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From Sputnik to MySpace: The New Education Race, and How to Win IT, with Douglas Rushkoff

Clifford Lynch photograph

Winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other's values. He sees "media" as the landscape where this interaction takes place and "literacy" as the ability to participate consciously in it.

His ten bestselling books on new media and popular culture have been translated into over 30 languages. They include Cyberia, Media Virus, Screenagers: Lessons in Chaos from Digital Kids, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, and Coercion, winner of the Marshall Mcluhan Award for best media book. Rushkoff also wrote the acclaimed novels Ecstasy Club and Exit Strategy and the graphic novel, Club Zero-G.

Rushkoff's Get Back in the Box: Innovation From the Inside Out, is a thought-provoking examination of the influence of interactive communications technology on business. He looks at how the new renaissance in creativity and collaboration, ushered in by the internet, gives organizations the freedom to return to core competencies and reconnect with the passion that fuels true innovation. His latest book, Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation And How To Take It Back, was released in June 2009.

Rushkoff has written and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries — The Merchants of Cool, which examined corporate America’s massive, and sometimes subversive, efforts to capture the elusive teen market — and the $100 billion they spend each year. His 2004 follow-up documentary, The Persuaders, explored how the ‘persuasion industries’ of advertising, marketing and political campaigning are impacting American society. He is currently working on PBS' new multiplatform project, Digital Nation, which will culminate as a Frontline documentary to be aired in Winter 2010, written and hosted by Rushkoff.

Rushkoff's commentaries air on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR's All Things Considered, and have appeared in publications from The New York Times to TIME magazine. For five years, he wrote the first internationally syndicated cyberculture column for The New York Times Syndicate, and he currently reaches millions of people through his commentaries on NPR, his blog and his monthly columns for science magazine Discover, and Arthur, a music and culture magazine.

Rushkoff founded the Narrative Lab at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. He lectures about media, art, society, and change at conferences and universities around the world. He also currently writes a monthly column about communication for Meeting Professionals International’s magazine, The Meeting Professional.
He is Advisor to the United Nations Commission on World Culture, on the Board of Directors of the Media Ecology Association, The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and is a founding member of Technorealism. He has been awarded Senior Fellowships by the Markle Foundation and the Center for Global Communications Fellow of the International University of Japan and a rabbinic ordination by the Transformational Judaism movement. 
He regularly appears on TV shows from NBC Nightly News to Larry King Live and Real Time With Bill Maher. He is writing a new monthly comic book for Vertigo and developed the Electronic Oracle software series for HarperCollins Interactive.
Rushkoff is on the board of several new media non-profits and companies and regularly consults on new media arts and ethics to museums, governments, synagogues, churches, and universities, as well as Sony, TCI, advertising agencies, and other Fortune 500 companies.

Rushkoff graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University. He received an MFA in Directing from California Institute of the Arts, a post-graduate fellowship (MFA) from The American Film Institute, and a Director's Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is finishing a PhD with Utrecht University, in Holland. He is also a certified stage fight choreographer and frequent keyboardist for the industrial band PsychicTV.

Rushkoff’s books will be available for sale and will be signed before and after the event.