Dex Torricke-Barton

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Communication, Technology & Society

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Synopsis

In a career that encompasses the UN, Google, Facebook and SpaceX, as well as political speechwriting, Dex offers a rare insight in to the intersection of politics, technology and society. Referring to some of the world’s biggest and most influential companies, he examines important questions of trust, automation, innovation and privacy. Looking at the positive and negative effects of an increasingly connected world he sees ethical dilemmas, nation states creating their own internet ‘blocs’, the world’s poorest accessing a global network, and social media spreading fake news faster than real news.

Biography

Dex Torricke-Barton has worked with some of the world’s highest-profile leaders and organisations, advising them on areas of communication and thought leadership. Amongst others, he has worked as a speechwriter and advisor for Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. He now brings together communication, policy and technology, looking at how business, government and society can both understand each other, and work together better.

Starting his career as a speechwriter in the office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Dex then moved to Google, working with the company’s founders and other senior leaders. He then joined Facebook, serving as personal speechwriter to Mark Zuckerberg and becoming closely involved in a number of company projects, including widening internet access to some of the poorest and most remote parts of the world. He then led communications for space travel company SpaceX before returning to the UK as a director at the global communications consultancy Brunswick Group, working in particular with their technology clients. In between he has also also written extensively for US presidential candidates and European political leaders, and is a New York Times-bestselling ghostwriter.

Examining the intersection of technology, government and society, Dex considers the power of innovation to change the world, and the implications. From how professions will be disrupted by AI to the dangers of increased global connections being replaced by internet ‘blocs’ as the likes of Russia and China seek to control their nation’s access to information. He examines the key trends in the tech sector and how every business will need to incorporate AI into their structure. Whilst being positive about the power of technology to empower, create and unite, he gives a balanced view of how it’s also changing the world, including ethical, regulatory and political concerns. He also offers a glimpse into how companies like Google and SpaceX operate, innovate and develop leadership and strategies.

From a more traditional communications perspective, Dex also considers how best to deal with crises. As ethical challenges and errors of judgement are increasingly a public concern, how can organisations put these problems in context, engage internal and external audiences, and secure their reputation from short-term but significant damage? At a time when bots make up almost half of internet traffic, and reputation management will eventually come to be automated, he reflects on the nature of fake news, why it spreads quicker then real news, and what trust now means.

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