Amar C. Bakshi

• The founder of Shared_Studios and Portals

Amar C. Bakshi is an artist and the founder of Shared_Studios and Portals.

Portals are interconnected, immersive audio-visual spaces, staffed by real human beings, in which you come face-to-face with people around the world. Inside, you can make eye-contact, talk, dance, and play as though you were in the same room. Since launch in 2014, Portals has connected 250,000 people around the world in intimate conversation, brought in special guests including Barack Obama, Jose Andres, and Priyanka Chopra been covered by hundreds of the world's leading outlets. Relevant websites: www.SharedStudios.com and www.AmarBakshi.com

Before becoming an artist, Amar worked as a reporter and editor at The Washington Post and CNN and as Special Assistant to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Amar has a JD from Yale Law School, a Masters from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Speech topics

Making Technology Work for Humanity

New technologies have social consequences, and innovators have a unique responsibility to think these consequences through and adjust products as necessary. Often, companies treat new technologies as inevitable forces with their own logic, speaking of new products as “tools” and “platforms” that can be used for good or bad. This masks a deeper reality. Where and how we deploy technology is not an inevitable consequence of technology itself. It's about how it's socialised, how it's positioned, and how the companies that bring it into the world push it forward and what they prioritize. Amar explores this topic with a range of examples from historical innovators to today’s tech giants. This talk will help all who hear it better incorporate social thinking into the process of innovation itself.

Thinking and Acting Globally Across Corporations, Classrooms, and Coffee Shops

We have incredible tools at our disposal making it as easy to call someone across the world as down the block. But we too often use these technologies to ensconce ourselves in our own bubbles. This talk helps listeners imagine how our spaces and societies can be transformed if we purposely harness technology to connect us.

Keys to Nurturing Healthy Conversations Across Difference

Amar’s company, Shared_Studios, has connected more than 250,000 people from across 40 sites in 20 countries in intimate conversations across divisions of age, race, gender, sexuality, politics, and faith. In the process, he has learned lessons critical to any individual or organization that wants to foster healthier dialogues within their organization and beyond.

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