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Outrage Fatigue, Democracy, and Activism in the Age of Information Overload

February 3rd, 2016
12:00 PM


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chem 011)

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Light lunch served at 11:45

FB event

The use of various platforms, memes, games, hashtags and overlays on social media in an ever-escalating response to terrorist attacks, state and police violence in different locations around the world has enabled a global population to jump on the activist wagon and then inevitably fall off it again. What does this mean for the nature of activism and for the possibilities of global democracy today?

Join us for an open discussion about these questions with two thinkers whose work explores dynamics of activism and social media, Rahaf Harfoush and Duke faculty Negar Mottahedeh.


Read the questions and comments on #outragefatigue

Rahaf Harfoush

Digital Anthropologist & Writer

Rahaf Harfoush is a Strategist, Digital Anthropologist, and Best-Selling Author who focuses on the intersections between emerging technology, innovation, and digital culture. She is the founder of Red Thread Inc., a boutique consultancy and think tank that supports organizations in transforming digital trends into strategic opportunities. She teaches “Innovation & Emerging Business Models” at Sciences Po’s MBA program in Paris. She is currently working on her third book, entitled “Hustle and Float: Balancing Execution and Inspiration in World of Constant Connection.” Formerly, Rahaf was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Programme at the World Economic Forum in Geneva where she helped identify disruptive-startups that were improving the state of the world. Rahaf is the co-author of “The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know your Customers”  It was published in early 2014 and was listed on both the New York Times and USA Today best seller lists. The Decoded Company explores how big data is providing an unprecedented opportunity for organizations to dramatically improve their decision making, increase their performance and, most importantly, intentionally create happy and vibrant work cultures. Her first book, “Yes We Did: An Insider’s Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand,”chronicled her experiences as a member of Barack Obama’s digital media team during the 2008 Presidential elections and explored how social networking revolutionized political campaign strategy. Rahaf is a Global Ambassador for the HQ Network (a global community of 1,500 entrepreneurs under the age of 30), and sits on the Board of Directors of Taking it Global. She is on the Advisory Boards of companies like, & Rahaf’s writing has been featured in Wired, The Globe and Mail, Fast Company, The Mark News, Techonomy and The Next Web. She has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Shaper, and by the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society as a Rising Talent for her thought leadership in the fields of digital culture and technology. In 2014, Rahaf was also named as a “Canadian Arab to Watch,” by the Canadian Arab Institute.

Negar Mottahedeh

Duke University

Negar Mottahedeh is Associate Professor in the Program in Literature and in the Women’s Studies Program at Duke University, a cultural critic, and film theorist specializing in interdisciplinary and feminist contributions to the fields of Middle Eastern Studies and Film Studies. She is the author of Displaced Allegories: Post-Revolutionary Iranian Cinema (Duke University Press, 2008) and Representing the Unpresentable: Historical Images of National Reform from the Qajars to the Islamic Republic of Iran (Syracuse University Press, 2007) Her book #iranelection: Hashtag Solidarity and the Transformation of Online Life was published by Stanford University Press in 2015. on the transformation of online life in response to an unwavering global solidarity around a hashtag. She tweets as @negaratduke.