Media invitation: Saïd Business School, University of Oxford - Programme and speakers announced for Silicon Valley comes to Oxford 2015

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Now in its fourteenth year, the event brings together expert practitioners from both Silicon Valley and the Oxford research ecosystem to explore the advances in augmented humanity and how it aids and supports human capability, but also to address the challenges it will create.

Augmented humanity - the opportunity and risks

Media invitation

Programme and speakers announced for Silicon Valley comes to Oxford 2015

Augmented humanity – the opportunities and risks

Sunday 17th and Monday 18 May, 2015
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford (immediately next to railway station)

Augmented humanity is already very much underway. Defined as the use of technology to enhance human productivity or capability it is being used each time someone undergoes eye surgery, to remotely regulate patients’ vital signs, or when bioengineering new skin or organs for medical operations. But while many people believe that human augmentation will make for a better world, in the healthcare sector as well as to increase efficiency in the workplace, there are also those that predict a future in which robots replace people’s jobs and humanity is battling against machines.

Some of the questions around the ethical or safety issues of augmented humanity, and around privacy and sharing of personal information will be addressed at ‘Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford 2015’ on 17th – 18th May. Now in its fourteenth year, the event brings together expert practitioners from both Silicon Valley and the Oxford research ecosystem to explore the advances in this technology and how it aids and supports human capability, but also to address the challenges it will create.

Sessions include:

  • The rise of the humans: How to outsmart the digital deluge

Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer, Microsoft

  • Gene therapy: The Economics of Bringing “Cures” to the Healthcare Marketplace

Dr. Thomas Charlberg, Founder and CEO, Avalanche Biotechnologies

  • Technology at Work: The Future of Employment

Michael Osborne, Associate Professor, University of Oxford

  • What do humanity's technological advancements really mean for us and should we be worried?

Prof. Michael Osborne, University of Oxford; Mike Malone, Journalist and Author; and Prof. Nick Bostrom, Director, Future of Humanity Institute

Silicon Valley comes to Oxford will also feature the lively Oxford Union debate on Sunday 17th May. Michael Fertik, Founder & CEO of, Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, and Ali Parsadoust, Founder of Babylon will propose the motion: ‘This house believes that humanity's augmentation with technology creates a better world.’ Opposing the motion will be Katherine Brooks, Jerome Ravetz, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, and Mike Malone, Journalist and Author.

In other themed tracks speakers will discuss Innovation in Technology; Life of an entrepreneur; Monetising Innovation; and Establishing Networks and Relationships, through a series of masterclasses, plenary sessions, 20:20 high impact talks, and fringe events.

You are invited to attend.

The full speaker list can be viewed here. The provisional programme is available but is subject to change.

To register to attend, or for further information please contact the press office:

Jonaid Jilani, Press Officer, Saïd Business School
Mobile: +44 (0)7860 259996; Tel: +44 (0)1865 614678,
Email: jonaid(dot)jilani(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Josie Powell, Senior Press Officer,
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215, Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie(dot)powell(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk or pressoffice(at)sbs(dot)ox(dot)ac(dot)uk

Notes to editors:

1    About Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford

Now in its fourteenth year, Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford bridges two world centres of ideas to explore the big issues and future directions of innovation and entrepreneurial phenomena in a vibrant and fast paced mix of masterclasses, panel debates, plenaries and networking events. The leading European entrepreneurship forum, pioneered by the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, brings business leaders and luminaries from across Silicon Valley and beyond to Oxford for a period of focused interaction with faculty, research and student members of Oxford University and the British entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Silicon Valley comes to Oxford 2015 will once again have an impressive line up of visiting VIPs from the Valley and beyond, including established entrepreneurs, founders of start-ups, venture capitalists and funders, theorists and policy influencers. A wide range of technologies and trends will be explored, providing the opportunity to identify future directions.

2    About The Entrepreneurship Centre at Saïd Business School

The Entrepreneurship Centre is the focal point for entrepreneurship research, teaching and practice at the University of Oxford. The Centre brings together academics, spinout- and student-entrepreneurs, for the study and practice of entrepreneurship and is the doorway to the over 2,000 high-tech companies in and around Oxford. Its programmes and events combine research on and practical teaching of entrepreneurship to support entrepreneurs and high-growth companies.

Students on the MBA and the Executive MBA have access to a broad range of electives, project work, a venture fund, student societies, such as Oxford Entrepreneurs, and open programmes to build up their understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation whilst studying at Saïd Business School. Many MBA entrepreneurship projects evolve into successful new ventures, and Saïd Business School alumni companies now number over 150. About one in ten of the School’s MBAs leaves to set up a new venture upon graduation and the Centre has created a vibrant community of entrepreneurs and spin-outs connected to the School that enriches our offerings for students and outside firms alike.

In entrepreneurship research the Centre’s faculty brings a distinct focus on the social and cultural dimensions of business in the twenty-first century to researching and teaching entrepreneurship, and use a range of non-traditional disciplinary lenses to look at techno-economic phenomena in their cultural contexts. By drawing on Oxford University’s distinct intellectual heritage the Centre’s faculty uses a range of theoretical frameworks and intellectual perspectives to reflect the complex nature of entrepreneurship and innovation, including examining the social, economic, cultural, and political structures that help transform ideas into products.

3    About Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2014) Saïd is ranked 10th. It is ranked 14th worldwide in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2014) and 22nd in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2015). The MBA is ranked 7th in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Nov 2014) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2013). The Executive MBA is ranked 21st worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2014). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 7th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2014). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (Jun 2014) and has ranked first in nine of the last eleven years in The Times (Sept 2014). For more information, see


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