Stanford University


Glen Weyl
Plurality: The Future of Collaborative Technology and Democracy

Glen Weyl: Plurality: The Future of Collaborative Technology and Democracy
March 11, 2024
Hybrid event
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On March 11, 2024, Glen Weyl of Microsoft stopped by the Lab to discuss “Plurality: The Future of Collaborative Technology and Democracy.”


Digital technology threatens to tear our free and open societies apart through polarization, inequality, loneliness, and fear. But on a delicate, diverse, and politically divided East Asian island, things are different. In the decade since the weekslong occupation of Taiwan’s parliament, this island of resilience achieved inclusive, technology-fueled growth, overcame the pandemic without lockdowns and the infodemic without takedowns, as well as entrusted the people to tackle shared challenges like environmental protection while capitalizing on a culture of innovation to “hack the government.” In this book, Digital Minister Audrey Tang and her collaborators – architects of Taiwan’s internationally acclaimed digital democracy – share the secret of their success. Plurality harnesses digital tools not to replace humans or trust, but to harness the same potential energy in social diversity that can erupt in conflict instead for truth, beauty, and progress. From intimate digitally empowered telepathy to global trade running on social networks rather than money, Plurality offers tools to radically enrich relationships while making sure we leave no one behind. Plurality thus promises to transform every sector from health care to media, as illustrated by the way it has been written: as a chorus of open, self-governing collaboration of voices from around the globe. Their work in public on this openly available text shows — as well as tells — how everyone from a sharecropper in Africa to Hollywood celebrities can help build a more dynamic, harmonious, and inclusive world.

About Glen Weyl

Glen Weyl

E. (Eric) Glen Weyl is the founder and research lead of the Microsoft Research Special Project, the Plural Technology Collaboratory, founder of the RadicalxChange Foundation, the leading thinktank in the Web3 space, and founder and chair of the Plurality Institute, which coordinates an academic research network developing technology for cooperation across difference. He is also senior advisor to the GETTING-Plurality Research Network at Harvard University. He previously led Web3 technical strategy at Microsoft’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, was co-chair and technical lead of the Harvard Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Rapid Response Task Force on Covid-19, whose recommendations were endorsed by a dozen leading civil Society organizations and the Biden Campaign and taught economics at the University of Chicago, Yale, Princeton, and Harvard.

He is co-author with Eric Posner of the 2018 Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society, with Puja Ohlhaver and Vitalik Buterin of the 2022 paper “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul” (which is one of the 30 most downloaded papers of all time on the Social Science Research network) and is working on an open, Web3-based collaborative book project with Taiwan’s Digital Minister, Audrey Tang, Plurality: Technology for Cooperative Diversity and Democracy. He is also the author of dozens of scholarly and popular journal articles, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Economic Review, the Harvard Law Review, the Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, and the New York Times.

He has been recognized as one of the 10 most influential people in blockchain by CoinDesk, as one of the 25 people shaping the next 25 years of technology by WIRED and as one of the 50 most influential people by Bloomberg Businessweek, all in 2018. He graduated as Valedictorian of his Princeton undergraduate class in 2007 and received his PhD in economics from Princeton in 2008.

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