Our final adviser, Clay Shirky, needs no introduction, but we’ll do so anyway. Clay has done more than any other public intellectual to explain the social and political effects of digital technology and to reveal its transformative possibilities. He is an influential author, teacher, and speaker, who has published Here Comes Everybody (2008) and Cognitive Surplus (2010). This year he is taking a hiatus from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program to be the Edward R. Murrow Lecturer at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
The Meta-Activism Project seeks to better understand the phenomenon of digital activism not in order to define its inherent nature, but in order to make meaningful interventions to increase its effectiveness. We are not technological determinists, we are activists. We seek to understand so we can be more effective agents of change.
Clay embodies this practical idealism, seeking to better understand the present in order to build a better future. His boundless and iconoclastic creativity will push us to think in new ways and his critical mind will push us to think more rigorously. We are truly lucky to have him.