Opening thoughts for Direction 16

Direction ’16 took place the day after the US election. I wasn’t alone in being more than a little despondent with the result, and in particular several of our speakers were from the US and were significantly affected by the outcome. My sense is that the vast majority of our audience felt similarly.

In response, I spent a few minutes talking about the philosophy behind this year’s program, which I hadn’t originally intended to (I typically hope that the underlying themes emerge throughout the event, rather than making them overt).

My basic point was simple. We who work on the Web, and more broadly in technology, are very fortunate. We’re well paid, and get the chance to pick the work we do, and who we work for. Many of our contemporaries, indeed most people in the world aren’t nearly so fortunate.

I see this privilege also as a responsibility. To choose what we do with this opportunity wisely. To do better.


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