Here Comes Everybody, the bestseller by Clay Shirky, made nothing less than the Guardian list of the 100 greatest nonfiction books of all time. It explores how the Internet has enabled the public to do something hardly possible before: organize ourselves around an idea without the help (or constraints) of an existing institution. Power to the people, 21st century style.

It’s pioneering insight like this that has earned Shirky the status of Internet idol and icon…and that makes us thrilled to announce that he is the opening keynote speaker for BbWorld 2013.

Since 1996, Shirky has written about the Internet’s positive impact on society for publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and Wired. (Prior to that, he even edited what is believed to be the first book on HTML.) The original Professor of New Media at Hunter College, he currently holds two positions at New York University: Associate Arts Professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program and Distinguished Writer in Residence in the journalism department.

Shirky is a widely quoted expert on topics including the power of peer-to-peer networking, open source development, and crowdsourcing, known for his phrase “the Internet runs on love.” Based on his observation that “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution,” he’s even had a principle named after him.

His book Cognitive Surplus focuses on the observation that digital technology is transforming consumers into producers of content. Everyone who tweets, posts, or otherwise makes his/her voice heard online is a citizen journalist. They question they—we—ask now is not “Why publish this” but rather “Why not?”

“We have lived in this world where little things are done for love and big things for money,” Shirky said. “Now we have [cooperative group efforts like] Wikipedia. Suddenly big things can be done for love.”

So come one, come all—here comes everybody, we hope—to what is sure to be a thoughtful and memorable keynote. Register now for BbWorld 2013.

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