May 18, 2024


Technology will be Here

Join us June 17 for a live discussion on COVID-19 contact tracing and safe reopening strategies – TechCrunch

Contact tracing is a practice almost as old as epidemiology itself, but today’s technology means the way that we go about tracking the spread of a contagious illness within and between communities is changing very quickly. This presents an opportunity for learning more about the opportunities and challenges presented in extending contact tracing and exposure notification via digital means, especially as contact tracing is likely a key ingredient in any successful reopening of the economy in light of ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19.

To that end, we’re happy to be working with the COVID-19 Technology Task Force, as well as Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, NYU’s Alliance for Public Interest Technology, Betaworks Studios and Hangar. We’ll be playing host on TC to their live-streamed discussion (embedded above) around contact-tracing and exposure-notification efforts, as well as how and when businesses can safely reopen, and what tools can help them to do so. The day’s events will include panel chats and software demonstrations, beginning at 11 AM EDT (8 AM PDT) on Wednesday, June 17.

Below, we’ve included an agenda of the confirmed speakers and demonstrations for the day, and in case you missed it, here’s a roundup of demonstrations of contact tracing and app demonstrations built by a number of companies thus far. RSVP for tomorrow’s free event here.


I. Contact Tracing [11AM – 12:30PM EDT]

Contact tracing: what it is, how it works, how tech can help [11:00 – 11:45AM EDT]

Using technology to enable scaled contact tracing [11:45AM – 12:05PM EDT]

Contact-tracing considerations for state and city government [12:05 – 12:30PM EDT]

II. Reopening Businesses Safely [12:30-2:00PM EDT]

Reopening businesses safely [12:30-1:15PM EDT]

Demos of tools business leaders can use to help reopen safely [1:15-2:00PM EDT]


Margaret Bourdeaux, MD, MPH, is the policy liaison for Partners in Health COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program, and holds appointments at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Daniel Burka is supporting New York State’s COVID-19 response efforts through Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, a global health initiative led by former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

Mike Flowers is leading implementation for contact tracing technology and data strategy for the state of New Jersey as a Senior Fellow with the NJ Office of Innovation. Over the last 25 years he has worked in data intelligence with companies and federal, state and local governments, including as New York City’s first chief analytics officer under Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Mary L. Gray is a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research and an Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Fellow at Harvard University.

Jonathan Jackson is the founder and CEO at Dimagi, a social enterprise that develops innovative technology solutions for front-line workforces and underserved populations. They have an extensive background in global health and are a leader in mobile health data collection.

Irina Krechmer is the chief technology officer at Blue Apron, the premier meal-kit company whose mission is to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone. Before joining Blue Apron, Krechmer most recently served as VP of Engineering at XO Group Inc., the premier technology company with industry-leading digital brands, including The Knot, The Bump, The Nest and GigMasters. Krechmer has over 20 years of experience designing, developing and implementing customer-focused technology solutions, primarily at e-commerce, media and consumer technology companies.

Andrew McLaughlin is helping lead the Task Force’s contact tracing/exposure notification initiative. Andrew is the chairman of Access Now, the former deputy U.S. CTO for the White House, and the former director of Global Public Policy at Google.

Andy Moss is currently a visiting professor at NYU Tandon teaching entrepreneurship and innovation, as well developing the COR Methodology. He’s an active advisor/mentor to startups and business leaders, and a former Microsoft executive.

Chelsea Raiten is of counsel at Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP. Her practice primarily focuses on providing strategic advice and counseling to employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring and firing practices, layoffs and RIF’s, wage and hour laws, reasonable accommodation, leaves of absence, employee discipline, restrictive covenants and workplace policies and procedures.

Harper Reed is helping lead the Task Force’s contact-tracing/exposure-notification initiative. Harper is a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and was the CTO of Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Mona Sloane is an NYU-based sociologist working on inequality in the context of AI design and policy. At NYU, she helps form NYU’s Alliance for Public Interest Technology, and is co-principal investigator on the COVID-19 Tech Project. Mona also leads the project Terra Incognita: Mapping NYC’s New Digital Public Spaces in the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Connor Spelliscy is Ddrector of New Platforms at Hangar, a partner at Connectivity Fund, and helps lead COVID-19 Tech Task Force initiatives.

Minerva Tantoco has served in senior technology roles at Palm, Merrill Lynch, and UBS, holds four U.S. patents on intelligent workflow, and served as New York City’s first-ever chief technology officer. Most recently, Tantoco co-founded Grasshopper Bank, an OCC-chartered digital de novo commercial bank, and is currently a consultant and speaker on AI, smart cities, digital transformation and equity in tech.

Randall Thomas is assisting Resolve to Save Lives and other stakeholders with the New York state response to COVID-19. Randall is the CTO of Geometer, a technology incubator.

Jonathan Zittrain is a professor of law and computer science, and co-founder of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Jonathan’s work focuses on topics including control of digital property, privacy frameworks and the roles of intermediaries in internet architecture.

Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg is the foreign secretary of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Dr. Hamburg previously held the post of commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and served as commissioner of Health for the City of New York.