Al Gore Tells Silicon Valley What's at Stake (from

As former vice president, a Nobel-winning environmental activist and an Apple board member, Al Gore spoke to Silicon Valley business leaders Saturday not only about global warming but also about income inequality.

"The 400 wealthiest people in the US have a larger combined net worth than 50 percent of the country," he said.

Gore was the opening keynote speaker of Saturday's Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF), an annual conference organized by 99 People Inc. since 2011 to foster innovation and promote business partnerships between the U.S. and China.

This year's SVIEF took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center, where thousands of audience members gave Gore a rapturous standing ovation when he first appeared on stage.

In his speech, Gore said, "We don't have an illusion of equality. A little inequality is what drives a capitalist society, but we cannot allow a continuing rise of inequality."

When addressing the issue of income inequality, Gore brought up the prospect of robosourcing, the replacement of labor by robots, as the next threat to the American job market after years of outsourcing.

About the rapid advancement of technology, Gore also gave an extreme example of spider goats --- genetically modified goats that can produce milk containing spider silk protein, which can be collected for multiple uses in manufacturing.

Gore cautioned against the single-minded pursuit of technological advancement. He said, "The excitement of technology cannot blind us from human values."

He told business leaders in the audience, "Always remember what's at stake."

Later, during his post-speech Q & A session with Andrew Chiu, CEO of Verliant, Gore named carbon as a major problem that puts the future of the earth at stake. He used the 62-million-dollar cost of Hurricane Sandy as an example.

"We must stop subsidizing carbon," he said.

According to Gore, Germany now gets 61 percent of its energy from renewable resources. He urged the US and China to catch up after pointing out China as the number-one contributor to air pollution in the world and the US as the number two.

Gore said he noticed more and more environmental awareness in China, including the increasing popularity of Tesla over there, during his at-least-twice-a-year visits. He added that he plans to go to China even more often.

Besides Gore, speakers at Saturday's SVIEF included Congresswomen Judy Chu and Jackie Speier, Chinese deputy consul general Gang Bi, director of California governor's office Kish Rajan, Tesla Motors CIO Jay Vijayan, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.


Al Gore

45th Vice President of the United States
Judy Chu

Congresswoman, US
Mike Honda

Congressman, US; Chairman of SVIEF
Jackie Speier

Congresswoman, US
Steve Wozniak

Co-founder, Apple Computer, Inc.
Chief Scientist, Fusion-io
(List in alphabetical order)
Larry Asera

Chairman, CEO and Founder, Asera Group, Inc
Michael F. Bianco

Chairman and CEO, American Capital Markets Group
Renu Bhatia

Vice President, Sales and Strategic Partnerships, Marvell
Christina A. Brodbeck

Co-Founder, Pickvee; Managing Partner, Rivet Ventures

James Cai

Founder of Schein & Cai LLP; President of SVIBA

Sean Chai

Director, Innovation Technology Services at Kaiser Permanente

Dongmin Chen

Dean, School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Peking University
Andrew Chiu

Chief Executive Office CEO, Verliant Energy
Jay B. Clare

Senior Vice President, Infrastructure and Environment division of URS Corporation
Andrew Collins

CEO, Mailman Group
Ash Damle

CEO and founder, MEDgle
Roger S. Eng

President, Golden Gate Radiology Medical Group
Jay Eum

Co-Founder and Managing Director, TransLink Capital
Andy Fan

Vice Chairman, United Nations World Peace Foundation
Charles Fan

Senior Vice President of R&D, VMware
Yajun Fang

Program Chair, MIT Intelligent Transportation Research Center
Johnnie Giles

Executive Director, External Affairs of Comcast Corporation
Praveen Gupta

VP, SK Telecom Americas
Nicholas Hope

Director, Stanford Center for International Development (SCID)
Alan Huang

Co-founder, InPower BioEnergy Technologies Inc.
Thomas Huang

Co-founder / CTO, ClinicTree
Michael A. Innaurato

Equity Partner, Life Science

Helene Kim

Executive Director, Berkeley IELE Program

Eddy Lee

Principal, Fenox Venture Capital
Cha Li

Founder and Managing Partner, iStart Ventures LLC and Dragonvest Partners LLC.
Jun Li

Chairman, Beijing Software Export Center
Yong Liu

Ph.D. Director, Open Innovation and Partnerships, Baidu, Inc.
Yaoguang Ma

President, Mashington Investment Group China
Kelly Masood

President/CTO, Intilop
Anurag Maunder

Head, EMC Storage Automation and Infrastructure group
Juwei Mu

Professor, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS)
Joseph Pergolizzi

General Partner, Life Science Equity Partners LLC; Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School
Monisha Perkash

CEO & Co-founder, LUMO BodyTech
Kish Rajan

Director, California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
Brittany Richards

Venture Director, Citi Ventures
Hong Shi

Chairman/Managing Partner, Redstone Venture Capital
Vaughan Smith

VP, Facebook         
Keith Teare

Founder, Archimedes Labs
Co-founder, TechCrunch
Victor Tong

Founder and Chief Evangelizing Officer, Webplus
Rob Trice

Venture Partner, Swisscom Ventures        
Jay Vijayan

CIO, Tesla Motors        
Lin Wan

Co-Founder/Chief Technology Officer, Stella Technology
Chenxi Wang

VP, McAfee
Shaojie Wang

President, ZVCA
Ron Wessels

Head, Global Startup Recruitment, SAP Startup Focus program
Canice Wu

President, Plug and Play Tech Center
Parviz Yegani

Vice President, Architecture and Technology, Juniper Networks
Jigang Yi

Vice President, ZVCA
Tiemin Zhao

Venture Partner, IPV Capital and Gerneral Manager, Amprius USA
Jianqing Zhang

Research Scientist, Intel Labs
Randi Zuckerberg

Founder / CEO, Zuckerberg Media; Former Marketing Director, Facebook

Copyright© All Rights Reserved Powered by