Clay Shirky

Studies and writes about the social, political and economic effects of Internet technologies.


Clay Shirky is a mould breaking writer, consultant and New York University (NYU) professor.

He was one of the first thinkers to grasp the importance of the social revolution and to hold the title Professor of New Media. Consistently ahead of the game he now studies and writes about the social, political and economic effects of Internet technologies.


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About Clay Shirky


Clay Shirky is a vibrant, impassioned and outspoken commentator on the complex relationship we are building with our world via the internet. He identified the revolution in social software in 2003 and spent the next decade studying and writing about it. His essays and books about online groups and social networks made him a guru to a generation of web entrepreneurs.

He was the first Professor of New Media in the Media Studies department at Hunter College, New York and has recently written two books on the subject: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008) and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (2010).  In these books he examines the practice and implications of social collaboration and sharing online, as technology turns many of us from consumers into producers. He believes that this capacity, combined with humanity's willingness to share, can change society if applied to civic endeavors.

Shirky has strong opinions on censorship, open source technologies and the freedom to share. His TED talk on SOPA/PIPA legislation was seen by 1 million people in 48 hours.

He has written and been interviewed about the Internet since 1996 with his work appearing in Business 2.0, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and Wired.

As well as being a Professor at NYU he is also a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and was the Edward R. Murrow Visiting Lecturer at Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy in 2010. Many years ago he spent five years in theatre with the Wooster Group.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

  • Author of several important books about online groups and social networks
  • NYU joint Associate professor of Arts at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and Associate Professor in the Journalism Department
    • Examines the effects on politics, economics and society flowing from changes in technology

Speaking Topics


  • Social networks and society
  • Economics and social technologies
  • The Internet and democracy
  • Copyright and freedom of information
  • The future of Newspapers, making news pay

Testimonials


"Shirky is one of the handful of people with justifiable claim to the digerati moniker. He's become a consistently prescient voice on networks, social software, and technology's effects on society." - Wired magazine

Books By Clay Shirky


Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008)
Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (2010)

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