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Harper Reed conference speaker US elections

Harper Reed

speaker location icon Chicago, USA

Chief Technology Officer, Obama for America 2012

Crowd-sourcing and social media pioneer

Head of Commerce, Braintree, a PayPal Company (2015-2018)

“He was great at setting the tone for the day with his energy… His experience and examples from real-life furthermore were thought-provoking” – Rabobank

Harper Reed is a technologist that predicts the future for a living. He travels widely showing people the possibilities of tech and sharing his experiences to propel the greater good, all while raising the level of fun in the room.

Harper knows his incredible luck has led him to achieve many wonderful things.  At PayPal, his roles as Head of Commerce and as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence allowed him to guide teams into the thrilling future of e-commerce. The technology he developed as co-founder at startup Modest Inc. had initially garnered the attention of PayPal, which led them to acquire Modest only a few years after launch.

Harper also believes the talent of a great bunch of humans can transform an organization like nothing else and he uses that belief to strengthen, deploy, and inspire every team he works with. Previously, Harper was CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign, where he was the first to bring the mentality and connective capabilities of tech to the political stage. He was also the CTO of Threadless.com, where he pioneered crowdsourcing and grew the company from a 12 person startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise.

Harper is an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, sits on the advisory boards for IIT Computer Science and the Royal United Service Institute, and is on the Cornell College Board of Trustees.

Speaking Topics:

  • The impact of digital technology on business
  • Big Data
  • Building creative and innovative teams
  • Nurturing a startup mindset
  • Cyber security


Our Comment

"Harper is well-known for his unconventional appearance. “Harper is not the guy you’d typically imagine inviting to a board meeting, but we always did and he was very impressive,” said venture capital firm Sandbox Industries, where Reed recently served as an adviser. “If you heard him talk and speak, you’d think he was a suit, but he’s not. He takes pride in being different.”"

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