Democracy Dialogues with Zeynep Tufekci and Alec Ross

Democracy Dialogues is an ongoing series of conversations with a diverse group of scholars, policymakers, journalists, citizens, and practitioners.

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This first conversation will address the complex relationship between technology and democracy with Zeynep Tufekci and Alec Ross, both of whom have been at the forefront of this issue.

Zeynep TufekciZeynep Tufekci, professor, columnist and author of Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest (Yale University Press, 2017), was an early and outspoken critic of social media’s potential to damage democracy. Her ongoing research revolves around the interaction between society and technology, with a focus on how big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence are affecting not only the dynamics of power and resistance in modern society but the social and political structures that uphold it.


Alec RossAlec Ross is an innovator, investor, former gubernatorial candidate and state department official, and the author of The Industries of the Future (Simon & Schuster, 2016). In his role as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he saw firsthand technology’s power to protect democracy. He also knows that, left unchecked, it is no panacea. Currently, Ross serves as an adviser on technology and geopolitics to political and business leaders around the world.

This lively conversation, moderated by Professor Adam Sheingate, will include an opportunity for audience members to engage with the panelists on the role of technology in our democracy.