Image - Statue of Liberty

Past Event

Ethan Zuckerman with Kara Swisher: The American Trust Crisis

Worldwide, a loss of faith in government institutions has encouraged citizens of democracy to look for pathways outside of politics to make tangible change. This mistrust of “the system” has spread throughout other social organizations as well; press, corporations, digital platforms are questioned for their ability to hold us together. Now, people are searching for productive outlets to have their voice heard and make positive change.

Ethan Zuckerman, founder of the Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure, is offering a solution. In his new book Mistrust, Zuckerman uses research from political scientists, legal theorists, and activists in the streets to understand why many people started to doubt social institutions and the implications it poses for an uncertain future. He analyzes the relationship he says the public should have with existing institutions and the various ways we can reach a collective goal of an advanced democracy.

Join us as Zuckerman encourages citizens of democracy to use this sentiment of disbelief to fuel their participation in civic life and create an equitable society.


This is a free-for-members program. Members: Click on the "Buy Tickets" button above to order your tickets, and select the members link on the left side of the page. Your username is the email you used to sign up as a member. You can also request a password reset if needed. Discount will automatically be applied at checkout.

Post-event video will be available at no cost after the event for ticket purchasers and Commonwealth Club members.

Your portal allows multiple ticket purchases and registrations to Commonwealth Club events using a shopping cart and the ability to save your credit card information for a faster checkout process. Once you are in your member portal, you will be able to see the current status of your membership, update your membership contact information, and view all ticket purchases and donations you have made to the Club. You will also be able to easily renew your membership.

Copies of Mistrust are available for purchase at checkout (U.S. domestic shipping only).

This is an online-only program; you must pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream video.

February 11, 2021

United States

Image - Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman

Founder, Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Author, Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them

Image - Kara Swisher

In Conversation with Kara Swisher

Contributing Opinion Writer and Host of "Sway," The New York Times


3–4 p.m. (Pacific Time) program