Shoshana Zuboff is a Harvard Business Professor and Author, Sociologist and a dynamic, charismatic, and authoritative speaker on the topic of surveillance capitalism. Everyone from tech companies to government regulators are currently trying to grapple with this next phase of our society, by which our personal information is monetised and exploited by big tech companies and then used to predict and shape our behaviours.
Shoshana shines an urgent, evolving and necessary light on this most important subject.
For her full Bio, see below: –
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,
In this keynote Shoshana provides the audience with a detailed examination of the unprecedented power of surveillance capitalism and how our personal information is monetised and exploited by big tech companies and then used to predict and shape our behaviours.
Social Media and a Surveillance Society
Harvard Business School emerita and scholar Shoshana Zuboff has written a mind blowing but terrifying book.
In it, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power she writes that there is no doubt that smart devices, social networks, location services, and their ilk have made 21st-century life incredibly efficient and hyper-optimised, but having access to these services comes with the parcelling out of our information, which is then used to both serve and manipulate us.
Surveillance capitalism—a concept coined by Zuboff herself—defines the current age, in which we’ve all opted into the commodification of our personal information. As our individual choices become not only predicted, but controlled, we’re giving companies exorbitant power over the economy and society as a whole: opting to concede our privacy in exchange for increased connection and convenience.
In her latest—a New York Times Sunday Review cover story—Zuboff breaks down exactly how social media has created the epistemic chaos we’re currently living in, naming the main players and exposing the motivation behind their game. With her hallmark realism and optimism, she also outlines the three principles which will help correct course, a blueprint abound with lessons for organizations, businesses, young professionals, and students, on how to rebuild the next decade: “We are still in the early days of an information civilization … this is our opportunity to match the ingenuity and determination of our 20th-century forebears by building the foundations for a democratic digital century” (New York Times.)
Zuboff’s theorems have struck a cultural chord, with major publications of record hailing Surveillance Capitalism as “a landmark new book” (The Observer) vital to the current conversation. In 2019, she won the prestigious Axel Springer Award, given to “outstanding personalities who are particularly innovative, and who generate and change markets, influence culture and at the same time face up to their responsibility to society.” It has only been awarded four times—its other recipients being none other than Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Tim Berners-Lee. Surveillance Capitalism was named one of TIME’s 100 Must-Read Books of 2019, one of both the New Yorker’s and Bloomberg’s Best Books of 2019, and one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2019, who called it an “extraordinarily intelligent…comprehensive work of scholarship and synthesis” that sets forth a “substantial new argument against the intrusions of Big Tech.” The Wall Street Journal described it as “a rare volume that puts a name on the problem just as it becomes critical,” and the Financial Times called it an “unmissable classic that everyone should read,” also naming it to their list of Best Books 2019: Technology. Surveillance Capitalism was also chosen by The Guardian as one of their Best Science, Nature and Ideas books of 2019, and by the Sunday Times as one of the Best Business Books of 2019. As well, Fast Company named it one of the books on tech you should read in 2020.
Zuboff was one of the first tenured women in Harvard Business School’s faculty, where she was the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration. Previously, she was a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Zuboff has also been a frequent contributor to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. She shared her ideas on the future of business and society in her popular Fast Company column, “Evolving.” She has also been a featured columnist for BusinessWeek.com, with her work showcased on CNBC, Reuters International, the Today Show as well as in Fortune, Inc., Business Week, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and many other news outlets. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the top ten titles in Business & Economics of the season.