Today’s episode features a conversation hosted recently by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The DPLA brings together many collections of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world on a shared platform.
This DPLA Book Talk features a conversation on trust and the crisis faced by our institutions; the promise of the movements rising to challenge them; and the obstacles we must confront if we are to rebuild civic life and create meaningful change.
It features Ethan Zuckerman, Katherine Maher, and Alberto Ibargüen.
Ethan Zuckerman is an associate professor of public policy, communication and information at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is founder of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure, a research group that is studying and building alternatives to the existing commercial internet. He’s the author of two books: Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them and Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection.
Mistrust. published in November 2020, looks at how and why Americans are losing faith in our institutions and how we can harness the methods of successful social movements to both transform and replace them, and serves as the basis for today’s discussion.
Katherine Maher was the CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation until this spring, when she stepped down after a long and successful tenure. The foundation operates Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. She is a longtime advocate for free and open societies, and has worked around the world leading the integration of technology and innovation in human rights, good governance, and international development. Katherine has worked with UNICEF, the National Democratic Institute, the World Bank, and Access Now on programs supporting technologies for democratic participation, civic engagement, and open government.
Alberto Ibargüen, who moderates the discussion, is president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald and during his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism.
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. He is an associate research scientist and adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Opinions expressed here are his own.