A Conversation with Chris Hughes, Co-Founder of Facebook
The first half of Chris Hughes’ life played like a movie reel for the American Dream. He grew up in a small town in North Carolina with parents of modest means, and was accepted into an elite boarding school and then Harvard, both on scholarship. There, he met Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz and became one of the co-founders of Facebook.
In FAIR SHOT: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn (St. Martin’s Press Hardcover, on sale 2/20/18), Hughes exposes the specific forces that create today’s economic unfairness, and argues that the one percent should be expected to pay their share if the American Dream is to survive for future generations. He makes the case that one-percenters like himself should pay their fortune forward in a radically simple way: a guaranteed income for working people. Part memoir, part manifesto, Hughes’ perspective illuminates the powerful role fortune and luck play in today’s economy. Through the rocket ship rise of Facebook, Hughes came to understand how a select few can become ultra-wealthy nearly overnight. He believes the same forces that made Facebook possible have made it harder for everyone else in America to make ends meet. He has spent the past few years traveling the world and mining data with economists to come to the conclusion that a guaranteed income is the most powerful tool we have to combat poverty and stabilize America’s middle class. Money—cold hard cash with no strings attached—gives people freedom, dignity, and the ability to climb the economic ladder. A guaranteed income for working people is the big idea that’s missing in the national conversation. Grounded in Hughes’ personal experience, FAIR SHOT will start a frank conversation about how we earn in modern America, how we can combat income inequality, and ultimately, how we can give everyone an equal chance to succeed.
Chris Hughes is the co-founder of the Economic Security Project, a network of policymakers, academics, and technologists working to end poverty and rebuild the middle class through a guaranteed income. He co-founded Facebook as a student at Harvard and later led Barack Obama’s digital organizing campaign for President. Hughes was the owner and publisher of The New Republic magazine from 2012 to 2016. He lives in New York’s Greenwich Village with his family.
Reception: 6PM, Lecture: 6:30PM
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