Travels from New York, USA
Esther Dyson's speaking fee falls
within range: $30,000 to $50,000
Former Forbes journalist and prolific angel investor, Esther Dyson made a name for herself in the tech world through her company ED Ventures, which was an influential voice in emerging tech analysis during the rise of the Internet. While she has invested in over 30 start-ups, including Flickr, Meetup, TrustedID, Linkstorms and many more, she is chiefly focused now on commercial space companies and health technology, reflected in her more recent investments and advisory roles in companies like 23andMe, Omada Health, and Icon Aircraft.
As a journalist, Dyson built her reputation as a technology watcher in the 1970s. In the mid-1990s, her investing practices and nourishment of young tech companies made her one of the most familiar names in Silicon Valley. She was also one of the first people to explore the impact of the Internet on intellectual property and privacy as well as how it would affect everyday life. Her 1997 book, Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age, was the cumulation of her research and analysis. Shortly afterward, she was chosen to be the founding Chairman of the non-profit, ICANN – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – which to this date works to manage Internet Protocol numbers and Domain Name System roots.
Dyson is a trained backup cosmonaut and sits on the boards of several space travel and health technology boards. One of her most important projects right now is “The Way to Wellville”, a 10-year-project in partnership with five U.S. communities working to accelerate health in their environment and individual members.
Dyson is a frequent speaker at tech and investing conferences, and has spoken (more than once) at the World Economic Forum, SXSW, and several TED events.
Esther Dyson is a natural born networker. She has devoted her life to discovering the inevitable and promoting the possible. As an investor/commentator, she focuses on emerging technologies, emerging markets and emerging companies. In 1994, she was one of the first to explore the impact of the Net on intellectual property.
Raised amid the Dyson family network of scientists and thinkers, since the Seventies, Esther Dyson has been on her own connecting people and ideas in original ways. Watched and emulated as a model for women in media, Dyson’s personal vision for interactive media has influence far beyond the scope of her daily work.
Dyson is president and owner of EDventure Holdings; a small yet globally diversified information services company. EDventure invests in information-oriented startup ventures in central and Eastern Europe as well as in the USA. EDventure conducts industry events like the PC Forum and the High-Tech Forum. Since 1982, EDventure’s newsletter, Release 1.0, help readers see underlying patterns behind industry trends, a theme echoed in her book, Release 2.0.
Esther was the controversial first interim chairperson of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a position she resigned. She was a member of Vice President Al Gore’s vital National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council, where she focused on privacy and security issues along with fostering support for Project Kickstart, helping schools, libraries and community centers hook up to the Internet.
Pre-ICANN, Dyson also served as the chair of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She additionally is associated with the Institute for EastWest Studies, Global Business Network, Eurasia Foundation, Santa Fe Institute, Poynter Institute For Media Studies, the Russian Internet Technology Center (she speaks fluent Russian), and a few small software companies, chiefly in Eastern Europe. In most cases, she sits on the board of directors.
“Upside” stated that her “stature is based entirely on her ability to influence others with her ideas rather than directly control companies or huge amounts of capital.”
After five years as a Wall Street securities analyst, Dyson graduated from Harvard in 1972 with a BA in economics, soon gaining national attention as a reporter for Forbes magazine.
Dyson is also interested in the potential of IT to improve human health, both by involving individuals in maintaining their own health and by transforming the delivery of health care and the institutions that provide it. Her activities here include board seats with 23andMe, Voxiva and numerous other investments, as well as her role as one of ten initial research subjects in George Church’s Personal Genome Project
With 20 years’ experience in the computer industry, Dyson has long been a popular speaker at major industry events in the US and around the world. These include the World Economic Forum in Davos, Comdex, the Aspen Institute, Harvard Millennium Summit, the Gartner Group conferences, Businessweek’s Global conferences, Windows Expo and the Israel Internet Association’s annual conference. Dyson appears frequently as a commentator on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, the BBC, Wall Street Journal TV, PBS and the network news. Every year, attendees at many business meetings and conferences learn from her provocative insights on such topics as the role of intellectual property, electronic commerce, US and foreign government policy on information technology, and the future of the Internet.
Health technology speaker Esther Dyson reveals what she discovered about accelerating wellness when she collaborated with five communities committed to making a healthier environment, and in turn, healthier individuals. While we spend a tremendous amount of money on what we've come to think of as "health care", Dyson observes that we're really just paying for fixing something that's broken; a much more cost-effective alternative would be to maintain ourselves and prevent damage in the first place.
"90% of healthcare is behavior and our surroundings," she redefines the topic. The longtime tech investor and trained cosmonaut quickly realized that the type of healthcare fix that she wanted to see, could not just come about from one individual's efforts. "Big changes do not happen with single people," she says, explaining that her team sought communities of less than 100,000 people, where the community members genuinely desired to make change and wanted someone from the outside to help them accelerate that.
"We have this bottomless resovoire of things that cause bad health...the scale is wrong. We can't fix that," Dyson states. "What I decided to do was try this out in five small places, where the scale is right."
Throughout angel investor Esther Dyson’s long and varied career she has always managed to stay at the forefront of emerging markets and technologies. Conversational and straight-to-the-point, Dyson draws from four decades of experience investing in tech markets around the world, to offer concrete do’s and don’ts to both start-ups and investors, as well as steps tech companies can take to expand economic opportunity for all.
In the past years, Dyson has turned more focus to creating a nationwide shift from health care to health. She provides key findings and insights from her 10-year-long project Way to Wellness, which is exploring a community-driven approach to taking on the opioid crisis, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
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