Announcing PDF 2013 Theme "Think Bigger" + New Speakers!
BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, February 12 2013
Every year we choose a theme for Personal Democracy Forum, our annual conference on how technology is changing politics, government and civic life. This year, for our tenth annual gathering, the theme is going to be "Think Bigger." We've chosen it in part to honor our late friend Aaron Swartz, who used that phrase it in an email he wrote me, where he asked, "Why not harness the power of the Internet to work on the larger-scale problems?" Why not, indeed.
Thinking bigger can also mean imagining how we can use the explosive growth in data and computing power, as well as the rapid spread of connection technologies into billions of hands, to approach problems in better ways. Bigger data and more powerful technologies can also mean bigger threats to freedom and bigger misunderstandings too--we're hardly of the view that just because it's technology that must mean it's changing things for the better. But as with every PDF conference, we're aiming to focus on the people, ideas and projects that are really making a positive difference in how the world works and people live.
To that end, we are also pleased to announce the following keynote speakers, joining our first group of exciting presenters:
- Sara Critchfield, Managing Editor of Upworthy.com;
- Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab;
- Lorelei Kelly, Research Fellow with the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation;
- Beth Noveck, Professor at NYU Wagner and former US Deputy Chief Technology Officer;
- Ben Rattray, Founder of Change.org;
- Harper Reed, Chief Technology Officer, Obama for America 2012;
- Rachel Weidinger, Director of Upwell.us;
- Svitlana Zalishchuk, Founding Director of Centre UA, a Kiev-based NGO;
- Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the Center for Civic Media and author of the forthcoming book "Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection."
Over the coming weeks, we'll continue fleshing out the rest of the PDF 2013 program. Watch this space for further announcements.
HOW TO SUGGEST A SPEAKER OR PANEL: If you have an idea for a speaker or a suggestion for a panel, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with PDF 2013 in the subject line. Use "Think Bigger" as your guide, and feel free to look at past conference programs for inspiration. We can't guarantee that every proposal will make it into this year's program, but we promise to respond to all your suggestions.