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Join The Verge at the 2022 Chicago Humanities Festival!

Join The Verge at the 2022 Chicago Humanities Festival!

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For three live talks on November 12th, plus an afterparty with Bit Bash

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A phone with an image of a brain. A cord is plugged into the phone making the outline of a head on a yellow background.
Illustration by Emmett Mottl

We’re excited to announce that The Verge is partnering with the Chicago Humanities Festival for a series of live conversations about the future of social media and how it affects human life. The Verge sessions will take place Saturday, November 12th, at the Steppenwolf theater in Chicago, starting at 2:30PM CT. Then, after the sessions, we’re gathering with attendees to party as the Steppenwolf is transformed by indie gaming collective Bit Bash. It’s going to be a blast.

Our three sessions will include a variety of talks between Verge hosts and experts on some of the most pressing issues in the tech industry. Max Fisher, New York Times investigative reporter and author of The Chaos Machine, will join Verge editor-at-large David Pierce to explain how Big Tech’s relentless pursuit of profit and engagement has created huge shifts in the human mind and in our broader culture. Then, our deputy editor Alex Heath will interview a special guest about how personalized content is redefining our social feeds. And finally, Verge health tech reporter Nicole Wetsman will moderate a panel with leading adolescent social media researcher Dr. Megan Moreno on how curated public images affect our well-being.

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Get a pass to three events with The Verge at the 2022 Chicago Humanities Festival, plus an exclusive afterparty with Bit Bash.

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The Verge’s series of conversations is just one part of CHF’s larger fall festival, which runs from October 22nd to December 9th this year, with events at locations all over the city featuring headliners including legendary musician Patti Smith, Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Lange, whistleblower Chelsea Manning in conversation with Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, beloved poet Elizabeth Alexander on The Trayvon Generation, and much more. 

For over 30 years, the Chicago Humanities Festival has been curating live events with leading thinkers, creatives, and policymakers to facilitate vital conversations on the arts, culture, politics, science, and technology, making the festival one of Chicago’s most vibrant civic institutions. We’re thrilled to partner with CHF to bring The Verge’s unique perspective on the future to the festival.

We hope to see you at the event!

Full Event Descriptions

How Social Media Rewired Our Minds & Our World with Max Fisher. We’ve all been told too much social media is bad for us, but why is that? At CHF, New York Times investigative reporter and author of The Chaos Machine Max Fisher explains how, through the pursuit of unfettered profits and maximum engagement, Big Tech has rewired our minds and instigated a cultural shift toward polarization and misinformation. Join him and David Pierce (editor-at-large at The Verge) for a behind-the-scenes look at how social networks prey on psychological frailties, driving people to extreme opinions and actions.

The Future of the Feed. You probably know that algorithms play a huge role in what we see online, but what happens to society when this type of curated content begins to influence our real lives? Join The Verge deputy editor Alex Heath and a special guest for a conversation about how personalized and relatable content on social media is redefining our feeds and creating a new lens through which millions view the world.

Social Media and Young Mental Health. It’s often said that social media is bad for our mental health, and while that can be true, the full story isn’t so cut and dry. At CHF, Nicole Wetsman, health tech reporter for The Verge, moderates a panel between Dr. Megan Moreno, a leading researcher on adolescent social media, and a high-profile young-adult influencer about how curating public images affects our well-being.

Afterparty with Bit Bash. We are excited to invite you to a post-series afterparty, where spaces throughout Steppenwolf will be transformed by the nonprofit gaming collective Bit Bash, curating its unique brand of interactive indie games. Grab a drink at one of Steppenwolf’s lobby bars or a snack at Front Bar and join us for a night of socializing and video games with The Verge’s David Pierce, Alex Heath, and Nicole Wetsman following an afternoon of stimulating conversation.