politicsFor the last five weeks, I’ve been incredibly grateful and honored to have participated in technology policy advocacy conversations through ACT | The App Association’s AppCon.

I was enlightened by and reminded of the humanity on both sides of the political aisle in the ~25 calls I was privileged to join.

But let me back up a little bit.

In the summer of 2019, I attended a workshop at TEDSummit hosted by Gary Liu, CEO of the South China Morning Post, about the global battle for 5G. I considered dropping out as I wasn’t feeling super excited about the topic that day, however it turned out to be one the of the most interesting and educational sessions I attended at the conference. I walked out with an understanding of the importance of getting more technologists into public policy.

In October of 2019 I went to a Meetup in Boulder, CO hosted by ACT: The App Association as part of their Developed: The App Economy Tour. I got a preview of how tech policy is shaped and followed up with the Meetup moderator afterwards to learn more about ACT. The association represents more than 5,000 member companies across the country working in the App Economy. I eventually became a member (it’s FREE!)

AppCon is an annual event where dozens of member companies fly in to DC to meet with their members of Congress. That went virtual this year due to COVID-19, so for the last five weeks, I’ve listened in on a couple dozen calls with various FCC commissioners, Senate staffers and members of the House of Representatives, learning more about the regulation of digital health, national broadband infrastructure and access, security, antitrust, Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and more.

When we take a macro view of national politics based on headlines, it’s nothing short of a dumpster fire. When we consider the micro, however, government goes on. People are still doing their jobs independently of the chaos highlighted by the news.

I have been greatly heartened by these conversations. I’ve seen Republicans and Democrats in their own homes, with evidence of their kiddos in the backgrounds…I’ve learned about bi-partisan efforts as it relates to telehealth and getting broadband into underserved communities. I’ve heard care, compassion, warmth, and desire and commitment to change from the Right and the Left and that gives me immense hope.

If you’re ready to nerd out on this stuff like I have been, please check out the links below to various concepts/agencies/legislation that came up in conversation. And even if this doesn’t excite you, if you are a technologist, most of these things are useful to at least be aware of.

Without further ado…

Onto the links.

So. Many. Acronyms.

Oh. My. 🙂

The Links

Broadband broadband
Health + Telehealth telehealth
Digital Privacy digital privacy
Antitrust monopoly
Other Organizations/Concepts/Resources more options


Thanks to App Association staff and fellow participants for this incredible educational opportunity.

Readers, please send me a note if you’re interested in connecting with ACT so I can introduce you to their membership manager.

Photo by Ashton Bingham on Unsplash