Publication Date

Writer, academic and techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci is the featured speaker at the fifth annual Feigenbaum Forum on Innovation and Creativity, Thursday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m.

Her talk, “The New Gatekeepers: Innovation and Implications in the Digital Age,” in the Stanley O’Brien Center ’74 Center for Collaboration and Engagement, is free and open to the public.

Tufekci is known for her research and commentary on the social implications of emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence and big data in the context of politics and corporate responsibility.

Zeynep Tufekci

An associate professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Tufekci is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. A frequent speaker at TED talks, she is a regular contributor to The Atlantic and The New York Times on technology's social impact. She is the author of “Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest.”

The forum is supported by the Feigenbaum Foundation, created by brothers Armand V. Feigenbaum ’42 and Donald S. Feigenbaum ‘46, longtime benefactors to Union.

Acknowledged world leaders in systems engineering and total quality control, the brothers founded General Systems Co., a Pittsfield, Mass.-based international systems engineering firm that designs and helps implement operational systems for corporations and governments worldwide. Armand died November 2014; Donald, March 2013.

For more than a dozen years, the brothers hosted the Feigenbaum Forum, a gathering on campus at which academicians discussed characteristics of a new generation of leaders and how better to integrate liberal arts and other studies. The current series builds on this event by bringing in prominent speakers who have revolutionized their fields of endeavor through contributions deemed innovative and creative.

Previous speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman; John E. Kelly III ’76, a senior vice president at IBM; Howard Gardner, an internationally renowned psychologist; and artist and designer Maya Lin, whose work includes the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Civil Rights Memorial.