly about the meaning of technology, to think twice before we act too quickly to sacrifice quality for scale, and to know a place well enough that you can celebrate its progress over time.

Episode 009 with Antony Phillipson now available

Episode 009: Antony Phillipson • 03.18.2020

Brexit Tech Diplomacy

How do you make the case that the United Kingdom is a strong trading partner for the United States, right at the moment when they are making the exit from the European Union? That’s the job of Antony Phillipson, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America, and the leading British diplomat for trade in the US. In this episode, Antony tells us about a day in the life of Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner and discusses how he’s navigating Brexit in his role.

Episode 008 David McCabe Now Available

Episode 008: David McCabe • 03.04.2020

The Craft of Tech Policy Reporting

In a moment of toxic politics, hot takes, and diatribes fired off on Facebook and Twitter, how do you cover Tech Policy deeply and fairly? David McCabe is a tech policy reporter for TheNew York Times, and he’s seeking an answer to this question through his intense dedication to his craft. In this episode, David and Matt discuss the relationship between the press and big tech companies, the craft of reporting, and what it’s like to be a journalist in Washington.

  • Access the Full Transcript of the Podcast
  • Episode 007: Gabrielle Kohlmeier • 02.19.2020

    The Tech Horizon at Verizon

    Gabrielle Kohlmeier used to suffer from Imposter Syndrome: she spent hours agonizing over whether she was good enough for her job, what her boss thought of her, and whether one mistake at her job might cost her a successful career. But she doesn’t do that anymore. Gabi’s love of tech, being part of a business environment, and studying diversity and leadership has helped her quell the imposter syndrome that felt paralyzing before she got into the tech arena. She’s moved outside of her head and into a space of mental freedom and opportunity. Gabi now spends her energy investing in the things she cares about: women in tech, learning as much as she can, and her family. Listen in to hear her take on life at Verizon.

    • Access the Full Transcript of the Podcast
    • Episode 006: Franklin Foer • 02.05.2020

      Technology and the Meaning of Life

      How can we use technology in a way that is purposeful and not just mindless? In this conversation, Matt and Franklin Foer discuss the blurry lines of technological boundaries, what it means to take a tech sabbath and the art of craftsmanship in our daily lives. Franklin Foer is a staff writer for The Atlantic, a lecturer at Georgetown University, and author of World Without Mind. He has spent an extensive amount of time thinking (and writing) about technology and its impact on our lives.

      TBD: Episode 005, Sam Knox, Now Available

      Episode 005: Sam Knox • 01.22.2020

      Competition and Facebook

      Sam Knox is the Associate General Counsel for Competition at Facebook, and one of the company’s leading lawyers on antitrust issues. Matt and Sam worked closely together while at Facebook: she was a great mentor and a great friend, and we were lucky to have her on the podcast. Together, Matt and Sam reminisce on what made their team so strong, talk about some of the top issues facing the antitrust community, and discuss what it’s like being a leading woman in a male-dominated industry.

      TBD: Technology By Design, Episode 004 with Mark Overbay, now available

      Episode 004: Mark Overbay, founder of Big Spoon Roasters • 01.08.2020

      Big Spoon Takes on Big Tech

      Mark Overbay, founder of Big Spoon Roasters, joins Matt for a discussion on the founding of Big Spoon, and how he has used social media and technology to grow his business. Is it possible for a small nut butter company to break through the goops of noise that exist on social media platforms? This episode is best enjoyed with a jar of Big Spoon Nut Butter in your hand!

      TBD: Technology By Design, Episode 003, Samm Sacks, Launching December 18th, 2019

      Episode 003: Samm Sacks • 12.18.2019

      The US-China Tech Cold War

      When you’re working in the tech sector, China is one of the most difficult challenges you face: with over a billion residents, there’s so much economic potential, but there are also so many challenges to face in the Chinese market. It’s a difficult place to do business. When you’re facing these types of challenges, you need a guide to help navigate them. Samm Sacks was Matt’s guide during his time at Facebook, which is why we’ve asked her to come on the podcast. Together, Matt and Samm discuss China and technology, what the NBA can learn from tech companies’ experiences in China, and women in the tech sector. 

      Samm Sacks is a Cybersecurity Policy and China Digital Economy Fellow at New America. Her research focuses on emerging information and communication technology (ICT) policies globally, particularly in China. She has worked on Chinese technology policy issues for over a decade, both with the U.S. government and in the private sector. 

      TBD: Technology By Design, Episode 002, Caron Beaton-Wells, Launching December 11th, 2019.

      Episode 002: Caron Beaton-Wells • 12.11.2019

      A Conversation on Competition Lore

      This episode of TBD: Technology By Design, is brought to you by another podcast, Competition Lore, with Caron Beaton-Wells. Competition Lore is a podcast series that engages us all in a debate about the transformative potential and risks of digitalized competition. Caron Beaton-Wells, Professor in Competition Law at the University of Melbourne, tackles what it means to participate as a competitor, consumer or citizen in a digital economy and society. In this episode, Caron interviews our own host, Matt Perault, former head of global policy development at Facebook. Matt has looked the challenges squarely in the eye and shares with us how the social network giant has been dealing with them, together with his thoughts on how interactions between stakeholders can affect policy outcomes, for better or worse. It’s a rich and wide-ranging conversation that you won’t want to miss.

      If we regulate to protect privacy, do we risk competition? If we regulate to strengthen competition, do we risk innovation? If we regulate to exclude harmful content, do we risk-free speech? Over-simplified perhaps, but these are in essence some of the hard questions in tech policy right now, and grappling with such questions from within a tech company must be one of the most challenging jobs there is.

      • Access Mark Zuckerberg’s recent speech at Georgetown University
      • Facebook’s Statement on a Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking and its White Paper on Data Portability
      • Access the Full Transcript of the Podcast

      Episode 001: Daniel Kreiss • 12.04.2019

      4 Ways to Fix Social Media’s Political Ads Problem – Without Banning Them

      It was a rainy Thursday afternoon when Matt received a text from Daniel Kreiss, telling him to keep an eye on the news that day. A few minutes later, Twitter announced that they would be banning all political ads in the 2020 election. They immediately agreed that Twitter’s decision was the wrong one: political advertising has its downsides, but there are a lot of benefits too. A blanket ban gets rid of the bad stuff, but it gets rid of the good stuff too. Together, Matt and Daniel wrote an op-ed for the NYT proposing four possible solutions that Twitter could’ve implemented instead of banning political ads altogether. We invited Daniel to the podcast to further discuss these solutions.

      Daniel Kreiss is an associate professor at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and Director of the PhD in Media and Communication. His research explores the impact of technological change on the public sphere and political practice.