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There is no doubt about it: Florida leads America’s future. National commentators have praised the Sunshine State’s responsible, limited government and high level of services. The results speak for themselves: Americans have poured into our state to live well and build great things. The challenge is for Florida to protect our policy environment that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. How can Florida continue to lead the future?

Join The James Madison Institute, in partnership with the Florida Technology Council, for the “2021 Tech and Innovation Summit” as we bring together thought leaders in policy, industry, and media to discuss how Florida can best lead in the areas of cryptocurrency, aerospace, next-generation transportation, telecommunications, and digital technologies.

Wednesday, July 14 – Thursday, July 15th 

Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore
4500 West Cypress Street
Tampa, FL 33607


Wednesday, July14th 

1:00pm-2:45pm Opening Luncheon and Plenary Session

3:00pm-4:15pm Breakout Sessions (Transportation and Telecom) 

4:15pm- 5:00pm- Plenary Session 

5:00pm-6:00pm Networking Reception


Thursday, July 15th 

8:00am-9:00am Networking Breakfast

9:00am-10:30am Plenary Session 

10:45am-12:00pm Breakout Sessions (Space and Platforms)

12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch and Closing Plenary Session 


How Florida Can Embrace 5G
Commissioner Brendan Carr, Federal Communications Commission

Connectivity is key for work, play, and development, as the COVID-19 crisis has made abundantly clear. Florida scores well on national rankings of broadband and wireless connectivity. But how can Florida lead in the promulgation of next-generation telecommunications technologies like 5G? Join us as we welcome FCC Commission Brendan Carr – otherwise known as “Mr. 5G” – for a discussion of how Florida can benefit from 5G technologies, what we can do to encourage its development, and what pitfalls to avoid as we navigate the best policies for our state to prosper and grow in the new age of connectivity.

Leadership in Florida Technology
Representative Fiona McFarland, Florida House of Representatives 
David Clark, Managing Partner, Allegiant Strategies Group
As the old proverb goes, fortune favors the bold. Florida’s bold leadership in economic and technology policy has already paid dividends in the form of increased migration and national admiration. How can Florida continue to show leadership in technology issues ranging from IOT and data to platforms and growth? Join us for a conversation between Representative McFarland and Allegiant Strategies Group Managing Partner David Clark to see the range of options for bold policies that Florida leaders have. How can Florida best continue our track record of big policy ideas that set our state up for growth and innovation?

“How to Boost Florida Government Tech”
Garrett Johnson, Executive Director, Lincoln Network
Jamie Grant, Florida Chief Information Officer
Leading the future means improving Florida government technology. Too often, government websites and services are synonymous with “slow,” “outdated,” and in the worst-case scenarios: “hacked.” Fortunately, Florida policymakers have taken proactive steps to boost the Sunshine State’s systems by infusing some private sector know-how and cutting-edge technologies. Join us for a conversation with Garrett Johnson of the Lincoln Network, which connects private sector builders with public sector needs to improve systems with the levels of service and functionality that we have all come to expect.

“How to Tailor Securities Laws for Cryptocurrency Innovation”
Commissioner Hester M. Pierce, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have unleashed great innovation in the fields of technology and finance, as well as great growth in Florida in cities like Miami. Because these technologies are so paradigm-shifting, they touch upon a wide range of laws, including regulations surrounding taxation, fraud-prevention, and securities. Join us for a virtual Q&A with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce, also known as “Crypto Mom,” to discuss exactly how current securities laws affect digital currencies and what factors policymakers on the national and state levels should consider as they seek to create the greatest possible spaces for innovation.


Transportation Panel
Brent Skorup, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center
Florida Representative Andrew Learned
Marc Scribner, Senior Transportation Policy Analyst, Reason
Next-generation transportation options such as driverless cars, unmanned aerial vehicles (or drones), and “air taxis” are on the cusp of viability. Many of these technologies are already operational on trial bases across our state. They promise great breakthroughs in delivery and logistics, manufacturing, agriculture, and general efficiency. Yet there is much that must be done in terms of policy before these technologies can be integrated into our physical environment. Our panel will discuss how these next-generation technologies are different and similar to traditional transportation, and what policies need to be updated in order for Florida to take full advantage of these exciting new platforms.

Space Panel
Dr. Dan Garretson, Founder & CEO Global Fact Base
Dr. Eli Dourado, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Growth and Opportunity

U.S. Congressman Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02)
Florida has long been synonymous with space flight, as hundreds of thousands of excited “kids of all ages” who have made the trek out to Cape Canaveral to watch a rocket shoot up to space can attest. Florida is also key to the new generation of space flight, which has seen marvelous innovations in rocket launches, recovery, and soon passenger flight. Our panel will discuss the policy side of space flight in Florida, and how laws on the state and federal level contribute to the opportunities that our state has to leverage this new age of commercial space activity.

Telecom Panel
Bartlett Cleland, Executive Director, Innovation Economy Institute
Dr. Roslyn Layton, Center for Communication, Media, and Information Technologies, Aalborg University

Florida Representative Josie Tomkow
Florida is a national leader in broadband infrastructure and deployment. The R Street Institute’s 2020 Broadband Scorecard grants the Sunshine State with a shining “A” rating for our policies that promote pro-growth rights of way, construction, and franchising options. Most Floridians have access to affordable and speedy internet thanks to these policies. But there is more we can do to bridge the “digital gap” and connect even more Floridians to excellent internet services. This panel will discuss what Florida should keep doing to continue leading on broadband deployment, and what pitfalls our state should avoid that other state governments have learned the hard way.

Platform Panel
Robby Soave, Senior Editor, Reason Foundation
Jennifer Huddleston, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum

Zach Graves, Head of Public Policy, Lincoln Network
As social networking platforms have come to dominate our online lives, so too have the policy considerations emanating from both sides of the aisle. Policymakers on the federal and state levels have started to discuss how issues of competition and content controls affect both individual users and society overall. There is no doubt that social networking and platforms have generated great benefits to society. At the same time, this paradigm shift in how we interact online has also created challenges around economic and civic impacts. This panel will discuss the top policy issues surrounding platforms, and what private and public remedies and risks are on the table for consideration


Online Registration has closed. However if you are still interested in attending, please email brittany@jamesmadison.org or amoser@jamesmadison.org and we would be happy to accommodate you.

Ticket prices are $149 for the conference.


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