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West Hartford Resident’s Digital Citizenship Initiative Receives National Attention

David Ryan Polgar. Photo credit: RobSymondsPhoto.com (courtesy photo)
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David Ryan Polgar, a West Hartford resident who co-founded the Digital Citizenship Summit, has caught the attention of the Obama Foundation, and on July 17 will air the second installment of his live show/podcast, ‘Funny as Tech.’

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West Hartford resident David Ryan Polgar was recently recognized online by The Obama Foundation for his work promoting digital citizenship, which deals with the safe, savvy, and ethical use of social media and technology. The Obama Foundation announced last week that digital citizenship would be the first initiative for the organization.

Polgar co-founded the now-global Digital Citizenship Summit, which held its first event at the University of Saint Joseph in October of 2015. It grew quickly, with its flagship event held last year at Twitter headquarters with attendees from Australia, Ireland, France, Spain, and more.

Polgar is a three-time TEDx speaker who has carved out a unique career as a Tech Ethicist; he currently covers issues regarding our tech use, AI, ethics, and more for IBM Think Leaders, Quartz, and Big Think. He is also head of Trust & Safety for the social messaging platform Friendbase, along with helping plan the first #Digital4Good event to promote positive social media use (being held at Twitter HQ Sept. 18, 2017).

Last month, Polgar joined comedian Joe Leonardo (a founder of Sea Tea Improv) to start a monthly live show/podcast called Funny as Tech, which takes place in Manhattan. Billed as “conversation and comedy for our brave new world,” the show features a broad range of special guests discussing some of the ridiculous ways we are being impacted by social media, AI, automation, self-driving cars, and more.

The inaugural show featured comedian Chuck Nice (VH1, HGTV, TODAY show regular, co-host of StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson), while the next show on July 17 will feature famed media theorist and bestselling author Douglas Rushkoff and popular host of WNYC’s Note to Self, Manoush Zomorodi. The show is already receiving some buzz, having been featured in The Irish Times last week.

Polgar spoke about the Obama Foundation’s new focus on digital citizenship on FOX61 on Friday morning.

“Social media is like a knife: it can be used to inflict pain or tear apart Truth. But it can also be used to carve out a future that is more connected, more socially just, and more civically-engaged,” Polgar said. “We are realizing that promoting digital citizenship is essential to a vibrant democracy.”

The entire interview can be seen below.

 

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