Thanks Dan for a beautiful and inspiring talk.
Humans live with the everyday challenge of knowing that what feels good right now may not be good for us in the long run. Find out how to overcome some of our natural (and less than desirable) tendencies.
The author of such bestsellers as Predictably Irrational (2008), The Upside of Irrationality (2010) and The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty (2012), Dan Ariely hopes to inspire people to use his insights to live more sensible – if not rational — lives.
As James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, he asks such questions as: Despite good intentions, why do we so often fail to act in our own best interest? Why do we swear off sweets and then succumb the minute dessert is offered? What are the forces that influence our behavior?
Ariely’s interests span a wide range of behaviors and have led to amusing and informative experiments about everything from honesty and decision-making to transient emotions and online dating. He holds a PhD in Business Administration from Duke and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with BA and MA degrees in psychology. Among his many academic appointments is one he held at MIT’s Media Lab from 2000–10.
In addition to his positions at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics and the School of Medicine, Ariely is also a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, a laudable institution dedicated to developing “great insights (in hindsight) about an extensive and diverse set of research projects.”
Professor of Illustration Jean Blackburn 79 PT is fascinated by domestic life and its power to shape and reflect our understanding of the world. Her paintings and sculpture focus on the richly layered associations we make with the objects we surround ourselves with in our own homes. Blackburn’s work has been exhibited throughout the US and abroad, and is included in the permanent collections at the RISD Museum, the Mint Museum and the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, among others.
Architect Daniel Hewett serves as the director of Partnered Academic Projects and teaches in Landscape and Interior Architecture at RISD as well as at MIT and Northeastern University. He also directs URBANFRAME, a nonprofit founded to mobilize youth to design and build in direct response to local needs. Following his undergraduate work in literature and sculpture, Hewett earned an MArch from Rice University’s Graduate School of Architecture. His own built work ranges from interior and reuse projects to historic preservation and new residential and commercial commissions.
In the age of information, universities should be at the forefront of preserving and strengthening our information commons – the shared wellspring of ideas and innovation from which everyone may draw.
A leader in the global movement to democratize intellectual resources, Harold (Hal) Abelson is actively engaged in several nonprofit organizations dedicated to promoting open access to information. He is a founding director of Creative Commons, a copyright licensing operation designed to maximize digital creativity and sharing, and of Public Knowledge and the Free Software Foundation.
Abelson earned a PhD in mathematics from MIT and now teaches at his alma mater as the Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. As co-director of the MIT-Microsoft iCampus Research Alliance in Educational Technology, co-chair of the MIT Council on Educational Technology and a member of the steering committee of the HP-MIT Alliance, he plays a key role in fostering institutional educational technology initiatives such as MIT OpenCourseWare and DSpace.
Abelson’s interest in information technology and policy has led to such courses as Ethics and Law on the Electronic Frontier, among others. He also collaborates in directing the Decentralized Information Group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he is investigating web privacy issues and developing a new approach to privacy based on information transparency and accountability rather than control of access. Among his many books, he co-authored Blown to Bits (2008), which looks at the cultural and political disruptions triggered by today’s information explosion.
A multidisciplinary artist and designer, Assistant Professor of Digital + Media Shona Kitchen explores the intersection of the physical and virtual – the juxtaposition of synthetic landscapes and the untamed natural environment. She holds an MA in Architecture from The Royal College of Art in London and has created work on commission for Sony PSP, Vitra Design Museum, Comme des Garcons, IBM, the European Commission and Intel’s People and Practices research group, among others.
Assistant Professor of Painting Kevin Zucker 00 PT engages with the internet in his work and often presents painting as a space for collecting, curating and archiving existing information. His paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in major shows worldwide and are included in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Zucker is represented by Greenberg Van Doren Gallery and exhibited in a December solo show at Eleven Rivington in New York.
Shared Voices: The RISD Presidential Speaker Series offers a forum for welcoming some of the most expansive thinkers of our times to campus. Each speaker is a master of his or her domain but is also ready to transcend it, sharing the RISD community’s own belief in the fruitful exchange of ideas that happens when artists, designers, activists, scientists and other scholars really talk and listen to each other.
author, businessman, academic managing director, Excel Venture Management
particle physicist Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science, Harvard University
author, technology specialist co-founder of Wired magazine