Clay Shirky


Clay Shirky (born 1964) divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks. Shirky, a prescient voice on the Internet’s effects, argues that emerging technologies enabling loose collaboration will change the way our society works.

Shirky is an adjunct professor in New York University's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he teaches course named "Social Weather".

Prior to his appointment at NYU, Shirky was a Partner at the investment firm The Accelerator Group, an international investment group with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London. The Accelerator Group was focused on early stage firms, and Shirky's role was technological due diligence and product strategy.

He graduated from Yale College with a degree in art, and prior to falling in love with the internet, he worked as a theater director and designer in New York. His company, Hard Place Theater, staged "non-fiction theater", theatrical collages of found documents.