DEAR TECH COMMUNITY,
You might remember me from last year when I called the CTA out on their sexist, biased and unfair practices. We won an Innovation Award in robotics for our sex tech product Osé and in the midst of planning for the show, the CTA decided to rescind our award, citing that it was immoral, indecent, profane, and obscene. After the attention our efforts received, we successfully pressed CTA to make long overdue reforms: CTA reinstated our award, issued us an apology, rewrote the policies around sex tech at CES, and updated its dress code to
effectively end the offensive practice of “booth babes.” We considered this a fruitful year and an effective call out where all parties learned from their mistakes and
the world, for once, felt a little more fair.
Despite all that progress, it felt like deja vu when CTA announced the other day that Ivanka Trump would be a keynote speaker at CES 2020. Politics aside, Ms. Trump has no real portfolio or experience in technology. It saddens me that CTA is using its power to promote Ms. Trump over the hundreds of qualified executives actively working in tech of all genders. At best it’s a misguided PR stunt, at worse it’s hijacking a bipartisan organization to reputation wash a partisan political figure. I salute the tech community and all of the innovators out there who are leading the charge in their industries and
are fighting for real change in the world through tech. Ms. Trump is simply not the right voice to speak for the tech community.
So my question is simply: Why? Why book someone to keynote at CES, a hugely anticipated and exciting event for innovators and changemakers, who has so little tech experience? This simple question keeps spinning around in my head, coupled with, “What does the tech
community actually want instead?”
Please join us in offering the CTA some data as to who and what the tech community would like to see as keynotes a CES 2021. My personal vote is bring back Kara Swisher, invite great CEOs and founders like Stacy Brown-Philpot, Leanne Pittsford, Martine Rottblatt,
Jessica O. Matthews, or a true sex tech visionary like Cindy Gallop. Stop by the Lora DiCarlo booth (Sands Expo; Halls A-D Booth #43943) and fill out the comment cards on who and what you would like to see keynote at CES 2021.
At the end of the CES 2020 we will publish the data on what the real tech community wants to see for keynote speakers.
For now, I encourage you to use your voice, use social media, use your platform to let the CTA know that we are not ok with unqualified speakers.
Lora Haddock DiCarlo
Founder & CEO