Guest Lecturer – Tech Ethicist, David Ryan Polgar – “All Tech Is Human: Improving Social Media to Benefit User Wellbeing & Society”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Jaime Homero Arjona (ARJ) building, Room 225

Is social media bad for user wellbeing and society at large? 2017 was the year of a backlash against Silicon Valley for their potential connection with misinformation and tech addiction. David Ryan Polgar has carved a unique career as a tech ethicist, where he explores the impact of social media & tech from ethical, legal, and emotional perspectives. In this lecture, he will take us into a deep dive into the tension between the business interests of Silicon Valley (eyeballs and engagement) and the human interests of users (trustworthy information, increasing happiness). Can’t tech companies profit while also operating to benefit users & society?

Department of Digital Media & Design
Department of Communications
Humanities Institute Digital Humanities and Media Studies

Tech Ethicist David Ryan Polgar explores our evolving relationship with technology from ethical, legal, and emotional perspectives. With a background as an attorney and college professor, he transitioned in recent years to focus entirely on tackling the thorniest issues in tech while promoting a deeper conversation with the development and implementation of tech advances. Well before the current discussion around Silicon Valley and ethics, David was advocating for a greater discussion around innovation.

David is a tech writer (Big Think, Quartz, IBM thinkLeaders, and Dell Perspectives), speaker (3-time TEDx, The School of The New York Times), and frequent tech commentator (SiriusXM,, HuffPost, He has experience working with startups and social media companies and co-founded the global Digital Citizenship Summit (held at Twitter HQ in 2016). Outside of writing and speaking, David currently serves as Trust & Safety for the teen virtual world, Friendbase. He is also a board member for the non-profit #ICANHELP, which recently held the first annual #Digital 4Good event to promote student empowerment and positive tech use. David recently started All Tech Is Human, an initiative to better align the business interests of tech companies with the human interests of users & society (wellbeing, vibrant and safe online environment, trustworthy content).

Learn more about David Ryan Polgar.