The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Douglas Rushkoff’s Rousing “Team Human” TED Talk is Now Live

Douglas Rushkoff is a world-renowned philosopher whose bestselling books, documentaries and articles help communities, companies, and governments navigate our digital future. In his newly released TED talk, Rushkoff passionately argues for a more human future: “we have to stop using tech to optimize human beings for the market, and start optimizing tech for the human future.” 

The talk is based on his forthcoming book (and popular podcastTeam Human, a provocative and important call-to-action; a rally to reassert our humanity. “The future changed from this thing we create together in the present to something we bet on in some kind of zero-sum, winner-takes-all competition. When things get that competitive about the future, humans are no longer valued for our creativity, now we’re just valued for our data. Because they can use the data to make predictions. Creativity if anything just makes noise; makes us harder to predict. So we ended up with a digital landscape that repressed creativity, that repressed what makes us most human.” 



To book Douglas Rushkoff for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency

What Makes New Technology So Addictive? Read Adam Alter’s New Book, Irresistible

Addiction is nothing new. But today, it’s all about tech: Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Instagram, and the latest app keep us tied to our screens. So what makes these platforms so enticing? In Irresistible, Adam Alter breaks down the latest in behavioral addiction—and shows us how to kick the habit.

Consider the amount of time we spend interacting with devices—with screens—each day. Are you checking email compulsively? Scrolling through Facebook updates? Binge-watching the latest serial drama? Whatever your tech-based fix, you’re addicted—and Alter, bestselling author and professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, knows why. In Irresistible, he reverse-engineers the ubiquitous tech that’s come to dominate our lives. He shows how our obsessions with Pinterest or Snapchat are no accident, but the result of careful work by tech companies and marketers, who design their games, apps, and experiences with surprisingly predictable human psychology in mind.


But while certainly distracting—and unhealthy—our addictions aren’t beyond the realm of help. Alter shows how we’re only starting to comprehend behavioral addiction. He zooms in on the human brain at the moment we score points in a smartphone game, or receive a Like on Facebook, and explains what’s really going on at the neurological level. What desires and fears are savvy designers tapping into? And how can we navigate this shiny new world with better intelligence—in the boardroom, at home, and in our social lives?


Here’s what early reviews are saying about Irresistible


“As if to prove his point, Adam Alter has written a truly addictive book about the rise of addiction. Irresistible is a fascinating and much needed exploration of one of the most troubling phenomena of modern times.”
— Malcolm Gladwell, author of New York Times bestsellers David and Goliath and Outliers


“If you can’t stop checking, clicking, surfing and liking, put your device down and read Adam Alter’s Irresistible, an important, groundbreaking book about why we’re addicted to technology, how we got here, and what we should do next.”
— Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution and Thrive


“One of the most mesmerizing and important books I’ve read in quite some time. Alter brilliantly illuminates the new obsessions that are controlling our lives and offers the tools we need to rescue our businesses, our families, and our sanity.”
— Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take


“In this smart, sharply-argued book, Adam Alter lays out the evidence for a hidden danger in our lives: behavioral addiction. From tracking social media “likes” to counting our steps, our actions are being guided less by our own volition than by the architecture of the technologies we use. Irresistible is a fascinating read that will leave you enlightened — and alarmed.”
— Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive


“I originally wrote this sentence on an analog word processor—that is, paper. Such was the impact of Adam Alter’s meticulous research into behavioral addiction that I’ve become increasingly frightened of the monster that is my computer. Alter isn’t an alarmist, and is evenhanded and rational in his approach toward technology, which makes his fascinating and witty book all the more powerful. In a world of ever-increasing connectivity and omnipresent screens, Irresistible is absolutely essential reading. But for your own sake, buy the paper version.” 
Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game and Mastermind


“Adam Alter’s brilliant book is a necessary map for navigating a digitally connected world that’s teeming with addictive temptations. It’s also a crackerjack box of fascinating scientific discoveries on games, habits, and behaviors. I circled, starred, underlined, or wrote exclamation marks on basically every page.”
Derek Thompson, Senior Editor at The Atlantic, and author of Hit Makers 


To hire Irresistible author Adam Alter—or another psychology or marketing speaker—for your next keynote event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.


Can We Imagine Social Media as Biology—As a Living Thing? Michael Casey’s New Book The Social Organism

In his new book, The Social Organism, out yesterday, fintech expert Michael Casey proposes an intriguing theory: that social media “functions on every level like a living organism.” But what does this mean, for both individuals and organizations? And how does it change our understanding of digital culture?

Social media is arguably the most transformative change in communications since the Gutenberg bible. It has radically altered the way information is distributed and shared, and it seems to mutate and grow almost of its own accord. In fact, as Casey and co-author Oliver Luckett argue, social media adheres to the seven rules that define biological life: it mirrors cellular structure, possesses metabolism and homeostasis, grows toward complexity, reproduces, and adapts and evolves.


Comprehending the evolutionary nature of social media has untold benefits for any business. The old rules of sales and marketing are falling away, being supplanted by a newer, decentralized, open-source framework.  Successful brands, argues Casey, embrace this collaborative milieu instead of fighting it. Understanding how it functions should be their first step.


The Social Organism is already being hailed as groundbreaking. Here’s what key thinkers and industry leaders are saying:


“Social media is the most obvious recent way that human life is being forever changed by technology. This book’s brilliant unifying metaphor, the Social Organism (which is the converse of my mentor Marvin Minsky’s book Society of Mind) illuminates how the ground is shifting beneath our feet. As Luckett and Casey conclude, social media will begin to act more and more like a global brain. The implications for our way of life, our governments, and our businesses are immense. I cannot recommend this book enough.”

― Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author, and futurist


The Social Organism’s exploration of social media goes far beyond a recipe for clicks and ‘likes’ and presents a deeply convincing theory of how life is changing in the digital age, and how you can use social media not only to transform your business but to help change the world.”

― Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sleep Revolution


“In less than a decade, social media has gone from fringe to mainstream. In the next decade, it will reorder the ways people communicate, work together, trade, and pursue ideas. Luckett and Casey have written the quintessential guide to understanding our social future.”

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner, Andreessen Horowitz


“When I started my first business in 1992, there was no social media. Today, no successful business is launched without a social strategy. This book is the best guide out there. Want to build a brand or a cause? Start by reading this.”

Daymond John, CEO of FUBU, CEO of Shark Branding, Co-Star on ABC's Shark Tank, bestselling author of The Power of Broke


To book Michael Casey, co-author of The Social Organism, as your next keynote or conference speaker, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau.