Facebook applications, mass persuasion, & world peace


Date Thursday January 24th 2008
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Just a few months ago, a new form of persuasion was born. In response, I created the “Facebook Class” for Stanford, and a talented team joined me. In the weeks that followed, our students used this new power — what I call “Mass Interpersonal Persuasion” — to reach over 16 million people with their Facebook applications.

This new form of persuasion can make people rich, as we saw. But more important, Mass Interpersonal Persuasion can solve global problems in ways never before possible. On Thursday, for the first time, I will share deeper insights into this new persuasion phenomenon. My talk will connect the successes on Facebook with new trends in computerized persuasion. To push the envelope even more, I’ll share my Stanford lab’s project on Peace Technology. Our goal: Global harmony in 30 years. Thanks to Mass Interpersonal Persuasion, this ambitious goal is finally achievable (at least we think so). In some ways, the Facebook Class was a proof of concept. There’s more to explain – and most of it is new (in other words, feedback welcome)… 


Stanford University awarded Dr. BJ Fogg the Maccoby Prize in 1998 for his research on computerized persuasion. He then founded the Persuasive Technology Lab and began teaching at Stanford, while also leading innovation projects for industry

In Fall 2007, BJ taught a new class for Stanford (with Dave McClure) about applications for Facebook. Their students' projects engaged over 16 million Facebook users in six weeks. BJ has identified a new form of persuasion that makes such dramatic results possible.

BJ is the author of Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. He is the co-editor of Mobile Persuasion: 20 Perspectives on the Future of Behavior Change. He holds nine patents and has an additional seven patents pending.

Dr. Fogg's life's work is to shape technology innovation to make people happier, which includes his lab's current focus on Peace Technology. He believes two principles are essential for achieving these goals: designing for simplicity and building relationships of trust.


Dave McClure is a venture capitalist & founding partner at 500 Startups, an internet startup seed fund and incubator program in Mountain View, CA. He likes to hang out with entrepreneurs, and occasionally invest in startups foolish enough to let him. He has been an investor in over 250 companies including Mint.com, Twilio, Wildfire Interactive, SendGrid, TaskRabbit, SlideShare, Mashery, CreditKarma, KISSmetrics, and MakerBot, among others.

Dave has been geeking out in Silicon Valley for over twenty years, and has worked with companies such as PayPal, Founders Fund, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twilio, Mint.com, Simply Hired, O'Reilly Media, Intel, & Microsoft. Years ago he used to do real work like coding or marketing or running conferences, but these days he mostly does useless stuff like sending lots of email, blogging, and hanging out on Facebook and Twitter.

Dave also likes to play ultimate frisbee when his knees don't hurt.

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