Past Meetup

The Federation Presents: Humanity and Tech with Shannon Vallor and guests

This Meetup is past

107 people went

Location image of event venue


What does it mean to be 'human' in a technology-focussed world? This event brings key thought-leaders together to explore what humanity needs to do to make sure it survives the technological revolution.


Keynote: Shannon Vallor
Shannon will be talking about the concepts in her book Technology And The Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting. If humanity is going to have any real hope of not merely surviving but of flourishing in the 21st Century (and beyond) then we are going to need more than just better technology. We will need to be better humans and specifically humans that have cultivated the kind of moral skills and virtues that are needed to manage our new techno-social powers wisely and well. Shannon is the William J. Rewak, S.J.Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Santa Clara University where her research addresses the ethical implications of technology. In 2015 she received the World Technology Award in Ethics from the World Technology Network.

Panel discussion:
Following her talk, Shannon will be joined by a guest panel including:

Dr Ella Fitzsimmons

Ella is a strategist and writer helping teams work out what they do through how they talk about it. Most recently, she has been freelancing for a renewable energy company and with Nobel Peace Prize winners. She is ex-Government Digital Service and Co-op Digital. A former financial and advertising journalist, she has lived and worked in Europe, North America and Asia. She has a PhD about fashion, religion and online authority, and is excited about what happens when tech and humanities meet.

Simon Sear Chief Innovation BJSS

Simon works with organisations to (re)design business models, services and products using technologies like AI, IoT and Blockchain. Despite the technology focus, he started work as a qualified psychologist and has a lifelong passion for people. He has a firm conviction that as society becomes more and more digitised, designing human centred products and services will become ever more important.

Sarah Drinkwater Director, Tech and Society Solutions Lab at Omidyar @sarahdrinkwater

Sarah’s a director in Omidyar Network’s new Tech and Society Solutions Lab working to invest in and co-create solutions to build responsibility into core business and maximize the positive impact of technology. Prior to joining Omidyar, Sarah headed up Campus, Google’s seven-storey space for entrepreneurs designed to democratize access into tech. During her time at Campus, startups in the community created over 4,200+ jobs and raised over 195M in funding.

The panel discussion will be followed by Q&A from our audience.


The Federation Presents event series is made possible through the generous funding of Omidyar Network and the Co-op Foundation and through the sponsorship of Co-op Group, BJSS, Kainos, Northcoders and Hermes/NOMA. Our official Media Partner for The Federation Presents event series is The Manchester Evening News.

How do I find you - We are based near The PrintWorks in between Victoria mainline station and Shudehill tramstop in Manchester city centre.
Is the venue accessible - Yes
How do I find out about future events - Sign up to our newsletter: and follow us on Twitter @FederationMCR
Will there be refreshments - Yes!