The Engine of Freedom: People Power on the Ultimate Network
Jared Cohen, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Advisor to the Secretary of State
in conversation with Steven Levy, WIRED
NExTWORK is a one-day, interdisciplinary conference that will feature world-renowned business leaders, technologists, and thinkers exploring the promise and peril of the network's future, as well as the most pressing digital issues and opportunities today.
Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the co-author (along with Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt) of The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business. Previously, he served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and as a close advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.
Cohen has conducted research in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and throughout Africa. As part of his research, he has interviewed members of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Taliban. He is the author of the books Children of Jihad and One Hundred Days of Silence. He co-authored (with Schmidt) "The Digital Disruption: Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power," which appeared in Foreign Affairs just a few months before the Arab Spring. 2013's The New Digital Age offers a vision of our increasingly interconnected future, answering the question of how everything in the physical world will change over the next decade as five billion new users enter the digital world. Among Cohen's additional publications are Diverting the Radicalization Track (Policy Review), Iran's De Facto Opposition: Youth in Post-revolutionary Iran (SAIS Review), and Passive Revolution: Is Political Resistance Dead or Alive in Iran (Hoover Digest).
In 2011, Vanity Fair named Cohen a member of the "Next Establishment," The Washington Post and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government named him one of six "Top American Leaders," and Foreign Policy listed him as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers." He was named by Christian Science Monitor as one of the "Top 30 Under 30"; named by Business Insider as one of the "20 Brazen Young Professionals to Watch"; selected by the Huffington Post as one of "100 Game Changers"; and chosen by Devex as one of the "40 Under 40." He also won the 2010 and 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Awards for his intervention in Iran's Green Revolution and most influential article of the year, respectively. He has been awarded the Secretary of State's Meritorious Honor Award twice, once by Condoleezza Rice and once by Hillary Clinton.
Jared Cohen currently serves as a member of the National Counterterrorism Center's (NCTC) Director's Advisory Board. He received his BA from Stanford University and his M.Phil in international relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
Steven Levy has been covering the digital revolution for more than 25 years. Before joining WIRED in 2008, he was chief technology correspondent at Newsweek. He is the author of seven books, most recently the New York Times best seller In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives. Other books include Insanely Great, on the history of Apple's Macintosh computer, and Hackers, which was named the best tech book of the PC era by PC Magazine.
Jared Cohen, of the Council on Foreign Relations and Google Ideas, elaborates on the role Twitter and other social media tools have played in the Arab Spring demonstrations and protests. "Technology accelerates everything," says Cohen.