Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

March 19, 2018 @ 6:30 PM8:00 PM PDT

$7 – $20

Are we truly living in the first ‘Networked Aged’? Niall Ferguson in his book the Square and the Tower argues that social networks are not new but actually have been fundamental in shaping history. From the printers and preachers who made the Reformation to the Freemasons who led the American Revolution, it was the networkers who disrupted the old order of popes and kings. Traditional relations between hierarchies and networks have empathized security and growth, yet Ferguson points out that these relationships are much more nuanced than we typically give them credit.

Far from being unique, our era is the Second Networked Age, with the computer in the role of the printing press. Once we understand this, both the past and the future, start to look very different. Historians have traditionally ignored the power of the social networks in favor of hierarchies as they examine the rise and fall of power throughout history. With over 2 billion Facebook users, one has to wonder what lessons can be learned by examining social networks of the past? How can ‘new’ networks create social change, impact businesses, and influence policy? What outcomes can we expect and what are some of the complications with electronic networks?

Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and the Center for European Studies, Harvard. He has published fourteen books, the latest of which is The Square and the Tower. We are thrilled to have him join us.

Niall Ferguson
Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution

Markos Kounalakis
Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution


World Affairs Auditorium-San Francisco
312 Sutter St, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94108 United States
+ Google Map