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Program Directors:

Mailing Address:

Siebel Scholars Foundation
1300 Seaport Blvd., Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063


(650) 299-5260


B.J. Fogg

Ph.D., Behavior Scientist at Stanford University

BJ Fogg is a behavior scientist at Stanford, where he directs the Behavior Design Lab. In his teaching role, he has created 14 new courses for Stanford, including these topics: peace technology, health habits, connecting people to nature, and reducing screen time. BJ also teaches industry innovators how to create products & services that will increase people’s health, financial wellbeing, productivity, and happiness. Fortune Magazine named BJ a “New Guru You Should Know” for his insights about the future of mobile technology and social networks. 


Rana Foroohar

Financial Times Columnist and Global Economic Analyst

Global Business Columnist at The Financial Times and Global Economic Analyst at CNN Rana Foroohar covers the intersection of business, economics, politics, and foreign affairs. Foroohar frequently profiles movers and shakers in finance and business, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gross, Howard Shultz, Mary Barra, and Carl Icahn. Her upcoming book, Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles — And All Of Us, will be released in November 2019.

Dr. Alex Kogan

Former University of Cambridge professor who worked with Cambridge Analytica

Dr. Alex Kogan is an academic specializing in big data and positive psychology. He is perhaps best known as the scientist at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica controversy who collected the Facebook data and build the personality models that became a focus of international scrutiny in 2018. In his academic career, Alex has published extensively on the biology of kindness, big data approaches to understanding social connections, and the ingredients of a meaningful life. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from the University of Hong Kong. He served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Cambridge from 2012 to 2018, where he led the Cambridge Prosociality and Well-being lab. Alex also has experience in entrepreneurship, starting several tech companies. 

Karl Rove

Former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush

Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process. Mr. Rove writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, appears frequently on the Fox News Channel, and is the author of the New York Times best seller, Courage and Consequence.  His latest book is The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1886 Still Matters. 

Sherry Turkle

Founding Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self

Professor, author, consultant and researcher, Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller MauzĂ© Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT, as well as the founding director of Initiative on Technology and Self, a center of research and reflection on the evolving connections between people and artifacts.  Referred to by many as the “Margaret Mead of digital culture,” Professor Turkle has investigated the intersection of digital technology and human relationships from the early days of personal computers to our current world of robotics, artificial intelligence, social networking and mobile connectivity. 

Jean Twenge, Ph.D.

Ph.D., Author, iGen

Jean M. Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, is the author of more than 140 scientific publications and the books iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood, Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before and The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (co-authored with W. Keith Campbell). Dr. Twenge frequently gives talks and seminars on teaching and working with today’s young generation based on a dataset of 11 million young people. 

Shoshana Zuboff

Author, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor emerita, Harvard Business School, where she joined the faculty in 1981 and became one of its first tenured women. From 2014- 2015 she was also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Her career has been devoted to the study of the rise of the digital, its relationship to the history and future of capitalism, and the consequences for individuals and society. She earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University and her B.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago. She is the author of In the Age of the Smart Machine, which was featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and The Support Economy, which was selected by strategy+business magazine as one of the top ten business books of 2003 and as the “number one idea” in Businessweek’s special issue on “Twenty Five Ideas for a Changing World.” 

About the 2019 Conference

Social Media has proven a boon for information access, commerce, recreation, and interpersonal communication. At the same time social media is gaining increasing attention from governments, health care professionals, and traditional media are suggesting that the social media giants have developed technology to manipulate billions of users at the level of the limbic brain, causing and encouraging addictive behavior. Possible secondary effects include depression, loneliness, and increased teen suicide. It is suggested that social media giants have become more powerful than the governments that regulate them, use their global reach to shape public opinion, and allow their systems to be weaponized by bad actors potentially threatening the foundations of free-speech and democracy.

The 2019 Siebel Scholars Conference brought together prominent researchers and authors to discuss the consequences of social media. They debated the societal and ethical implications of surveillance capitalism, exposed the biases brought on by using persuasive technologies to predict human behavior and discussed the regulation of the risks before they cause irreparable harm to democracy and humanity.

The conference began on Friday evening, October 11, at The Art Institute of Chicago, where Rana Foroohar, Financial Times Columnist and Global Economic Analyst, engaged in a fireside chat with Dr. Alex Kogan, Former University of Cambridge professor who worked with Cambridge Analytica. Dinner with the Siebel Scholars, speakers, and special guests followed in the Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room. 

On Saturday, October 12, Siebel Scholars and conference speakers engaged in two highly interactive panel discussions, both moderated by Rana, at the International House Assembly Hall on The University of Chicago campus in Chicago, IL. The morning panel topic was “The Art and Science of Persuasive Technologies” featuring BJ Fogg, Ph.D., Behavior Scientist at Stanford University; Sherry Turkle, Founding Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self; and Shoshana Zuboff, Author, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. After a luncheon at the Winter Garden, Booth School of Business, the afternoon topic, “The Implications of Social Media?”, featured a riveting debate between Dr. Alex Kogan; Karl Rove, Former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush; and Jean Twenge, Ph.D., Author, iGen. 

Conference attendees and speakers celebrated Saturday evening at a reception where they were entertained by Grammy award-winning multiplatinum powerhouse Maroon 5 underneath the brontosaurus and elephants at The Field Museum. 

Sunday, October 13, the final day of the program, was dedicated to the power of collaboration. Siebel Scholars worked in breakout groups to develop recommendations to be adopted in public policy, corporate governance and/or legislation for the most problematic consequences of social media.

Saturday panel videos can be viewed here, and event photos are here