Recently, I had the tremendous honor of being invited to serve as the keynote speaker for the Internet Day 2018 celebration put on by the DigiMedia lab and the Department of Communication and Art at the University Aveiro in Portugal.
My keynote, titled “The Cost of Clicks and Shares: Questions on the Civic and Political Potential of the The Internet in the Attention Economy,” looked at trends in social media, politics and civics today. It drew, in part, on my co-authored research with Dr. Masahiro Yamamoto and Dr. Francis Dalisay on social media.
Highlights from the event can be seen in the video below.
Knowing that I would be speaking with researchers and graduate students who are working to design and create Internet-based solutions for today’s problems, I wanted to focus on the wider, often unintended ramifications on society that come from the decisions Internet architects make.
You can see the full speech, broken in to two slightly overlapping parts on Periscope:
The event was sponsored by the American Corners program through the American Embassy in Portugal. Through this trip, I also got the opportunity to speak at the University NOVA Lisbon in the FCT library.
I have to say that Professor Nelson Zagalo and all of the faculty and administrators at the University of Aveiro and the University of Lisbon NOVA were tremendously inviting and gracious hosts. I feel that I felt the experience having learned more than I gave. I was truly inspired by the work I saw in the DigiMedia lab from the faculty and the graduate students.
I had the opportunity to take a tour of the kinds of projects that the DigiMedia lab team was working on. The manner with which they intersected scholarly research with applied solutions to real-world problems was inspirational and motivating. Just seeing how dedicated and energized everyone was to work with government and corporate partners really left me thinking about ways that I can better use my position as an academic to seek out technological solutions to the problems we face.
The FAB Lab at the University of Lisbon NOVA and the awesome 3D printing that they were doing was incredibly cool to see.
In summary, it was an eye-opening experience to get the chance to interact with passionate, brilliant scholars across the ocean. The opportunity to discuss ideas helped me see new connections between my own teaching, research and global issues.
This was my first trip to Portugal. It is a beautiful country with wonderfully kind people, amazing history, and an awe-inspiring culture.
I want to express my sincere and humble thanks to everyone who made this opportunity possible.
I hope everyone is having a rejuvenating summer.