The Next 5 Billion: Life in Our New Connected Age

28 January 2013, 17:00 - 18:30

Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Site

Humanitas Visiting Professor in Media 2013: Eric Schmidt

The Humanitas Chair in Media has been made possible by the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation

Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman, Google) will give a series of three public lectures and a concluding symposium on Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power.

Abstract

At every level of society, connectivity will continue to become more affordable and practical in substantial ways. People will have access to ubiquitous wireless Internet networks that are many times cheaper than they are now. We’ll be more efficient, more productive and more creative.
 
In a world where everyone is connected, how will people be affected by a world that is both physical and virtual at every level?  For citizens, coming online means coming into possession of multiple identities in the physical and virtual worlds. In many ways, their virtual identities will come to supersede all others, as the trails they leave remain engraved online in perpetuity. And because what we post, email, text, and share online shapes the virtual identities of others, new forms of collective responsibility will have to come into effect.
 
As we look into the future—its promises and its challenges—we are facing a brave new world, the most fast-paced and exciting period in human history. We’ll experience more change at a quicker rate than any previous generation, and this change, driven in part by the devices in our own hands, will be more personal and participatory than we can even imagine. In the future, computers and humans will increasingly split duties according to what each does well.
 

Full series:


 

The lectures are free and open to all, no registration required. Free online registration will be available for the symposium on Thursday 31 January shortly.

About Eric Schmidt

As executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt is responsible for the external matters of Google: building partnerships and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership, as well as advising the CEO and senior leadership on business and policy issues.


From 2001-2011, Eric served as Google’s chief executive officer, overseeing the company’s technical and business strategy alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Prior to joining Google, Eric was the chairman and CEO of Novell and chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems, Inc. Previously, he served on the research staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Bell Laboratories and Zilog. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Eric is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council in the U.K. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a fellow in 2007. He also chairs the board of the New America Foundation, and since 2008 has been a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

About the Professorships

Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the Programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of a series of generous benefactors, and co-ordinated in Cambridge by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). Humanitas Visiting Professorships are held by distinguished academics and leading practitioners who have contributed to interdisciplinary research and innovation in a broad range of contemporary disciplines in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Covering areas of urgent or enduring interest in today’s society, including the performing arts, Humanitas Visiting Professors present their pioneering work through a series of lectures or performances open to University audiences and the wider public.