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Russian Tech Delegation — Overview

February 26th, 2010

Last week I participated in a government sponsored delegation to Russia called the “U.S.-Russia Innovation Dialogue” This delegation was organized by the U.S. government, in cooperation with the Russian government, as part of the Presidents’ Bilateral Commission (“Presidents” means President Medvedev of the Russian Federation and President Obama of the US). The goal was to improve the ways of working together in areas with shared interests, while not ignoring areas of disagreement. One area of shared interests that has been identified in innovation, and thus the delegation.

The delegation was co-led by Howard Solomon from the National Security Council and by Jared Cohen from the Secretary of State‚Äôs Policy Planning Staff. The delegation included John Donohoe, CEO of eBay, Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco, Esther Dyson of EDventure, Jason Liebman of Howcast, Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, Shervin Pishevar, founder of Social Gaming Network, Ashton Kutcher, CEO of Katalyst, Ellis Rubinstein, President of the New York Academy of Sciences, Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and me. We met with all sorts of people — federal and regional officials, civil society actors, educators, students, and entrepreneurs. Our focus was the role technology can play in social development.

One explicit goal of the delegation was to do more than talk, to figure out concrete steps that can be taken. We ended up with a set of items where we see possibilities for immediate collaboration. It’s a pretty meaty list, laid out in 6 themes. There are versions available in English and Russian as well as a summary in The Moscow Times.

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