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Renowned Tech Innovator and Former Twitter CEO

Dick Costolo

Joins The Harry Walker Agency

Dick Costolo

HWA Exclusive Speaker

Named by Time magazine as one of the "10 Most Influential U.S. Tech CEOs," Dick Costolo calls on his experience as a digital entrepreneur and business executive to deliver powerful messages about the future of the Internet.

Dick Costolo is a digital entrepreneur who has launched a series of highly successful ventures. But when he became CEO of Twitter in 2010, he realized he was helping run more than a digital platform. Twitter had become a tool to collapse regimes, a tool that gave a powerful voice for the unempowered, and created a new way for businesses to connect and news to be reported. More than ever before, social media was forcing ambitious and significant changes to politics, business, ethics, governance, democracy and inclusion. Twitter was enabling all of that while trying to grow revenue, manage rocket-speed growth, and court investors.

VIDEO: View his inspirational commencement speech at the University of Michigan here and hear his thoughts on managing a 21st century business here.

Speech Topics

From Twitter to a New Economy

When Twitter began, the founders did not set out to create a new economy, yet the way we do business has changed forever. When consumers are 80% more likely to purchase from a business they follow, there is a real business case for open communication between a brand and its consumers. Open access to information, or creating the feeling of open access to the brand, builds loyalty, identifies new product ideas and provides another channel for consumer influence. Equal access to information renders entire business models fragile as consumers become their own sourcers with all of the information. Costolo lays out the implications of an open access economy on the way buy and sell. 

The Crumbling Barriers to Power

One effect of technology permeating every aspect of our lives is the crumbling barriers between us. Social media and the Internet have taken a sledgehammer to The Great Wall between us and those in power, as well as between us and those who previously had no voice. Now status, race and socioeconomics have less relevance, and equal access to information is officially declared a human right by the U.N, much to the chagrin of dictators who know the most effective way to keep power is to restrict access to information. Social media and the Internet are in fact the world's most powerful democratic tools, and this has real geopolitical and governance implications. Costolo explores the ambitious and significant implications of Twitter and other technology platforms based on a democratic ideal of equal access for all. 

Ethics, Empathy and the Future of Technology

The future of technology is about open and equal access to information and expression. Social media brings down regimes, allows one person's voice to reach the world, and gives news stories multiple points-of-view. As with any democratic platform, we must ask how we will govern ourselves and cultivate civility and responsibility within our freedom. What will each of us choose to say and to permit with our new global voice? Costolo explores the intersection of ethics and content and urges each of us to use our access responsibly and with empathy. He encourages us to shine a light on what's good in the world and what needs to be changed, to champion the underserved, to embrace people's differences and amplify the best of humanity. 

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