Tristan Harris – How A Handful of Tech Companies Control Billions of Minds Every Day

Tristan Harris co-founded the movement for Time Well Spent to spark an important conversation to about the kind of future we want from the technology industry. Instead of a “time spent” economy where apps and websites compete for how much time they take from us, it aims to create an ecosystem competing to help us live by our values and spend time well.

Harris was a design ethicist and product philosopher at Google until 2016, where he studied how technology influences a billion users’ attention, well-being and behavior. He led design sprints with product teams, including a meeting between Google’s lead product designers and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, international spokesperson for Mindfulness.

Previously, Harris was CEO and co-founder of Apture, which Google bought in 2011. Apture enabled millions of users to get instant, on-the-fly explanations without leaving their place, across a publisher network of a billion page views per month.

Harris holds several patents from his previous career at Apple, Wikia, Apture and Google. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Computer Science, focused on Human Computer Interaction, while dabbling in behavioral economics, social psychology, behavior change and habit formation in Professor BJ Fogg’s Stanford Persuasive Technology lab.

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NOTE: If this caught your attention, please also read Roger McNamee’s article How to Fix Facebook—Before It Fixes Us. It is a long article, but it is really worth doing it.

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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