Content As a Means for Social Change
As social and Internet entrepreneurs search for ways to effect IRL social change by using online tools and platforms, the focus has been on social media. However, while social media has been the Internet's buzzword for some time now, research shows that content consumption actually represents 53% of all time spent online. Given that content takes up most consumers' time on the web, it's time to harness it as the most effective way to drive social change in the real world.
BIZ STONE has been named Nerd of the Year by GQ, one of the Most Influential People in The World by TIME magazine, Entrepreneur of the Decade by Inc Magazine, and one of Vanity Fair’s Top Ten Most Influential People of the Information Age but Biz Stone, 37 is best known for over a decade of developing collaborative web systems freely accessed by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
As a progenitor of the early social web, Biz became an Internet entrepreneur in 1999 and went on to work for Google. Later, Stone co-founded Twitter which launched in 2006. In June of 2011 with his long time collaborators Evan Williams and Jason Goldman, Stone co-founded The Obvious Corporation to focus on building systems that help people work together to improve the world.
Biz has published many articles and authored two books chronicling and championing the democratization of information on the web. Stone is a visiting scholar and popular lecturer worldwide. As a Fellow at Oxford University, Stone has debated at Oxford Union and won on the subject of whether or not entrepreneurs can affect positive change with regard to the world's biggest problems.
An adamant believer that when we help others, we also help ourselves, Stone supports a new way of doing business with a higher level of ambition, and a better, more altruistic way to measure success. Beyond immediate needs, Stone advocates selflessness; insisting we follow this path in order to deliver deeper meaning in our work and in so doing, place value before profit.
In his role as Social Impact Advisor to the popular web services provider Aol, Stone councils the leadership team on developing the company's philanthropic roadmap. Together with Rey Ramsey, Stone is a founding director of ConvergeUS, a Washington DC based nonprofit designed to leverage the collective power of several institutions to accelerate positive social change.
Along with his wife, Livia, Stone was named a Huffington Post Game Changer for their work and impact in the field of public service. Together, the couple operate The Biz and Livia Stone Foundation supporting education and conservation in California. Stone is an advisor to several companies and organizations ranging from tiny startups and non-profits to publicly traded international companies.
Biz has been honored with the International Center for Journalism Innovation Award, he holds an honorary Doctor of Laws from Babson College, an honorary board seat at the wildlife education and rehabilitation center WildCare, and he serves on the advisory board of Donors Choose—an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help both teachers and students in need.
Biz lives in Marin County, California with his wife Livia.
Brian Sirgutz is the Senior Vice President of Social Impact at AOL/ Huffington Post Media Group, where he leads all aspects of the company's impact content and engagement strategy. He is the General Manager of the Impact, Green, Education, and Teens sections and is leading the development of impact-related business and product development innovations on the Huffington Post’s platform.
Prior to this he was the President of Causecast, a pioneering firm specializing in cause marketing technology platforms, during which he co-founded and led the launch of the HuffPost’s award-winning Impact and Education verticals. In his earlier career in the music industry, Brian was a partner at NoN Records and president of Elementree Records. Brian was also the manager of recording artist Aaliyah’s estate and non-profit foundation after her passing. He holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree from the Gallatin School at New York University.
Brian is a 9/11 recovery worker and sits on the boards of several non profits including We Advance and the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation.