fbpx A Better Public Conversation: Inventing a new future for social media | Harvard Kennedy School
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Date and Location

December 7, 2022
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST


A Better Public Conversation: Inventing a new future for social media Photo

​Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become flashpoints for what ails democracy. But what if the technologies that power public discourse could serve society’s best interests instead of undermining them? Join William Powers, CEO of Public Mind, best-selling author, and former Washington Post columnist, in conversation with Bina Venkataraman, editor-at-large for The Boston Globe and fellow in the Technology and Public Purpose Program at Belfer, for an in-person discussion on inventing a new future for social media.

Speakers and Presenters

​William Powers is co-founder and CEO of Public Mind, a non-profit technology organization launching in early 2023. Its mission is to strengthen democracy by objectively reporting on public opinion as reflected in online social discourse. A former Washington Post staff writer, his work in technology began with a paper he wrote as a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy’s School’s Shorenstein Center. Powers is the author of the 2010 book Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. A New York Times-bestseller, the book took him to MIT, where he spent five years as a research scientist working on ways AI technologies can help build better societies. He lives in Massachusetts and is currently Visiting Scholar for Humanistic Technologies at the Max Planck Center for Humans and Machines in Berlin.