Influential Tech, Impact and Cultural Leaders Convening in NYC to Explore the Future of Digital Technology and Accelerate Solutions for a More Ethical and Equitable Internet

Unfinished Live takes place September 23-24 at The Shed, featuring high-profile speakers, immersive programming and a provocative, interactive art exhibit; open to the public

“The Future Is Decentralized” is the theme of this year’s Unfinished Live event, which will bring together technologists, entrepreneurs, changemakers and artists from around the world to imagine and create a new digital era that prioritizes people over platforms, returns the ownership and control of personal data to individuals and expands economic opportunities for internet users and developers.

This two-day convening will feature more than sixty high-profile speakers, as well as a cutting-edge, interactive art installation – named “A Project Liberty Experience” – that includes work by acclaimed media artist Refik Anadol. Unfinished Live is backed by civic entrepreneur and Project Liberty founder Frank McCourt and presented with nearly two dozen partner organizations, including the Aspen Institute, Ford Foundation, Georgetown University and PolicyLink.

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“Given how today’s tech architecture is fueling misinformation, COVID vaccine hesitancy, and extreme polarization, it is urgent that we focus on this problem and find solutions,” said McCourt. “Project Liberty is about bringing people together to explore how we can harness the power of technology to create a new civic architecture for a digital world, restore trust, and ultimately build a healthier and more equitable society. We welcome everyone who shares this commitment to building a better future to join us.”

Project Liberty includes the development of a groundbreaking open-source protocol called the Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP), which will be gifted to humanity. Everyone will be able to build upon this new protocol and, by its design, the ownership and control of personal data will be shifted from companies back to individuals. In addition to this new infrastructure for the web, Project Liberty includes the establishment of the McCourt Institute, which was launched with founding partners Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Sciences Po in Paris – two leading academic institutions with expertise in ethical technology – to ensure that the next generation of the internet, commonly referred to as “Web 3.0,” reflects and benefits from a values-based governance framework.

“Project Liberty, just like the Unfinished Live event, calls us to imagine the future of technology, culture and our economy,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, chair of the Unfinished Network. “More importantly, this project has the potential to help us build a thriving, multiracial democracy.”

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Project Liberty will be brought to life through the “A Project Liberty Experience” art installation. This interactive, immersive art experience invites visitors to envision a world in which individuals own and control their digital data. This exhibit will be open to the public at no cost.

During Unfinished Live, Baratunde Thurston, futurist, author and host of the podcast How to Citizen, will serve as host and emcee. Featured speakers and performers include Angela Glover Blackwell, founder of PolicyLink and chair of the Unfinished Network; Gavin Wood, a co-founder of Ethereum; Perry Chen, founder of Kickstarter; artist Ian Cheng; TED Radio Hour host Manoush Zomorodi; Grammy award-winning producer !llmind; Gary Liu, CEO of the South Morning China Post; Anne Helen Petersen and Charlie Warzel, journalists and authors of Out of Office; Nabiha Syed, president of The Markup; Dr. Safiya Noble, author, professor and co-founder of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry; media artist Refik Anadol; Frank McCourt and technologist Braxton Woodham in conversation with Axios reporter Sara Fischer; and many more.

Additional visitor experiences include live podcast recordings by Anna Sale, journalist and host of WNYC’s celebrated Death, Sex & Money podcast; Douglas Rushkoff, writer and host of the Team Human podcast; and others, as well as in-the-moment conversations with Clubhouse ambassadors.

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