Sugar23 Hires Author Douglas Rushkoff as a ‘Futurist in Residence’

Rushkoff will serve as “sounding board and professor,” Michael Sugar’s production outfit says

AUSTIN, TX – MARCH 09: Writer Douglas Rushkoff speaks onstage at Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now during the 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 9, 2013 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Waytao Shing/Getty Images for SXSW

Michael Sugar’s management and multimedia platform Sugar23 has added Douglas Rushkoff as “Futurist in Residence,” the company announced Tuesday.

In his new role, Rushkoff will serve as “sounding board and professor” for the firm, Sugar23 said in a statement. Rushkoff will help clients “who are looking to understand the greater contexts around what they are doing, to develop greater congruence between purpose and practice, or to develop a more rigorous approach to their work. Additionally, he will assist clients in understanding the changing shape of narrativity in the increasingly digital society, as well as helping them brainstorm on projects with specific story elements involving new or as-yet-uninvented technologies, future societies, or speculative scenarios.”

“We are thrilled to bring Doug into the Sugar 23 community (to) assist us and our clients to think through our approach to media and technology — both as story elements in their work and platforms through which they deliver it.” Added Sugar, “We all have the responsibility to consider the social, cultural and ideological impact of our collective work on society as we confront tremendous civilizational challenges,” Sugar said in a statement.

Rushkoff said in the statement, “We’ve finally arrived in the digital media environment, where the way we tell stories, distribute content, engage audiences, and even develop revenue streams must adapt to fundamentally different conditions and expectations. I can’t wait to help Michael and his clients navigate this shift.”

Rushkoff was named one of the world’s “10 most influential intellectuals” by MIT. He is an author and documentarian who according to the statement “studies human autonomy in a digital age.”

His twenty books include the recently-published Team Human, based on his podcast, and the bestsellers Present Shock, Throwing Rocks and the Google Bus, Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, and Media Virus. He also made the PBS Frontline documentaries Generation Like, The Persuaders, and Merchants of Cool. His book Coercion won the Marshall McLuhan Award, and the Media Ecology Association honored him with the first Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity.

The statement credits Rushkoff with coining such concepts as “viral media,” “screenagers,” and “social currency,” and calls him a leading voice for applying digital media toward social and economic justice. He is a research fellow of the Institute for the Future, and founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism at CUNY/Queens, where he is a Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics. Rushkoff also is a columnist for Medium, and his novels and comics, Ecstasy Club, A.D.D, and Aleister & Adolf, are being developed for the screen.

The addition of Rushkoff is part of an ongoing expansion of Sugar23 that includes and independent podcast studio in-house and a book imprint in partnership with Mariner Books, which is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


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