Summary of How Cognitive Surplus Will Change the World

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How Cognitive Surplus Will Change the World summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

5 Style


The development of 21st-century media and technology encourages creativity and widens the perimeters of human potential. How will you respond? Journalist Clay Shirky depicts the spectrum and value of participation in the online arena. Visually, this presentation consists mainly of Shirky’s talking head and a few graphics to illustrate his points. Conceptually, this lecture is provocative. getAbstract recommends this talk to anyone who wishes to participate online to make the world even marginally a better place.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How “cognitive surplus” has the power to change the world,
  • How modern technology raises new ethical choices and
  • How different methods of motivating people work.

About the Speaker

Clay Shirky is an adjunct professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University.



Following a disputed presidential election and the eruption of violence in 2007, Kenya’s government established a media blackout. Blogs became a principal source of news. One blogger, Ory Okolloh, began collecting comments from a range of sources but soon got overwhelmed. She appealed for help. Two ...

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