Announcing A Major Virtual Event, “Lessons from the First Internet Ages,” on Nov. 2-3, 2021

This year, I have been serving as a Knight Foundation visiting scholar along with Prof. Mary Anne Franks of University of Miami. I’m excited to publicly announce our project. Working with the Knight Foundation team, including John Sands, we assembled a remarkable collection of essays and a conference to explore them fully.

The essays: we collected over a dozen submissions from some leading figures in Internet history and online communities. We asked them a simple question: knowing what you know now, what would you do differently when you were making your key decisions? Check out the line-up of experts who participated:

  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee
  • Dr. Vint Cerf
  • Former Rep. Chris Cox
  • Reid Hoffman
  • Brewster Kahle
  • Craig Newmark
  • Ellen Pao
  • Matthew Prince (video interview)
  • Brad Smith and Mary Snapp
  • Evan Spiegel
  • Nirav Tolia (video interview)
  • Nicole Wong
  • Sen. Ron Wyden

It’s an incredibly rich collection of perspectives and wisdom. The candor and insights in some of their submissions will blow you away.

The conference: to contextualize and engage with these reflections, we’ve organized six hours of virtual programming exploring various themes that emerged from the submissions. The all-star cast of commentators includes:

  • Julia Angwin
  • Esther Dyson
  • Cory Doctorow
  • evelyn douek
  • Reid Hoffman
  • Alberto Ibargüen
  • Sarah Jeong
  • Roberta Katz
  • Daphne Keller
  • Issie Lapowsky
  • Chris Lewis
  • Alex Macgillivray
  • Mike Masnick
  • Safiya Noble
  • Margaret O’Mara
  • John Sands
  • Sarita Schoenebeck
  • Deepa Seetharaman
  • TL Taylor
  • Zeynep Tufekçi
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan
  • Nicole Wong
  • Christopher Yoo
  • Jonathan Zittrain

I expect the essay package and associated commentary will become important parts of the Internet’s historical record. We’ll hear from key historical figures, in their own words, about what they’ve learned over their careers, and we’ll hear some of the sharpest commentators complementing those lessons with their own expertise. That’s why I consider this a “must-attend” event.

The event is November 2-3, 10 am to 1ish pm Pacific time each day. You can register for free here. Please help spread the word. Hope to see you there.