Debate: Silicon Valley Has Lost Its Soul?

Silicon Valley once promised to solve many of the world’s problems with a technological revolution. But now, the tech hub is the center of much scrutiny, and for many, that scrutiny is warranted. From privacy violations to flawed business models to a lack of diversity and representation, Silicon Valley has seemingly betrayed its idealism. And though technological progress has notably enriched a few, Silicon Valley has failed to deliver its promise to all. Has the prioritization of profits and conformity of thought corrupted its original “do good” agenda? Proponents argue no: Silicon Valley’s critics are simply overreacting. After all, it is still the center of innovation, and the tech giants have revolutionized the way we think, shop, communicate, and experience our lives for the better. Do big tech’s detractors simply expect too much from lucrative corporations? Or has Silicon Valley lost its soul?

For The Motion:

  • Noam Cohen, Journalist & Author, "The Know-It-Alls"

  • Dipayan Ghosh, Pozen Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School

Against The Motion:

  • Leslie Berlin, Historian, Silicon Valley Archives & Author, “Troublemakers”

  • Joshua McKenty, Vice President, Pivotal