Machines Will Not Save Us

Social Change and the Limits of Technology

Even in an age of amazing technology, social progress depends on human changes that gadgets can't deliver. That's the difficult conclusion of Kentaro Toyama, a renowned computer scientist who has designed technologies meant to address education, health, and global poverty.

In his hew book, Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of TechnologyToyama digs into the contradiction that, despite four decades of astounding innovation in America, technology has done virtually nothing to turn the tide of rising poverty and inequality. Why then do we keep hoping that technology will solve our greatest social ills? Toyama argues that, instead of a manic pursuit of a digital utopia, we need a more deeply people-centric outlook to move our world forward.

Join New America NYC for a conversation with Kentaro Toyama and leaders in the fields of technology, innovation, and social change on the human-machine relationship and how we might best foster it for the future.

Copies of Kentaro Toyama's Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology will be available for purchase. Follow the discussion online using #NANYC and by following @NewAmericaNYC.


Kentaro Toyama
W. K. Kellogg Associate Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan
Fellow, Dalia Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, MIT
Author, Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology


Seeta Peña Gangadharan

Senior Research Fellow, Open Technology Institute, New America

Noel Hidalgo
Co-founder and Executive Director, BetaNYC


Reshma Saujani
Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code


Micah Sifry
Co-founder and Editorial Director, Personal Democracy Media