Tristan Harris

Senior Advisor
🇺🇸  San Francisco

Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience,” by The  Atlantic magazine, Tristan Harris spent three years as a Google Design  Ethicist developing a framework for how technology should “ethically”  steer the thoughts and actions of billions of people from screens.

In 2016, Tristan left Google to work full-time on reforming the attention economy with the non-profit initiative, Time Well Spent.  Time Well Spent aims to catalyze a rapid, coordinated change among  technology companies through public advocacy, the development of ethical  design standards, design education and policy recommendations to  protect minds from nefarious manipulation.

Tristan founded Center for Humane Technology and inspired the associated “Time Well Spent” movement. In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg embraced time well spent, a phrase coined by Harris, as a design goal for Facebook.

Tristan has spent a decade understanding the invisible influences  that hijack human thinking and action. Drawing on literature from  addiction, performative magic, social engineering, persuasive design,  and behavioral economics, he is currently developing a framework for ethical persuasion, especially as it relates to the moral responsibility of technology companies.

Rolling Stone magazine named Tristan one of “25 People Shaping the World” in 2017.  Named in Fortune’s 40 under 40 of 2018. His work has been featured on TED60 MinutesHBO RealTime with Bill MaherPBS NewsHourRecode, The Atlantic, WIREDNYTimes, Der Spiegel, The Economist, and  many more. Tristan has briefed Heads of State, technology company CEOs,  and members of U.S. Congress about the attention economy. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School in Government and an advisor to Open Markets Institute.

Previously, Tristan was CEO of Apture, which Google acquired in 2011. Apture enabled millions of users to get instant, on-the-fly explanations across a vast publisher network.

Tristan holds several patents from his work at Apple, Wikia, Apture  and Google. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in  Computer Science, focused on Human Computer Interaction, while dabbling  in behavioral economics, social psychology, behavior change and habit  formation in Professor BJ Fogg’s Stanford Persuasive Technology lab.  Tristan is currently a Senior Fellow at Common Sense Media.  He was  rated #16 in Inc Magazine’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 in 2009.