Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience” by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan was the former Design Ethicist at Google. He is a world expert on how technology steers us all, leaving Google to engage the issue publicly. Tristan spent over a decade understanding subtle psychological forces, from his childhood as a magician, to working with the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, to his role as CEO of Apture, which was acquired by Google. He has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, The Atlantic, the PBS News Hour, and more. He has worked with major technology CEOs and briefed Heads of State and other political leaders.
The Center for Humane Technology (CHT) is an independent nonprofit organization whose aim is to drive a comprehensive shift toward humane technology by changing the way technologists think about their work and how they build products. We’re creating the conditions for a new race to the top to realign technology with humanity.
Our journey began when, as a design ethicist at Google, Tristan Harris observed the large-scale negative impacts of attention-grabbing business models. He created a presentation entitled “A Call to Minimize Distraction & Respect Users’ Attention” to address this, and it went viral, reaching thousands of employees within Google.
After that, Tristan extended the conversation publicly with two TED talks and a 60 Minutes interview, sparking the Time Well Spent movement. The number of concerned insiders was growing… Then, in 2016, the harms Tristan and others were warning of exploded into the public discourse with Russia’s use of social media to manipulate American voters.
Building on that momentum, CHT was launched in 2018 as an independent non-profit organization supported by a powerful and growing movement of cross-disciplinary leaders in technology, humanity, mindfulness, philosophy, and education.
We have built a world-class team of deeply concerned former tech insiders and CEOs who intimately understand the culture, business incentives, design techniques, and organizational structures driving how technology hijacks our minds.
Aza Raskin helped build the web at Mozilla as head of user experience, was named to Inc and Forbes 30-under-30 and became the Fast Company Master of Design for his work founding Massive Health, a consumer health and big data company. The company was acquired by Jawbone, where he was VP of Innovation. Before that, he founded Songza.com (acquired by Google). For Aza, the problem is especially personal: his father, Jef Raskin, created the Macintosh project at Apple with the vision that technology should help, not harm, humans.
Randy Fernando brings a values-driven mix of management, technology, and nonprofit backgrounds. He was Executive Director at Mindful Schools, a nonprofit he helped to grow from a fledgling organization to a $4 million leader in the mindfulness field, impacting nearly a million children. At NVIDIA, Randy led award-winning projects including writing three books on real-time computer graphics, and his work has been used in many top-flight video games.
With a background in fundraising and community relations, Brooke works to authentically connect people to mission-driven organizations. Her work at CHT is primarily focused on building administrative functions that foster organizational advancement. Brooke has worked for arts and education organizations such as Headlands Center for the Arts, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and The College Preparatory School.
Yaël has spent 18 years tackling high-stake challenges at the intersection of security, intelligence, technology and social issues, as a CIA officer, a national security advisor to Vice President Biden, a diplomat, Facebook’s Global Head of Elections Integrity Ops, a corporate social responsibility strategist at ExxonMobil, and the head of a global risk firm. Yaël is currently a fellow at Autodesk working on the future of ethics and tech, an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has been published in the New York Times, TIME, WIRED, Quartz and The Huffington Post.
Colleen Haikes has delivered strategic communications counsel and campaigns for more than 20 years at IBM, ServiceNow, PR agencies, and the nonprofit Studio in a School. At IBM Colleen worked on Smarter Planet for cities and buildings. Colleen now helps guide messaging, content creation, and media relations for the Center for Humane Technology.
Sari Harrison spent most of her 25-year career as a product management leader for Apple and Microsoft and has delivered dozens of successful B2C products. Her background also includes consulting, coaching, learning and development, and organization development. She is passionate about creating culture and methodology that naturally generates technology that support people and society in becoming the best versions of themselves.
David has spent 20 years at the intersection of technology and movement building, enabling deeper human connections. David is the founder of Asexuality.org, the world’s first community of people identifying as asexual, and has advised Planned Parenthood, 350.org and other organizations on how to use technology to build meaningful human relationships. He worked for Samsung Next, Mozilla’s Coral Project, and the 2018 midterm elections as a software engineer and product lead, and at various startups as a CTO or technical lead.
Abby Hall has dedicated her career to public service that improves people’s lives. Her work managing public and press events for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration helped develop relationships among CEOs, community leaders, press, and world leaders. Abby’s specialty is strategic planning, scheduling, event management, team building, and fundraising in values-based connection.
Rebecca’s best days at work are spent aligning resources for social change. Over the last 20 years, Rebecca has helped grow nonprofit and social impact organizations through program design, strategic planning, and fundraising. She has worked as a consultant and on staff with leading cultural institutions in San Francisco and New York including Creative Commons, Headlands Center for the Arts, Creative Time, and MoMA PS1.
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