Eli Pariser wants to help technology and media serve democracy.
At 23 years old, he was named Executive Director of MoveOn.org, where he led the organization’s opposition to the Iraq war, raised over $120 million from small donors, and helped pioneer the practice of online citizen engagement. In 2006 he confounded Avaaz, now the world’s largest citizen’s organization with over 40 million members in 190 countries.
In 2011, Pariser anticipated the dangers of a hyper-personalized Internet, and introduced the “filter bubble” to the lexicon in his New York Times bestselling book of the same name. Bill Gates, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and other internet luminaries have since expressed concern about the phenomenon, and his TED talk on the topic now has over 4 million views. In 2012, he co-founded Upworthy, a mission-driven media company designed to make civically important ideas popular, with Peter Koechley. Within two years, Upworthy had over 80 million monthly visitors.
Pariser’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, and WIRED; he has appeared on World News Tonight, Good Morning America, the Colbert Report, and many other shows; and he speaks internationally about democracy, media and the Internet—including once in an Austrian horse stable with the philosopher Slavoj Zizek. He has a BA from Bard College at Simon’s Rock and an honorary doctorate from Dominican University, and sits on the US Programs Board of the Open Society Foundation and the Information and Democracy Commission. He is currently co-director of the Civic Signals project at the National Conference on Citizenship.
He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, filmmaker Gena Konstantinakos, and their two kids.