Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Co-Founder of Facebook and the Economic Security Project
Best known as one of the founders of Facebook and as the legendary digital architect of President Obama’s campaign, social media pioneer Chris Hughes is now driving the national conversation on providing a guaranteed, universal basic income for working people. The organization that Hughes co-founded, the Economic Security Project, is dedicated to this mission as a means to ending poverty, rebuilding the middle class and driving the U.S. economy—believing that in a time of immense wealth, no one should live in poverty. Hughes makes this case in his new book, Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn, which draws heavily on his own American Dream story of middle class beginnings and meteoric rise to the 1%. Read More >
Using his own life experiences as a captivating backdrop, Hughes demonstrates the powerful role that fortune and luck play in today’s economy. The son of a traveling salesman and a school teacher of modest means, he grew up in the small industrial town of Hickory, North Carolina. At age 14, Hughes received a scholarship to attend Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He went on to attend Harvard, where he became Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate. In 2004, Hughes co-founded Facebook with Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz, becoming “User No. 5” (Zuckerberg was No. 4). After his 2006 graduation from Harvard (magna cum laude with a degree in history and literature), Hughes re-joined the other Facebook co-founders in Palo Alto to lead communications and feature development. Hughes is widely credited with translating Facebook to the outside world while playing a role in the development of the early “News Feed” and sharing functionality that continue to power Facebook today. In 2007, Hughes joined presidential candidate Barack Obama’s digital organizing campaign, managing its social network and army of digital volunteers. After Obama’s victory, Hughes appeared on the cover of Fast Company along with the headline, “The Kid Who Made Obama President.” From 2012 to 2016 he was the publisher of the digital and print magazine, The New Republic. After Facebook’s IPO, he and his husband committed to giving away their wealth in their lifetimes. In addition to the Economic Security Project, Hughes works on a range of progressive causes and is an investor and board member in several New York- and California-based projects.
In May 2019, Hughes published an explosive op-ed in The New York Times titled "It’s Time to Break Up Facebook" in which he called for the government to break up the social media platform. Hughes cited that Mark Zuckerberg’s influence and control is too large and that it threatens democracy and free speech. In the viral op-ed, Hughes noted recent scandals involving Facebook, including its “sloppy” privacy practices, Russian influence, and how it contributes to the spreading of misinformation.
Always at the intersection of politics and technology, Hughes is an engaging speaker and passionate advocate that offers bold ideas and outlines visionary solutions. He also uses his expertise to examine the changing nature of work in the sharing, on-demand and “gig” economy. Conveying a humble gratitude for the role that luck, fortune and opportunity played in his own economic mobility, Hughes is deeply committed to giving back, ending poverty and making our economy work for all Americans. Read Less ^
We Need to Expand the Definition of Work
A Job Used to Mean Stability
on Economic Mobility
Inequality is Only Getting Worse
The New Business Model: Monetizing the Brand
My Biggest Challenge
On Generational Social Media Gaps And Privacy
The Future of Journalism
On Marriage Equality
Connecting in the Digital Age
In a recent Guardian op/ed, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes wrote, “The fact that I could make nearly a half a billion dollars for three years’ worth of work—while at the same time, half of Americans can’t find $400 in case of an emergency—is a testament to what is wrong with our economy.” Economic inequality is at levels not seen since 1929. The middle class that once drove the U.S. economy is anxious and frustrated with dimming prospects to live the American dream. In such a challenging moment, Chris Hughes champions a radically simple idea to make our economy work again for all Americans: a guaranteed, universal income for working people. Drawn from his book, Fair Shot, which the Financial Times has called "...deeply felt and cogently argued...Hughes makes a powerful case that deserves a respectful hearing," Hughes connects economic analysis with his own powerful story. Contending that fortune and luck are too much a part of success in today’s economy, Hughes shares his own rise from modest beginnings—and his firm belief that one percenters like himself should pay their fortunes forward.
Futurists love to debate when our economy will be thrown into turmoil by self-driving cars and robots taking our jobs. But when it comes to economic disruption, the future is already here. A job used to mean stability: 40 hours a week, vacation days, sick leave and retirement savings plans. But according to a 2016 study by Princeton economists, nearly all of the jobs created in the preceding decade were part-time, contract or temporary. Today, a job is more often than not just an unreliable gig. Facebook and the Economic Security Project co-founder Chris Hughes examines the changing nature of work and what it means to our economy, society, and the future, presenting bold ideas for systemic change.
"It was PERFECT! People are still talking about Chris, especially our VIPs and the breakfast. HOME RUN!! OUT THE BALL PARK! Thank you for all your help!"
"We absolutely LOVED Chris. He was SO easy to work with—great behind the scenes with our sponsors, etc (we did a meet and greet) and he brought the room to life as soon as he came to the stage. Funny, brilliant, relevant… this guy is so smart and yet everyone could relate to his story. You can’t go wrong with him, especially if you are talking technology. Chris was one of my all time favorites to date."
"Chris Hughes' presentation was the perfect start to our Speaker Series. How to harness the power of social media, including Facebook, is an important topic for our members as they try to leverage this new form of communication, not only as a business tool, but in their everyday lives."
"This is a particularly important event for us and our region because Chris Hughes is one of the world's most creative and innovative business people. As a leading technology bank, we have immense respect for a service that has quickly attracted over 300 million users. Chris Hughes personifies what technology is truly about."
"Chris was absolutely amazing. His talk was enlightening and he was more than a pleasure to be around. Chris was extremely accommodating to our members' photo requests. Our board members, membership and tech community were honored to have him. And I, was honored to host him. He is truly impressive."
Email Your List
You’ve reached your maximum number of speakers for this list.
Email Your List