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Ramesh Srinivasan speaker

Ramesh Srinivasan

speaker location icon Los Angeles, California

Professor and Director, UC Digital Cultures Lab, UCLA

Navigating the intersection of technology, innovation, politics, business, and society.

Regularly featured in Washington Post, CNN, Forbes, Huffington Post

Dr. Ramesh Srinivasan writes, advises, and speaks about the intersection of technology, innovation, politics, business, and society.

He is a leading voice pointing the way toward a digital world that supports democracy, economic security and business interests. He blends his skills as a leading academic, author, engineer, social scientist, storyteller, policy adviser, and ‘thought leader’, to shine a light on how technology and innovation, from all quarters and countries, will make a balanced world possible, for all.

He has been a faculty member at UCLA since 2005 in the Information Studies and Design|Media Arts departments. He is the founder of the UC-wide Digital Cultures Lab which offers a unique, people-focused analysis of new technologies working across every continent and dozens of countries across the world. This lab examines the means by which new media technologies impact businesses, economics, cultures, politics, labor, and the environment through collaborations with global partners. He explores the future of algorithms, AI, automation, and cryptocurrencies with these themes in mind. He holds degrees from Stanford (B.Sc in Engineering), the MIT Media Laboratory (MSc), and Harvard (PhD)

Ramesh is the author of three books: “Whose Global Village? Rethinking How Technology Impacts Our World” (NYU Press) and “After the Internet” with Adam Fish.

His latest book outlines how the future of the internet still hasn’t been written. In – ‘BEYOND THE VALLEY: How Innovators around the World are Overcoming Inequality and Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow’(2019), he maintains that Tech can be fairer and more democratic, while still serving business interests. If we look beyond the confines of a small slice of Northwest USA, we’ll find people from all over the world creating a new narrative by using ingenious ways to leverage limited resources to join the digital space and how they are reinventing technology to suit their situations.
BEYOND THE VALLEY was named a top ten 2019 book in Tech by Forbes.

Ramesh makes regular appearances on NPR, The Young Turks, MSNBC, BBC, CNN and other major media networks. His articles and interviews have been published by the Washington Post, Wired, The Economist, Quartz, Financial Times, CNN, Forbes, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, among others.

Speaking topics include:

Resilient Networks – Creating Technologies to Protect us all against Future Public Health or Climate Crises
How can we prepare ourselves with privacy-protecting spaces, and digital work and economic provisions in cases of a future global crisis? What are the positives and drawbacks of different economic proposals, such as universal basic income? How do we build digital networks and infrastructures that are able to be robust and resilient so they can support communications and coordination in cases of future global crises?

Technology Innovation and The Future of Work

The Future of the Internet
How will 5G and the Internet of Things will transform business interests, consumer conveniences, while protecting and supporting our privacy, economic security, and democracy?

AI and Ethics
Algorithms, AI and bias: how racial, gender, and age biases get baked into technology, i.e. predictive policing, insurance policies

Fake news, Misinformation and the Internet
How tech companies can stem online radicalization
– Regulatory and other approaches toward combatting disinformation
– Protecting journalism in an era of Fake News

Technology, Innovation and The Developing World
-Innovation and ingenuity,  being resourceful with limited tools and materials
-How digital technologies can make our nation and world more economically equal, rather than the opposite direction we are heading in today
-How community technology networks can help people counter climate change disasters

The Gig Economy and Automation
-Universal basic income, gig economy, automation, portable benefits, worker reskilling, and the future of the work, workers, and unions

Regulation and Technology
-Why regulation/break-up of tech monopolies is on the agenda
-The ‘Data Bill of Rights’. People have a right to learn what data is being collected on them, how it is being used, and how data is being computed to influence their political, economic, even personal lives

Social Media, Data, Political Campaigns and Elections
-The impact of the internet on political candidacies, elections, protests and movements across the world
-The US election, personal data, and the role of the Internet/social media (analysis of the right and left-wings, the Republican and Democratic strategies alike)

Blockchain
-How the blockchain and digital currencies revolution can support economic growth for businesses, while allaying many concerns around volatility and its role in supporting economic development of all


Beyond the Valley: How Innovators around the World are Overcoming Inequality and Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow

How to repair the disconnect between designers and users, producers and consumers, and tech elites and the rest of us: toward a more democratic internet.

 

In this provocative book, Ramesh Srinivasan describes the internet as both an enabler of frictionless efficiency and a dirty tangle of politics, economics, and other inefficient, inharmonious human activities. We may love the immediacy of Google search results, the convenience of buying from Amazon, and the elegance and power of our Apple devices, but it’s a one-way, top-down process. We’re not asked for our input, or our opinions―only for our data. The internet is brought to us by wealthy technologists in Silicon Valley and China. It’s time, Srinivasan argues, that we think in terms beyond the Valley.

Srinivasan focuses on the disconnection he sees between designers and users, producers and consumers, and tech elites and the rest of us. The recent Cambridge Analytica and Russian misinformation scandals exemplify the imbalance of a digital world that puts profits before inclusivity and democracy. In search of a more democratic internet, Srinivasan takes us to the mountains of Oaxaca, East and West Africa, China, Scandinavia, North America, and elsewhere, visiting the “design labs” of rural, low-income, and indigenous people around the world. He talks to a range of high-profile public figures―including Elizabeth Warren, David Axelrod, Eric Holder, Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Lessig, and the founders of Reddit, as well as community organizers, labor leaders, and human rights activists.. To make a better internet, Srinivasan says, we need a new ethic of diversity, openness, and inclusivity, empowering those now excluded from decisions about how technologies are designed, who profits from them, and who are surveilled and exploited by them.

“Readers of this brilliant book will discover that the sources of digital innovation today can be found across the world, with many technologies of the future coming from rural places. From Mexico to East Africa, people are using technology to solve problems and improve lives—without help from Silicon Valley or China. ‘Beyond the Valley’ offers a vision for a digital world that places diversity front and center.”—Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico; founder of Centro F


Whose Global Village?: Rethinking How Technology Shapes Our World

A call to action to include marginalized, non-western communities in the continuously expanding digital revolution
In the digital age, technology has shrunk the physical world into a “global village,” where we all seem to be connected as an online community as information travels to the farthest reaches of the planet with the click of a mouse. Yet while we think of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as open and accessible to all, in reality, these are commercial entities developed primarily by and for the Western world. Considering how new technologies increasingly shape labor, economics, and politics, these tools often reinforce the inequalities of globalization, rarely reflecting the perspectives of those at the bottom of the digital divide.

This book asks us to re-consider ‘whose global village’ we are shaping with the digital technology revolution today. Sharing stories of collaboration with Native Americans in California and New Mexico, revolutionaries in Egypt, communities in rural India, and others across the world, Ramesh Srinivasan urges us to re-imagine what the Internet, mobile phones, or social media platforms may look like when considered from the perspective of diverse cultures. Such collaborations can pave the way for a people-first approach toward designing and working with new technology worldwide. Whose Global Villageseeks to inspire professionals, activists, and scholars alike to think about technology in a way that embraces the realities of communities too often relegated to the margins. We can then start to visualize a world where technologies serve diverse communities rather than just the Western consumer.

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