3630 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089

http://festivalofbooks.usc.edu #bookfest
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Social media, digital entertainment, online shopping, and apps of all kinds make our lives easier and more fun. They also connect us and create new hybrid cultures in ways that were never imagined even a decade ago. But how much is too much? And what is the cost? This extensive and esteemed panel will discuss our relationships with our beloved digital devices, including ethical implications and issues with addiction.


Ali E. Abbas is professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Public Policy at USC, where he also serves as the Director of the USC Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making. The recipient of multiple awards from the National Science Foundation, Abbas is author of Foundations of Multiattribute Utility (2018) and co-author of Foundations of Decision Analysis. (2015). He is also editor of the forthcoming Next Generation Ethics and editor, associate editor, and guest editor of a wide range of journals and books.

Julie Albright is a digital sociologist and lecturer in the departments of Applied Psychology and Engineering at USC who has spent her career thinking about the digital transformation of society. She is a sought-after keynote speaker, expert, and author whose new book, Left to Their Own Devices: How Digital Natives Are Reshaping the American Dream (2018), explores how digital natives are “untethering” from traditional ways of doing things, while hyper-attached to their devices and social media.

David Craig is a clinical associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and a Fellow at the Peabody Media Center. The veteran media producer and executive has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards and is responsible for over 30 critically acclaimed films, TV programs, and stage productions. He is the co-author of Social Media Entertainment: The New Intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley (2019).

Varun Soni (moderator) is the Dean of Religious Life and the Vice Provost of Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention at USC, where he teaches in the School of Religion and the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. He holds degrees in religion from Tufts University, Harvard University, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Cape Town, as well as a law degree from the UCLA School of Law.

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