The CEO and co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, visited IIT Delhi on November 12. DU Beat brings to you the highlights.
The wintry morn was warmed up with people in suits and kurtas walking around the stage at the Dogra Hall in the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi on November 12. They were preparing to welcome the masters of one of the greatest technological giants of today. About an hour later at 1 in the noon, Maya Hari from Twitter talked a little about the company and its objectives for the youth and the country. A few minutes later, the man of the hour finally arrived. It was the CEO and co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey.
You would expect a formally dressed techno business executive but the lean lanky bearded middle aged exec that Dorsey is, he was anything but that. If we talk in the language of stereotype, the top shots of such companies usually sport a casual hipster look. Similarly, Dorsey arrived in a black hoodie and dark leather pants sticking on his legs with a classic techno-watch adorning his wrist. He started out a little with talking about himself. One of his opening lines was “I didn’t know that I’ll be an engineer, or even an entrepreneur”. The Twitter CEO saying this words in front of the students of one of the top engineering colleges in India just shows how irony is one fickle queen. Talking about the scope and beauty of social media, he highlights how through twitter, humanity stood first hand witness to thoughts and ideals of the people of Iran, or Egypt, the communities of which were previously unexplored.
He then proceeded to answer questions from several students that were asked to him before on his Twitter handle. These questions brought in light several of Dorsey’s views. On the dominance of Artificial Intelligence over jobs, he jokingly remarked, “I’m an engineer, so, I’ll be the first one who will be affected by it.”
On the education patterns followed in different colleges, he remarked, “I can’t talk about this much since I was a dropout myself.”
Extremely humble for someone whose net worth exceeds a billion dollars, when witnessing an extremely underwhelming response to his questions of change brought about by Twitter, he tacitly responds, “that’s more than I expected.” The question vetting system at such events; something IIT Delhi is notorious for, is always disappointing. None of the really controversial questions were addressed. For example, those pertaining to how twitter tolerates, if not encourages, users spreading hate speech. This is because filtering through the cesspool will cost these organisations users, and that would affect the bottom line; users. Beat up inspirational stories and business decisions are not the ideas warranted by the youth anymore; they want answers to the questions that are hard to answer, and that don’t have a correct answer.
On a serious note, he added how Twitter has added to a sense of political awareness amongst the masses and issues that matter can all be made relevant when used in a relevant manner, like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. The event itself had a hashtag called #PowerOf18 emphasising the importance of youth to be aware of their happenings to make a change, especially in a country like India.
Hashtags can create a conversation and this can lead to discussions and change; that’s what the 41-year old entrepreneur feels about the classic hashtag trend characteristic of Twitter. After all, technology and social change both are very needed in 21st century civilisation. So if the channel blending these two succeeds with the current generation, we might just be able to tell our descendants a better tale of life in the future.
Shaurya Singh Thapa
Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat