The Hawk and the Dove
Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War
Technology is changing everything, but it’s also moving more quickly than we can keep up with—how can we make sure it works for us instead of against us? Nicholas Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic and former editor-in-chief of WIRED, says that innovations have improved our lives in countless ways—"We live longer, eat better, and keep powerful computers in our pockets”—but we need vigilant journalism and an engaged society that is prepared to keep Big Tech in check. An award-winning author and former editor at The New Yorker, Nicholas teaches us how we can thrive in a future defined by new rules, new values, and new possibilities.
“Nick is singular; we've seen no one like him. As to leading and supporting Atlantic strategy, Nick brings a surround-sound coverage of relevant experience. Having been an editor, he is committed to the undergirding tenets of our work—superior editorial standards and complete editorial independence.”— Laurene Powell Jobs and David Bradley
Nicholas Thompson has occupied the most prestigious positions in the world of tech writing and journalism—staking out a bold, optimistic vision for what our future will look like. Nicolas currently serves as CEO of The Atlantic, leading the team to National Magazine Award wins for unprecedented coverage of the Covid-19 Pandemic, new perspectives on 9/11, the rise of global autocratic power; the case to return the national parks to Native American tribes; and the hypocrisy behind high-class education in America.
How will the world’s dominant tech corporations—Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft—interact with citizens, help write policy, and redefine privacy and security? How will artificial intelligence and robotics change our devices, the way we work, earn a living, fight wars, solve problems—our very selves? No matter the subject—design, culture, media, tech, ethics, or our digital future—he’s more than ready to break the news with big ideas and fearless takes.
Nicolas currently serves as CEO of The Atlantic, leading the team to National Magazine Award wins for unprecedented coverage of the Covid-19 Pandemic, new perspectives on 9/11, the rise of global autocratic power; the case to return the national parks to Native American tribes, the unwritten rules of Black TV, and the hypocrisy behind how rich kids are educated in America. Editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg praises The Atlantic’s recent work as extraordinary journalism about the pandemic, democracy, and a whole range of crucial issues, always with great writing and aesthetic excellence in mind.
As the Editor-in-Chief of WIRED, Nicholas broke massive stories about Facebook’s hidden flaws, cyber-warfare, the Robert Mueller investigation, and numerous other topics. His ground-breaking investigative reporting on Facebook was a finalist for a 2020 Loeb Award, and he oversaw work that won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Magazine Award, and has even led to Oscar-winning films.
At The New Yorker, Nicholas served as editor of the magazine’s digital platforms, breaking new ground with stories about his friendship with Joseph Stalin’s daughter, how our lives are forever changed by the consumer drone industry, and arson amid the election cycle. His work at The New Yorker is defined by his fearless leadership and unwavering commitment to quality stories: The main strategy for growing audience is to publish more, better stories. The stories we’re prouder of, the stories we put more effort into, attract more readers.
He’s also the author of the critically acclaimed biography The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War—a fascinating double biography that follows two rivals and friends from the beginning of the Cold War to its end. The New York Times said that the book was “brimming with fascinating revelations about the men and the harrowing events they steered through.”
Nicholas is a former Senior Editor at Legal Affairs and a former contributor at CBS. With a massive and vigilant following on social media, he’s one of LinkedIn’s most-followed individuals. He earned the 21st Century Leader Award from The National Committee on American Foreign Policy, was a Future Tense Fellow at the New America Foundation and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Nicholas is also an accomplished runner and is currently the American record holder for men over age 45 in the 50k. He is also ranked in the top ten marathoners in the world for his age group.
“He was unbelievable. Not one person had anything negative to say, in fact, the opposite. Everyone thought he was so entertaining, smart, insightful and compelling. We want to hire him again.”BMO Nesbitt Burns
“There was only one disappointing thing about Nick’s keynote for our event—that we didn’t get to do it in-person! He was fantastic! So perfectly topical for our members. In a time of online event fatigue, he really managed to keep our attention. When we recorded his talk, I was astonished to find out he had been speaking for 30 minutes—it was so riveting that time just flew by.”CSA Group
“Your speech was extraordinarily well received and your moderation of the panel was done with great skill. The conversations that followed amongst our senior leadership during the rest of the day's programming proved that the experience was invaluable for everyone in our organization.”Caesars Entertainment
“I am fairly certain that was one of the most interesting sponsored events ever. You gave even those of us who are deep into these issues much more to think (and worry) about. Every single client, all of whom deal with these issues on a daily basis, are still talking about your presentation and the importance of understanding the quality of data and potential biases that go into A.I. in the first place. Thank you!”Orrick, Silicon Valley
“Aside from organizing the call, I wanted to thank you for your time at the conference. Your presentation added to our day, making it full of interesting discussion and topics.”Berenberg Capital Markets
Technology is advancing faster than we can keep up—are the benefits of this fast-paced innovation worth the risks, particularly when it comes to our businesses? In this intellectually thrilling keynote, CEO of The Atlantic and former editor-in-chief of WIRED Nicholas Thompson breaks down the nine trade-offs that all of us should be aware of when it comes to adopting new tech in the workplace.
What should you consider when it comes to security versus privacy? What about social biases embedded in AI? How will data-driven AR in brick-and-mortar outlets affect our perception of reality, let alone how consumers make purchases? With clear takeaways, Nicholas guides us through the trade-offs of an increasingly innovation-driven economy—and helps us find the best priorities for our businesses.
How will artificial intelligence and robotics change our devices, the way we work, earn a living, fight wars, solve problems—our very selves? As WIRED’s former editor-in-chief, Nicholas Thompson was committed to pushing the magazine to the forefront of technology. No matter the subject—design, culture, media, tech, ethics, or our digital future—he’s more than ready to break the news with big ideas and fearless takes.
In this eye-opening and engaging talk, Nicholas teaches us the future of privacy, security, and cyber-espionage, how the world’s dominant tech corporations—Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft—interact with citizens, help write policy, and exert power over governments, and how the media can continue upholding the truth amidst such unprecedented times.
Prior to taking the helm at The Atlantic, Nicholas Thompson was the Editor-in-Chief of WIRED, where he boosted digital subscriptions of the magazine by a whopping 300%, and an editor at The New Yorker, where he spearheaded a radical makeover at NewYorker.com to expand the magazine’s online readership. How did Thompson successfully draw 25% more visitors to the storied magazine’s digital platform? While diversified social media and cutting-edge SEO strategies are all part of the plan, Nicholas’ counterintuitive approach was to resist the trend of fast, disposable online media. “The main strategy for growing audience is to publish more, better stories,” he says. “The stories we’re prouder of, the stories we put more effort into, attract more readers.”
In an age when listicles and clickbait seem to hold court, Nicholas’ illuminating keynote explores the “wonderful value in aligning your business model with your editorial model”—and how consistently excellent content is the first action item in transforming digital platforms.