Commonwealth National Podcast

Dangers of a Digitized World: Combating Technology Run Amok

Ian I. Mitroff, Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California; Senior Research Associate, Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, University of California, Berkeley In conversation with Gerald Harris, Member-Led Forum Leader, Science & Technology Forum, The Commmonwealth Club Technology has made our lives incomparably better, but it is also one of the greatest threats facing humankind. All of the marvelous gadgets we’ve invented are not only thoroughly reinventing us, but they are also doing it in ways in which we have no idea of their full impact. In short, we are undergoing a transformation that affects every aspect of our being—our brains, bodies, institutions and the entire world. Ian Mitroff, currently developing ideas for an upcoming book, will discuss these topics and more. According to Mitroff, we cannot continue to dump the latest technologies on the world without doing a better job of forecasting their negative and positive aspects; we need to do everything we can to mitigate potential negative impacts in order to avoid an immense backlash against technology. Mitroff is a professor emeritus at the University of Southern California where he was the Harold Quinton distinguished professor of business policy at the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He is currently a senior investigator for the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He holds a bachelor's of science in engineering physics, a master's in structural engineering, and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and the philosophy of social systems science from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published 37 books and hundreds of articles and op-eds. He is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post. He lives in Oakland, CA, where he is president of Mitroff Crisis Management. He is generally regarded as one of the principal founders of the crisis management field. Gerald Harris leads the Club's science and technology member-led forum and has over 20 years experience as a strategy consultant for energy and high technology companies.
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