Thomson Reuters and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children cordially invite you to join us as we explore "The Virtual Economy: Potential, Perplexities, and Promises," a conference that will be held on June 13, 2013, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. The agenda will be as follows:
8:30 a.m. Registration and Light Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Opening Comments
9:05 a.m. Welcome
9:15 a.m. Potential vs. Perplexities: An Overview
Moderated by: Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, Senior Fellow, Harvard University, JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs
The overview discussion will seek to define the parameters concerning the potential, perplexities, and promises of the virtual economy. In an increasingly interconnected global economy, the benefits of a fluid, easily transferable currency present enormous opportunities to bring a wider range of actors into a system whereby they can access capital. Pockets of individuals previously excluded from a formal economy are gradually becoming integrated, and as a consequence, wealth can be more equitably distributed amongst those most in need. This extension of access to capital presents problems where it provides opportunities for unscrupulous actors to transfer capital beyond the watch of governments. One such example has been its use in fuelling human trafficking and other such illicit activities. While it remains doubtless that such innovations in technology present huge opportunities, this panel will consider the broader implications of a digital economy and how the two sides may be reconciled.
10:00 a.m. Session I: Potential: The Global Trends of eCommerce
Moderated by: Shane Harris, Author/Journalist, Washingtonian Magazine
This panel will discuss the revolutionary and global impact of digital currencies. The world economy has been dependent upon technology for decades; however, new systems such as Bitcoin provide the first example of a technology-based economy. Panelists will discuss this exciting new trend and observe its abuses such as the potential to exploit money laundering.
11:15 a.m. Session II: Perplexities: Reconciling the Use of Legitimate Technologies with Illegal Activities
Moderated by: Jerry Brito, Senior Research Fellow and Director of Technology Policy Program, George Mason University
More than half of the world’s adult population (approximately 2.5 billion people) does not use formal financial services to save or borrow. Innovative technologies are creating new paths to rectify this situation. However, the seismic effect technology has played on our traditional economic systems collect exploits along with its benefits. This panel will discuss how to maintain innovation while properly handling concerning challenges.
12:15 p.m. Lunch Break
12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Keynote Interview with Jennifer Shasky Calvery Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), U.S. Department of Treasury
Moderated by: Frances Townsend, Executive Vice President at MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings, LLC. and former Homeland and Counterterrorism Security Advisor, The White House
2:00 p.m. Session III: Promises: How Can Private and Public Sectors Work Together?
Moderated by: J.R. (Joseph) Helmig, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Leveraged Outcomes, LLC.
This panel will explore how public-private partnerships assist in helping overcome complex international challenges such as those presented by digital currencies. Leveraging expertise and experience from public and private sectors, the panel will discuss where collaboration between actors, often with somewhat divergent interests, can be the most effective means of addressing the most complex issues. While regulation offers an answer to some of the negative consequences witnessed by the rise of a digital economy, the panel will seek to understand where and how partnerships might offer solutions that reconcile combating illicit activities with supporting technological innovation.
3:30 p.m. Closing Comments
Please register by Tuesday, June 11, 2013.