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Loretta Napoleoni with Ross Reynolds

The Rise of the New Robber Barons

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Date:
Thursday, April 18
Time:
7:30 pm PDT
Cost:
$5 – $25 Sliding Scale
Learn more about Sliding Scale tickets.

Venue

The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long.

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Technocapitalism: The Rise of the New Robber Barons and the Fight for the Common Good

Elliott Bay Book Company

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Civics

Technology pioneers like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft (to name a few) are woven into the fabric of Seattle’s economy. Yet, on a day-to-day basis, how much do you think about what these techno giants mean for the future of our world? With such enormous amounts of influence and money, how are these powers shaping our world today? Economist and journalist Loretta Napoleoni digs into these questions.

At the dawn of the digital revolution, people thought the internet was going to be the great equalizer, a global democratic force. Napoleoni argues that instead, Wall Street funded a new breed of capitalists, the “Techtitans,” who embraced rapid, transformational change while stripping their workers of rights and enriching themselves. Those who control and own the technology are the absolute masters, in Napoleoni’s eye.

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In her book, Technocapitalism: The Rise of the New Robber Barons and the Fight for the Common Good, Napoleoni describes how these phenomena are the beginning of a new world model, born in a period of extraordinary change and acceleration––from the FTX collapse to AI, private space companies to the war in Ukraine, from inflation to the environmental impacts of EV car batteries. The ubiquity of techno giants in Seattle makes it easy to forget what kind of power resides in this city. Napoleoni wants to shed light on the kind of power it really is, and how we can fight against it for our common good to address today’s challenges.

In the mid-70s Loretta Napoleoni became an active member of the feminist movement in Italy, and later studied as a Fulbright Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. She began her career as an economist and went on to work as a London correspondent and columnist for La StampaLa Repubblica, and La Paîs. Napoleoni is the author of the international bestsellers Rogue Economics: Capitalism’s New Reality and Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism. She has served as Chairman of the countering terrorism financing group for the Club de Madrid, and lectures regularly around the world on economics, money laundering, and terrorism.

Ross Reynolds loves conversation and learning. He hosted a public radio news/talk show on KUOW Seattle called The Conversation for 13 years. He’s also been a radio program director, news director, and executive producer of community engagement. He is a public event convener, moderator, and interviewer.

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