The White House, Back To The Future Day, and the Road to Innovation

Oct 21, 2015
White House's Back To The Future Day graphic

Well, it’s here: October 21, 2015. While Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) got to experience flying cars in 1989’s part two of the Back to the Future trilogy, we, on the other hand, are not quite there—yet! As the White House notes, we have come a long way in the past 30 years since the original Back to the Future came out in 1985, and #BackToTheFutureDay is a great opportunity to talk about where we’re going in the next 30.

Although Marty and Doc don’t officially arrive until 7:28 pm, the White House is hosting events this morning and afternoon with representatives from various agencies, universities, and the private sector to get the conversation going about current and upcoming innovations in technology and government. Leave a message on of what you think 2045 will look like, or join them online using the hashtags below to contribute your ideas.

Here’s the schedule for the day:

  • 9:30 A.M. ET: A Google+ Hangout Conversation on Time Travel
    Featuring: OSTP Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation Tom Kalil, Professor Tim Ralph of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and Mr. Martin Ringbauer, a PhD student at the University of Queensland.
    What you can do: Watch live right here!

  • 10:30 A.M. ET: A Twitter Conversation on Autonomous Vehicles
    Featuring: Deputy Chief Technology Officer Ed Felten and OSTP Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation Tom Kalil.
    What you can do: Follow @EdFelten44 and @WhiteHouseOSTP — and weigh in on the conversation on Twitter using #BackToTheFutureDay.

  • 11:30 A.M. ET: A Twitter Q+A on the Future of Women in STEM
    Featuring: Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, NASA Chief Scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan, OSTP Principal Assistant Director for Environment and Energy Tammy Dickinson, and L’Oréal’s 2015 U.S. Women in Science fellows.
    What you can do: Follow @USCTO and @LOrealUSA on Twitter, and weigh in on what you’d like to see women doing in STEM fields in 2045 using hashtag #WomenInScience.

  • 1:00 P.M. ET: A Google+ Hangout on Understanding the Human Brain
    Featuring: OSTP Assistant Director for Neuroscience and Mental Health Monica Basco; OSTP Senior Policy Advisor Knatokie Ford; OSTP Assistant Director for Defense Programs (and neuroscientist) Chris Fall; Karl Deisseroth M.D., Ph.D., the D.H. Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University; Kevin Pearce, Snowboarder and BRAIN initiative activist; and Dr. Julie Brefczynksi-Lewis, Research Assistant Professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.
    What you can do: Watch live right here.

Some recent articles about innovation in technology and government that we’ve posted here on DigitalGov include:

View additional highlights of the day at If you’d like to share how your agency is helping to move government into the future, contact us or leave a comment below.