With the resurgence of nativism and authoritarianism around the globe, democracy appears to be in crisis. How did we get here? And what can we do about it? Raised by pundits and professors, in texts and tweets, these are the defining questions of our age. To better understand the state of democracy today, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University has launched Democracy Dialogues, a new, ongoing series of conversations with JHU President Ron Daniels and a diverse group of scholars, policymakers, journalists, citizens and practitioners.
The first conversation will address the complex relationship between technology and democracy with Zeynep Tufekci and Alec Ross, both of whom have been at the forefront of this issue.
Zeynep Tufekci, professor, columnist and author of Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest (Yale University Press, 2017), was an early and outspoken critic of social media’s potential to damage democracy. Her ongoing research revolves around the interaction between society and technology, with a focus on how big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence are affecting not only the dynamics of power and resistance in modern society but the social and political structures that uphold it.
Alec Ross is an innovator, investor, former gubernatorial candidate and state department official, and the author of The Industries of the Future (Simon & Schuster, 2016). In his role as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he saw firsthand technology’s power to protect democracy. He also knows that, left unchecked, it is no panacea. Currently, Ross serves as an adviser on technology and geopolitics to political and business leaders around the world.
This lively conversation, moderated by President Daniels, will include an opportunity for audience members to engage with the panelists on the role of technology in our democracy.
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