A Deep Dive Into Atlanta’s Tech Scene Now, And In The Future

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Atlanta, in recent years, has earned the nickname “the Silicon Valley of the South.”

A survey released this summer by CB Richard Ellis reported that between 2013 and 2018, Atlanta added nearly 32,000 tech jobs. San Francisco was the only United States city that added more jobs.

And, back in 2017, Forbes predicted Atlanta was one of five U.S. cities “poised to become tomorrow’s tech meccas.”

But, what does it mean to be a ‘tech city’? And what does Atlanta bring to the table that Silicon Valley doesn’t?

Last week, “Closer Look with Rose Scott” took these statistics a step further and held conversations with industry leaders and tech workers about how Atlanta’s tech landscape has grown and where they hope to see it go in the future.

From conversations with the Technology Association of Georgia, to talks about the intersection of tech and entertainment, it’s Tech Week on “Closer Look with Rose Scott.”

Tech Week Kicks Off With The Technology Association of Georgia and Atlanta Technical College

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Larry Williams, President and CEO of the Technology Association, kicks off Tech Week on Closer Look with Rose Scott. (Summer Evans)
  • 2:44: Larry Williams, president and CEO of the Technology Association. He discusses how Atlanta earned the nickname “the Silicon Valley of the South,” as well as future projections for jobs growth in the city’s tech industry.

  • 40:52: Atlanta Technical College unveiled a new Center for Workforce Innovation last week. The Center, which is a collaborative project between the City of Atlanta, Atlanta Committee for Progress and the city, aims to provide students the opportunity to learn trades in IT and coding, electrical work and secure on-the-job experience. Dr. Victoria Seals, president of the Atlanta Technical College, joinsCloser Look” in studio to discuss the new center, and the role Atlanta Technical College plays in training the city’s next generation of tech workers.

“The majority of you know certain zip codes again south of I-20. Again, you cannot have a … Read More

“The majority of you know certain zip codes again south of I-20. Again, you cannot have a city that’s No. 1 without everyone being able to be lifted. And so we are critical part of making sure that that happens accordingly.” — Dr. Victoria Seals

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Bringing Liberal Arts and Tech Together; Cryptocurrency 101

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Agnes Scott faculty (left to right): Jared Millson, Visiting Assistant Professor and Chair of Philosophy; Dr. Jennifer Larimore, Associate Professor and Chair of the Biology Department; and Chris DePree, Charles A. Dana Professor of Astronomy. (Grace Walker/WABE)
  • 16:37: From bitcoin to Blockchain, Professor Elizabeth Strickler, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs in the Creative Media Industries Institute at Georgia State University, joins “Closer Look” to give a 101 on cryptocurrency and banking technology, and to discuss their potential future.
  • 37:42: “Closer Look’s” Tech week continues with faculty from Agnes Scott College. Jared Millson, Visiting Assistant Professor and Chair of Philosophy; Dr. Jennifer Larimore, Associate Professor and Chair of the Biology Department; and Chris DePree, Charles A. Dana Professor of Astronomy.

Local doctors talk about what the future of telemedicine looks like. (Mark Lennihan/ AP Photo)

Robotics & Agriculture, GA Tech’s Wearable Robotics; Future of Telemedicine

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  • 3:14: By the year 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach more than 9 billion people. Dr. Charlie Li, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Georgia, explains how he hopes to use drones and robotic technology to feed a growing population.
  • 17:53: Tech Week continues with a visit to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Human Physiology of Wearable Robotics laboratory, where Georgia Tech Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Greg Sawicki is working with a team to create robotic limbs.
  • 35:09: Many medical professionals and researchers say telemedicine could be the key to helping hard-to-reach populations in rural areas and to increasing accessibility in cities. How is this technology already being implemented? And what are the drawbacks, if any, to phasing out face-to-face care? A conversation with Dr. Walkitria Smith, medical director for telemedicine at Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Timothy Buchman, Medical Director of the Electronic ICU Service at Emory Healthcare; and Dr. Jean Sumner, dean of the Mercer University School of Medicine.

The Future Of Diversity In Tech Fields; The Intersection of Technology & Entertainment

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  • 0:00: Since May of 2012, the organization Technologists of Color (TOC) has been working to increase representation in Atlanta’s tech scene. As we continue Tech Week on “Closer Look,” Marcellus Haynes, founder of TOC, Mark Lawson, programming lead, and Jon Exume, programming lead discuss how they are working to connect more people of color to tech jobs.

  • 20:44: The group Women In Technology (WIT) works to bring more women, and young girls, into STEAM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) here in Atlanta. President and CEO of the organization, Penny Collins talks about the lack of representation of women, particularly women of color, in the tech industry and how WIT works to address this issue on a local level.
President and CEO of Women in Technology, Penny Collins, talks about the lack of representation of women, particularly women of color, in the tech industry and how WIT works to address this issue on a local level. (Photo credit: Grace Walker)
  • 41:06: A look at how advances in technology have changed the face of Atlanta’s entertainment industry with John Adcox, CEO of Gramarye Media, a virtual entertainment studio, and Michael Maknojia, Chief Executive Officer of SoaR Gaming.
John Adcox, CEO of Gramarye Media, a virtual entertainment studio, and Michael Maknojia, Chief Executive Officer of SoaR Gaming, join “Closer Look” in studio for a conversation about how advances in technology have changed the face of Atlanta’s entertainment industry. (Photo credit: Grace Walker)
A rest stop along an 18-mile stretch of high on I-85, known as The Ray. (Courtesy of The Ray)

18-mile Stretch of Georgia Roadway Uses Solar Technology; Using 3-D Printing To Make Pediatric Tracheal Splints

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  • 0:00: An 18-mile stretch of I-85 starting in Lagrange, Georgia has been called ‘the highway of the future.’ Known as The Ray, the roadway is a testing point for pavement solar cells and allows the highway’s surface to generate clean energy.  Allie Kelly, executive director of The Ray, and Andrew Heath, Georgia Department of Transportation Director of Traffic Management, a partner of the project join us in-studio as we continue tech week.
  • 17:58: Using 3-D printing, Dr. Harsha Ramaraju, a postdoctoral fellow in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sarah Jo Crotts, lab manager for the Tissue Engineering and Mechanics Lab, are able to create customized, tracheal splints for child patients. Closer Look recently visited the team at their lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology. as part of the program’s tech week series, to see how the technology works.
Dr. Harsha Ramaraju, postdoctoral fellow in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sarah Jo Crotts, lab manager for the Tissue Engineering and Mechanics Lab, use 3-D printing to create customized, tracheal splints for child patients. (Photo credit: Candace Wheeler)

Diversity and Citizenship in the Modern Technopolis

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Dr. Kamau Bobb, Global Lead for Diversity Strategy and Research at Google, joins Closer Look in studio to discuss tech and equity. (Grace Walker/WABE)
  • 10:00/31:37: “Closer Look’s” Tech Week series concludes with a conversation with Dr. Kamau Bobb, Global Lead for Diversity Strategy and Research at Google. Dr. Bobb, who is also the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech, shares his vision for “citizenship in the modern technopolis” and creating a more diverse and inclusive space in STEM.

Closer Look is produced by Candace Wheeler and Grace Walker. Joy Barge is a contributing producer.