Internet research author to speak for Data & Democracy series

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

LAWRENCE — In conjunction with The Commons’ 2013-2014 programming theme Data & Democracy, Nicco Mele, author of “The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath” (St. Martin’s Press, 2013), will give presentations on Thursday, Nov. 21, and Friday, Nov. 22, at the University of Kansas.

Mele’s lecture, “Why Radical Connectivity Means the End of Big,” planned for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 21, will consider the characteristics and ramifications of our ever-connected lifestyles. Mele will then lead an Idea Café at 10 a.m. Nov. 22, at which he will invite attendees to have a discussion in response to his introduction: “Can Democracy Survive the Digital Age?” Those interested in attending the Idea Café should RSVP to by Friday, Nov. 15. Both events will take place in The Commons.

Mele is an entrepreneur, angel investor and consultant to Fortune 1000 companies as well as a leading forecaster of business, politics and culture in the digital age. Through his use of social media campaigns for fundraising at several advocacy organizations and his work as webmaster for former Gov. Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid, Mele has contributed to the shift in the use of social media by the political sphere. Subsequently, he co-founded EchoDitto, a leading Internet strategy and consulting firm, whose nonprofit and corporate clients have included Barack Obama's Senate campaign, the Clinton Global Initiative, Sierra Club, UN World Food Programme, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, AARP and Medco. Nicco also is on the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he teaches graduate-level classes on the Internet and politics.

He wrote an op-ed, which appeared Oct. 31 in USA Today, which argues that today’s leaders must become more technologically literate, citing the recent cases of and the Commons Application.

Through Data & Democracy, The Commons is exploring the current state of access to information and the consequences of such exposure. This series of presentations will investigate the ways in which humans create and manage information as well as the ways in which they are bound by it. For more information about programs associated with Data & Democracy, please visit its website.