Esther Dyson (born 14 July 1951) is a former journalist and Wall Street technology analyst who is a leading angel investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and commentator focused on breakthrough innovation in healthcare, government transparency, digital technology, biotechnology, and space. Dyson is currently focusing her career on preemptive healthcare and continues to invest in health technology.
On 7 October 2008, Space Adventures announced that Dyson had paid to train as a back-up spaceflight participant for Charles Simonyi’s trip to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-14 mission which took place in 2009.
Esther Dyson’s father is the physicist Freeman Dyson; her mother is mathematician Verena Huber-Dyson; and her brother is digital technology historian George Dyson. In childhood she received, for alliterative purposes only, the nickname “Dodo”; there does not appear to be, however, significant use of this nickname beyond her primary school experience. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in economics, she joined Forbes as a fact-checker and quickly rose to reporter. In 1977, she joined New Court Securities as “the research department”, following Federal Express and other start-ups. After a stint at Oppenheimer Holdings covering software companies, she moved to Rosen Research and in 1983 bought the company from her employer Ben Rosen, renaming it EDventure Holdings. She sold EDventure Holdings to CNET Networks in 2004, but left CNET in January 2007 after CNET declined to continue her PC Forum conference.
Currently, Dyson is a board member and active investor in a variety of start-ups, mostly in online services, health care/genetics, and space travel.
Previously, Dyson and her company EDventure specialized in analyzing the impact of emerging technologies and markets on economies and societies. She created the following publications on technology:
She is an occasional contributor and sits on the advisory board of a new Open Access, Open Source, Open Peer Review journal, the Journal of Participatory Medicine.
Dyson is an adviser to the First Monday journal, and an occasional contributor to Arianna Huffington’s online Huffington Post as Release 0.9.
Dyson has also been a board member or early investor in several tech startups, among them TrustedID, Cygnus Solutions, Flickr, del.icio.us, Eventful, Netbeans, Powerset, Systinet, ZEDO, CV-Online, Medscape, Medstory, Meetup, Valkee and Vurve.
As of early 2007, Dyson describes herself as “spending more and more time on private aviation and commercial space startups” and also in health care and genetics. She has invested in XCOR, Constellation Services, Zero-G, Icon Aircraft, and Space Adventures. Since 2005, she has hosted the Flight School conference in Aspen. She is currently on the board of directors of 23andMe, and is one of the first ten volunteers in the Personal Genome Project. Her latest investment include: Applied Proteomics, Genomera, Habit Labs, HealthEngage, Health Loop, HealthRally, HealthTap, Keas, Lexity, Medico, Medivo, Omada Health, Organized Wisdom, PatientsLikeMe, Resilient, Tocagen, Mequibrium, VitaPortal, GreenGoose, PatientsKnowBest, and Valkee.
John Hagel III
is an author and former consultant who specializes in the intersection of business strategy and information technology. In 2007, Hagel, along with John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, founded the Deloitte Center for the Edge Innovation. Hagel is also involved with a number of other organizations, including the World Economic Forum, Innovation Exchange with John Seely Brown and Henry Chesbrough, the International Academy of Management, and the Aspen Institute. He is credited with inventing the term “infomediary” in his book, NetWorth with Marc Singer, published by the Harvard Business School Press in 1999.