Penguin Speakers Bureau

Eli Pariser

Board President of MoveOn.org, Cofounder of Upworthy, and Author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You

Photo by Jen Campbell

Biography

Eli Pariser is an online organizer and disorganizer.  He is the former executive director of MoveOn (and now the board president), a cofounder of Avaaz.org and Upworthy, and the author of The Filter Bubble.

Shortly after the September 11 terror attacks, Eli created a website calling for a multilateral approach to fighting terrorism. In the following weeks, over half a million people from 192 countries signed on, and Eli, rather unexpectedly, became an online organizer.

The website merged with MoveOn.org in November of 2001, and Eli—then 20 years old—joined the group to direct its foreign policy campaigns. He led what The New York Times Magazine called the “mainstream arm of the peace movement”—tripling MoveOn’s member base in the process, demonstrating for the first time that large numbers of small donations could be mobilized through online engagement, and developing many of the practices that are now standard in the field of online organizing.

In 2004, Eli cocreated the Bush in 30 Seconds online ad contest, the first of its kind, and became executive director of MoveOn. Under his leadership, MoveOn.org Political Action has grown to 5 million members and raised over $120 million from millions of small donors to support advocacy campaigns and political candidates—helping Democrats reclaim the House and Senate in 2006. Eli focused MoveOn on online-to-offline organizing, developing phone-banking tools and precinct programs in 2004 and 2006 that laid the groundwork for Barack Obama’s remarkable campaign. MoveOn was one of the first major progressive organizations to endorse Obama for President in the presidential primary.

In 2008, Eli transitioned the executive director role at MoveOn to Justin Ruben and became president of MoveOn’s board.  

Eli's newest project is Upworthy, a social media start-up with a cause, which was announced in late 2011.  Fellow cofounders include Chis Hughes of Facebook and Peter Koechly of The Onion.

Eli has appeared as a commentator on Good Morning America, World News Tonight, The Colbert Report, and all of the major cable news channels except Fox News. His Op-Eds have appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and other periodicals. He’s also appeared three times on Details annual Power List—though that and $1.00 can buy you a cup of coffee. He cofounded Avaaz.org, a global MoveOn-style organization with 3 million members, and helped launch the New Organizing Institute, which has trained thousands of organizers to bring people together online and off for political change. Eli’s book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You, was released in May 2011 from The Penguin Press.

Eli grew up in Lincolnville, Maine, and graduated summa cum laude in 2000 with a B.A. in Law, Politics, and Society from Simon’s Rock College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Speaking Topics

  • The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You

Videos

Eli Pariser's TEDTalk

More About This Speaker

Featured Book

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You

“Eli Pariser isn’t just the smartest person I know thinking about the relationship of digital technology to participation in the democratic process—he is also the most experienced. The Filter Bubble reveals how the world we encounter is shaped by programs whose very purpose is to narrow what we see and increase the predictability of our responses. Anyone who cares about the future of human agency in a digital landscape should read this book—especially if it is not showing up in your recommended reads on Amazon.”

– Douglas Rushkoff, author of Life Inc. and Program or Be Programmed

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