Siebel Scholars Present

2019 Conference

Social Media:

What Could Possibly
Go Wrong?

October 11-13

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

Moderated by

Rana Foroohar

Author and Associate Editor, Financial Times

Leave Blank - do not remove
Friday, October 11
6:30pm to 9:30pm
Dinner and fireside chat with Rana Foroohar, Author and associate editor, Financial Times and Dr. Alex Kogan
Leave Blank - do not remove
Saturday, October 12
8:30am to 4:00pm
Panel discussions moderated by Rana Foroohar

9:00am – 11:45am The Art and Science of Persuasive Technologies
B.J. Fogg, Behavior Scientist, Stanford
Sherry Turkle, Founding Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self
Shoshona Zuboff, Author, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Luncheon

1:15pm – 4:00pm The Implications of Social Media
Karl Rove, Former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush
Dr. Jean Twenge, Author, iGen
Dr. Alex Kogan

7:00pm to 11:00pm
Reception, dinner and entertainment

Leave Blank - do not remove
Sunday, October 13
8:00am to 12:00pm
Breakfast, followed by breakout sessions, lunch, and recommendation presentations


Panel discussions will focus on these key questions:

The art and Science of Persuasive Technologies
  • Is social media a boon or bane?
  • To what extent are social media giants complicit in bolstering Likes, clicks, shares, and comments to further their own ends?
  • Are persuasive technologies and the companies that profit from them putting democracy at risk?
  • How does social media form the underpinnings for the science of manipulating humans? 
  • Where can social media be regulated to make the greatest impact on the future of society?
The Implications of Social Media
  • What is the impact of Social Media on critical domains such as privacy, security and public health?
  • How does Social Media exploit the weakest elements of human psychology?
  • Who is most vulnerable for emotional addiction?
  • Why is there a direct correlation between the number of “Likes” and higher anxiety rates?
  • To what extent is the power of social technologies being concentrated in a way that endangers free society?

Social Media has proven a boon for information access, commerce, recreation, and interpersonal communication. At the same time social media is gaining increasing attention from governments, health care professionals, and traditional media suggesting that the social media giants have developed technology to manipulate billions of users at the level of the limbic brain, causing and encouraging addictive behavior.

Possible secondary effects include depression, loneliness, and increased teen suicide.  It is suggested that social media giants have become more powerful than the governments that regulate them, use their global reach to shape public opinion, and allow their systems to be weaponized by bad actors potentially threatening the foundations of free-speech and democracy.

The 2019 Siebel Scholars Conference will focus on the mechanisms and implications of social media, including an examination of the science of manipulating humans, and exploring potential dangers on critical domains such as privacy, security and public health, exploring potential the ethical and emotional consequences.  Finally, we will collaborate on possible solutions necessary, if any, to regulate the risks before they cause irreparable harm to democracy and humanity.  

Innovated Solutions

Nothing illustrates the vitality of the Siebel Scholars community as well as its conferences. Current and alumni Siebel Scholars come together with some of the most brilliant minds in the world to discuss and debate critical social issues, developing innovative solutions to society’s most pressing needs.

At our conferences, held periodically since 2000, attendees convene with eminent authorities—including scientists, lawmakers, authors, and experts—on pressing global challenges to discuss breakthrough discoveries and ideas.

Participants in past Siebel Scholars conferences have included 5-time World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, British Prime Minister John Major, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt, U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, and U.S. Secretaries of State Alexander Haig and Condoleezza Rice.

Outcome Oriented

Siebel Scholars conference attendees play a key role in transforming discussion into action. The 2007 Siebel Scholars conference entitled, “The Economics of Alternative Energy,” and the 2010 conference entitled, “Energy and Climate,” led to the creation of several initiatives to significantly advance energy efficiency and security, including the Siebel Energy Institute.

The 2004 Siebel Scholars conference, “Justice in America,” gave rise to the Meth Project. Since the program’s inception in Montana in 2005, teen Meth use in the state has declined 63% and has since been adopted by seven additional states.  The Meth Project received a commendation from the White House as the most successful anti-drug program in history.

The 2002 conference, “Stem Cell Research and the Role of the State in Regulating the Economy,” prompted formation of the Siebel Stem Cell Institute to investigate the root causes of diseases and prospective therapies.


Rana Foroohar

–  Moderator –

Author and Associate Editor, The Financial Times

Rana Faroohar is a Global Business Columnist at The Financial Times and Global Economic Analyst at CNN Rana Foroohar covers the intersection of business, economics, politics, and foreign affairs.  Foroohar speaks widely on the shifts occurring in globalization, the political economy, and the digital economy. Drawing from her weekly column, she offers real-time analyses on emerging markets, women in the workplace, education, and the disruption of big tech.

With FT Editor Edward Luce, Foroohar writes the twice weekly newsletter “Swamp Notes,” which covers money and power in Trump’s America and the big themes driving politics, business, and markets. She recently appeared in the Frontline documentary, ‘Left Behind America‘, about Dayton, Ohio’s struggle to recover in the post-recession economy.  Foroohar frequently profiles movers and shakers in finance and business, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gross, Howard Shultz, Mary Barra, and Carl Icahn. Her high-level yet accessible analysis has made her a sought-after commentator on influential programs such as CNNI and Face the Nation. The former Economics Columnist and Assistant Managing Editor for TIME, Foroohar has penned numerous cover stories and essays on China and the next global recession, Europe’s economic crisis, and what the rise of “localnomics” means for American business. 

For 13 years Foroohar served as the deputy editor in charge of international business and economics for Newsweek and headed up coverage for the annual Davos special issue. She spent six years as Newsweek’s European correspondent based in London, covering business news throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Her first book, Makers and Takers, was a finalist for the 2016 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Foroohar’s upcoming book, Don’t Be Evil: The Trouble with Big Tech, looks at how the largest tech companies wield power over the economy and our society, and how the monetization of our information has distorted the very foundation of democracy. It is scheduled for release in the fall of 2019.

Foroohar chairs panel discussions with world leaders, intellectuals, and economists at the World Economic Forum and elsewhere, including a Harvard Business School program on improving U.S. competitiveness. The recipient of awards and fellowships from institutions such as the Johns Hopkins School of International Affairs and the East West Center, Foroohar is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Alex Kogan

– Speaker –

FT Columnist and Global Economic Analyst

Dr. Alex Kogan is an academic specializing in big data and positive psychology. He is perhaps best known as the scientist at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica controversy who collected the Facebook data and build the personality models that became a focus of international scrutiny in 2018. In his academic career, Alex has published extensively on the biology of kindness, big data approaches to understanding social connections, and the ingredients of a meaningful life. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from the University of Hong Kong. He served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Cambridge from 2012 to 2018, where he led the Cambridge Prosociality and Well-being lab. Alex also has experience in entrepreneurship, starting several tech companies. 

Thomas M. Siebel

– Speaker –

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, C3

Mr. Siebel is the chairman and chief executive officer of C3. He is also the founder and chairman of the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation. Mr. Siebel was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Siebel Systems, which merged with Oracle Corporation in January 2006. Founded in 1993, Siebel Systems became a leader in application software with more than 8,000 employees in 32 countries, over 4,500 corporate customers, and annual revenue in excess of $2 billion. Mr. Siebel is also Chairman of the Siebel Energy Institute, a global consortium for innovative and collaborative energy research for the public domain. Mr. Siebel is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the College of Engineering boards at the University of Illinois and the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Siebel is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a B.A. in history, an M.B.A, and an M.S. in computer science.


–  Speaker –

Behavior Scientist, Stanford

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Donec elementum ligula eu sapien consequat eleifend. Donec nec dolor erat, condimentum sagittis sem.


– Speaker –

Former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Donec elementum ligula eu sapien consequat eleifend. Donec nec dolor erat, condimentum sagittis sem.

Sherry Turkle

– Speaker –

Founding Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self

Sherry Turkle, Professor, author, consultant and researcher, Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT, as well as the founding director of Initiative on Technology and Self, a center of research and reflection on the evolving connections between people and artifacts.  Referred to by many as the “Margaret Mead of digital culture,” Professor Turkle has investigated the intersection of digital technology and human relationships from the early days of personal computers to our current world of robotics, artificial intelligence, social networking and mobile connectivity.  Her New York Times best-seller, “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age” (Penguin Press, October 2015), focuses on the importance of conversation in digital cultures, including business and the professions.  Her previous book, “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other” (Basic Books, 2011), was a featured talk at TED2012, describing technology’s influence on relationships between friends, lovers, parents and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy and solitude.  Professor Turkle has been profiled in such publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and WIRED. She is a featured media commentator on the effects of technology for CNN, NBC, ABC and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline, 20/20 and The Colbert Report, and has been named a Harvard Centennial Medalist and a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year. In 2014 she was named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University, and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

Dr. Jean Twenge

–  Speaker –

Author, iGen

Jean M. Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, is the author of more than 140 scientific publications and the books iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood, Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before and The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (co-authored with W. Keith Campbell). Dr. Twenge frequently gives talks and seminars on teaching and working with today’s young generation based on a dataset of 11 million young people. Her audiences have included college faculty and staff, high school teachers, military personnel, camp directors, and corporate executives. Her research has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post, and she has been featured on Today, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Fox and Friends, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, and National Public Radio. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. 

Shoshona Zuboff

– Speaker –

Author, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor emerita, Harvard Business School, where she joined the faculty in 1981 and became one of its first tenured women. From 2014- 2015 she was also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Her career has been devoted to the study of the rise of the digital, its relationship to the history and future of capitalism, and the consequences for individuals and society. She earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University and her B.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago. She is the author of In the Age of the Smart Machine, which was featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, and The Support Economy, which was selected by strategy+business magazine as one of the top ten business books of 2003 and as the “number one idea” in Businessweek’s special issue on “Twenty Five Ideas for a Changing World.”  She is a frequent contributor to the Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung and has been a featured columnist for andFast Company. Her scholarly article, “Big Other: Surveillance Capitalism and the Prospects of an Information Civilization,” won the International Conference on Information Systems Senior Scholars’ 2016 Best Paper Award.In 2006, strategy+business magazine described Shoshana in a profile as “a maverick management guru…one of the sharpest most unorthodox thinkers today” and in a later issue named her among the eleven most original business thinkers in the world.  She has appeared on NBC-TV’s “The Today Show”, NPR’s “Morning Edition”, Marketplace, and the BBC.


6:30pm – 9:30pm Welcome dinner and fireside chat with Rana Faroohar and Dr. Alex Kogan TBD
8:30am - 4:00pm Panel Discussions Assembly Hall, International House University of Chicago
12:00pm - 1:00pm Luncheon Winter Garden, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
7:00pm - 11:00pm Reception, dinner, and entertainment Field Museum
8:00am – 12:00pm Breakfast, followed by Breakout sessions, lunch and recommended presentations The Cloister Club, Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago


University of Chicago

5801 S Ellis Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, the school is located on a 217-acre campus in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

Assembly Hall, International House

1414 E 59th St
Chicago, IL 60637

The beautiful cathedral windows, colorful display of international flags, and rich hues of oak paneling give the spacious Assembly Hall in the International House optimum elegance and grandeur. The mission of International House is to enable students and scholars from around the world to live and learn together in a diverse residential community that builds lifelong qualities of leadership, respect, and friendship.

Winter Garden, Booth School of Business

5807 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

The award-winning Charles M. Harper Center is a 415,000-square-foot, five-story graduate academic facility located on the University’s main Hyde Park campus. The building is composed of a base building with five above-grade levels and two below-grade levels, and a glass-enclosed winter garden. The architectural design, marked by the building’s horizontal massing and cantilevered exterior walls, reference Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style of the neighboring Robie House. The resulting cantilevers range from three feet to 42 feet and required more than 600 moment connections. A signature architectural element is the 10,000-square-foot winter garden that is framed with structural steel and clad entirely with glass. It soars 83 feet at its apex, with the roof supported by four main columns.

Ida Noyes Hall

1212 E 59th St
Chicago, IL 60637

Ida Noyes Hall is a three-story, Neo-Gothic building located on the University of Chicago campus in Chicago, Illinois. Designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge and completed in 1916, the building features fireplaces, a limestone exterior, intricately plastered ceilings, and elaborate wood paneling.

Hilton Chicago

720 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

The Hilton Chicago is a centrally-located luxury hotel in ChicagoIllinois. The hotel is a Chicago landmark that overlooks Grant ParkLake Michigan, and the Museum Campus. It is the third-largest hotel in Chicago by number of guest rooms; however, it has the largest total meeting and event space of any Chicago hotel. Every sitting president of the United Stateshas been housed in the hotel before leaving office since its opening in 1927.

John G. Shedd Aquarium

1200 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

Shedd Aquarium is an indoor public aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Opened on May 30, 1930, the 5,000,000 US gal aquarium was for some time the largest indoor facility in the world. Today it holds some 32,000 animals.

The Field Museum

720 S Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

The Field Museum fuels a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture.


For more information please contact
Follow the conference on Twitter with #SiebelAIConf


Siebel Scholars Foundation

The Siebel Scholars program was established by the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation in 2000 to recognize the most talented students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, bioengineering, and energy science. Each year, more than 90 graduate students at the top of their class are selected during their final year of studies based on outstanding academic performance and leadership to receive a $35,000 award toward their final year of studies. Today, our active community of over 1,300 Siebel Scholars serves as advisors to the Siebel Foundation and works collaboratively to find solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

Siebel Scholars Foundation 1300 Seaport Blvd, Suite 400, Redwood City, CA 94063
© Siebel Scholars Foundation