SUGGESTED TOPICS

Present Shock:
When Change is Always On


Innovation from the Inside Out

Generation Like

The New Digital Economy:
Global Economic Crisis as Renaissance Opportunity


Program or Be Programmed - Thriving in the Digital Landscape

The New Education Race — From Sputnik to Twitter

Game or Be Gamed:
Play, Participation and Power in the Digital Landscape


Open Source Everything:
Social Media, Total Transparency, & the Culture of Participation


The Price of Safety:
Where National Security Meets Digital Privacy


A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT PROGRAMS WITH DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF


Present Shock: When Change is Always On    

We have a completely new relationship to time; we live in an always-on “now,” where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything. Wall Street traders no longer invest in a future; they expect profits off their algorithmic trades themselves, in the ultra-fast moment. Voters want immediate results from their politicians, having lost all sense of the historic timescale on which government functions. Kids txt during parties to find out if there’s something better happening in the moment, somewhere else.

What does this emphasis on immediacy mean to marketing and communications? Everything. People no longer buy the story you're selling - they want to know the reality of what you are offering and doing. This means an end-to-end reconsideration of business practices, as well as the techniques you are using to communicate them across all of your constituencies. The stakes have never been higher for those charged with marketing and communications - but the new potentials have never been greater. In this talk, Dr. Rushkoff will share the core principles at play, how they are shifting, and how to navigate and thrive in the new terrain.

Innovation from the Inside Out    

For too long, businesses have gotten by on outsourcing and downsizing or acquisitions and marketing, letting the short-term needs of the balance sheet take precedence over the long-term value of competency. Generic CEO's and long-distance management will no longer suffice.

In this talk, Rushkoff entertainingly chronicles business's long exodus from basic competency, and offers the steps retired to take a return journey to essential skills and passion for the work at hand. Rushkoff offers a compelling vision of the simple ways businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs can re-invigorate themselves from the inside out, and have fun doing it, too.

Generation Like    

For millennials, the social media landscape is a game of numbers and hits, recommendations and followers, votes and views. What most young people don't realize is how these free online activities and apps come with a cost: they are delivering themselves and their data to a marketing industry who uses every click against them.
 
In this talk, Douglas Rushkoff — producer and host of the PBS Frontline documentary on this topic — will evaluate whether social media is offering young people a new avenue of self-expression, or simply empowering marketers to predict and influence their behaviors. Suitable for communities, schools, parents, and teens, this talk will offer a new lens on the digital world in which teens live, and some practical strategies for transcending the limits of our online profiles. 
 
This program can include a high-quality screening of the movie or clips during the talk.

The New Digital Economy: Global Economic Crisis as Renaissance Opportunity    

The dominance of centralized value creation by corporations is fast being challenged by a world of smaller, networked markets, each capable of adding and measuring value in its own way. Top-down national currencies like the dollar and Euro - as well as the banks that live off them - are quite literally breaking down under the pressure.
 
Dr. Rushkoff entertainingly chronicles the invention of central currency revealing its intentionally embedded biases and showing how it is failing as a medium of exchange and investment. He contextualizes the current banking crisis as the failure of a 13th century monetary operating system to serve the needs of a 21st century digital economy. Finally explaining how banks, corporations, and investors alike can transcend the limits of “static” capital and competitive scarcity.

Program or Be Programmed - Thriving in the Digital Landscape    

The debate over - whether the Net is good or bad for us fills both the airwaves and blogosphere. But for Rushkoff, the real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it? “Choose the former,” explains Rushkoff, “and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.”
 
Rushkoff provides guidelines to navigate this new universe. Depending on the age and interests of the audience, this talk can also cover the culture of MTV and youth marketing, extending the notion of “programming” to include advertisers, politicians, and corporations who mean to influence our thoughts and behaviors.

The New Education Race — From Sputnik to Twitter    

Similar to the impact the Sputnik satellite had on American education during the Cold Ward, the emergence of high-tech superpowers from India to South Korea has forced the US to reconsider how we are preparing our youth for the 21st century landscape.
 
In this talk, an ideal choice for educators, policymakers, and concerned communities, Rushkoff demonstrates how it is no longer enough to teach students how to use off-the-shelf programs, or even to train them to use today's technologies. Some of them must be capable of designing, programming, and engineering a digital infrastructure beyond most of our imaginations. This lecture gives audiences not only the motivation and reasoning for upgrading our educational capacity but also the first concrete steps for taking action.

Game or Be Gamed: Play, Participation and Power in the Digital Landscape    

Douglas Rushkoff, code evangelist at CodeCademy and author of Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, and Media Virus, will explore the levels of playability in video games for what they reveal about our access to participation in society at large. Are we players, cheaters, modders, or programmers? What do games teach players about their agency both within the game and in the world beyond, and how do we - as game authors - encourage the quest for greater agency? Do we even want to? 

Open Source Everything: Social Media, Total Transparency, & the Culture of Participation    

From Arab Spring to Wikipedia, peer-to-peer connectivity has replaced top-down control. The Internet isn't just a revolution in content, but of contact - connecting people and institutions to one another, across formerly sacrosanct boundaries. Social media has revived local cultures and sensibilities, making one-size-fits-all solutions pale in comparison with those that emerge from the bottom up. In a talk as far-reaching as it is grounded in up-to-the-minute real-world examples, Rushkoff explains how organizations can navigate a landscape where total transparency and public involvement are no longer options but requirements.

Open Source is a phenomenon with social, economic, political, and even spiritual dimensions, and Rushkoff can speak to the particular needs of corporate, educational, communications, political, or religious organizations.

The Price of Safety: Where National Security Meets Digital Privacy    

Our email and social networks may not cost a cent to use, but we pay for them in another way: with our data. While most of us are familiar with the way companies use this information to deliver targeted ads, we are less aware - and comfortable - with how government security agencies depend on this same data to keep us safe. How is our data used in the name of security, and what might the future costs be to our liberty? Where should we draw the line, if we still can?
 
Program can be presented by Douglas Rushkoff solo or in conversation with New York Times chief Washington correspondent David Sanger.

A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT PROGRAMS WITH DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF    

Dr. Rushkoff prefers to customize his presentations to the audience or industry he is addressing. He applies his insights, his knowledge of history and economics, as well as his understanding of the fundamental shift toward a digital society to the challenges facing the particular group at that moment in time. A Rushkoff talk is an opportunity to have one of the world’s leading social and media theorists hone in on your sector or organization, and put this moment in its greater cultural, economic, and global context - complete with actionable prescriptions for adapting to the changing landscape.

Areas of Interest and Expertise:


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