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218 E. Franklin St. CB# 3510
(919) 966-5110

First Session, 2023

HNRS 334 Silicon Revolution (3)

MAYMESTER. Silicon Valley is celebrated as a global capital of high-tech innovation and transformative economic development. Business leaders and politicians in other regions have attempted to reproduce that accomplishment, almost always with limited success. Why has the task been so difficult? What combination of institutions, public policy, people, and geography transformed the orchards of Santa Clara County into the epicenter of a new knowledge economy? And what lessons can Silicon Valley teach us about the roles that government, universities, and private capital might play in inventing the future? These are the questions this course sets out to explore.
We’ll use the first week of class to immerse ourselves in the history of Silicon Valley. Then we’ll spend a week in San Francisco and Palo Alto, where we’ll visit with UNC alumni working in small start-ups, technology giants such as Google and Cisco, and venture capital and private equity firms. When we return to Chapel Hill, we’ll use our last week to take the measure of what we’ve learned and to connect lessons from Silicon Valley to the challenges of economic development in North Carolina.
Travel dates: We’ll travel to San Francisco on Saturday, May 20, and return on Saturday, May 27.
Costs: In addition to Summer School tuition, students will pay a program fee (currently estimated at $1,700 – the final cost will depend on hotel and transportation expenses, which have not yet been finalized) directly to Honors Carolina. The fee will cover the cost of airport transfers, lodging at the Cardinal Hotel in downtown Palo Alto, local transportation, and lunch and evening meals. It will not cover airfare, the cost of other meals, or incidental personal expenses. Scholarship support will be available.
Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. Students should click here to provide a brief statement of interest.