Global confidence in institutions from politics to businesses to schools and nonprofits is in steep decline worldwide. Technology frequently lets us down too—in everything from AWS outages to surveillance teddy bears. Brian Behlendorf explains why trust is essential to building a functioning society and how it’s under serious threat. Brian argues that open source software offers a model for how we can work together, even when we have no reason to trust each other. Blockchain technology (distributed ledgers, smart contract systems, and more) take this a step further, helping us build distributed systems without requiring a controlling central actor. Brian discusses what this means for developers and how to get started.
Brian Behlendorf is the executive director of the Hyperledger Project at the Linux Foundation and senior technology advisor at Mithril Capital Management in San Francisco. Over his career, Brian has held a mix of technology startup, public policy, and nonprofit tech leadership positions. He serves on the boards of the Mozilla Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Benetech—three organizations using technology to fight for civil liberties, open technologies, and social impact in the digital domain. Previously, Brian was chief technology officer at the World Economic Forum, served for two years at the White House as advisor to the Open Government project within the Office of Science and Technology Policy, was an advisor to Health and Human Services on open software approaches to health information sharing, and founded two tech companies, CollabNet and Organic, and several open source software projects, including Apache and Subversion.
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