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Dick Costolo      

Former CEO of Twitter and Co-Founder of Feedburner

Dick Costolo, a digital entrepreneur who has launched a series of highly successful ventures, is best known as the former CEO of Twitter from 2010 to 2015.

Costolo graduated in 1985 with a B.S. degree in computer and communication sciences from the University of Michigan.

Costolo co-founded the web feed management provider FeedBurner, which was later acquired by Google. After the acquisition, Costolo began working in other areas of Google. In July 2009, he left Google, and in September 2009 it was announced that he was joining Twitter as its COO. Although his 2010 takeover as CEO was supposed to be temporary, while CEO Evan Williams was on paternity leave, it eventually became a permanent position. In 2011, he would notably proclaim about Twitter that “We're the free speech wing of the free speech party.

In May 2011, it was announced that President Obama had appointed Costolo to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. Time magazine named Dick Costolo one of the 10 Most Influential U.S. Tech CEOs. Most recently, Costolo announced that he will launch a fitness startup along with Bryan Oki, CEO of Fitify.

In his speeches, Dick Costolo calls on his experience as a digital entrepreneur, business executive, and surprisingly, his experience as an improvisational comedian to deliver entertaining, insightful speeches with a powerful message about the future of social media and the Internet.

Speech Topics

General Titles

From Twitter to a New Economy

When Twitter began, the founders did not set out to create a new economy, yet the way we do business has changed forever. When consumers are 80% more likely to purchase from a business they follow, there is a real business case for open communication between a brand and its consumers. Open access to information, or creating the feeling of open access to the brand, builds loyalty, identifies new product ideas and provides another channel for consumer influence. Equal access to information renders entire business models fragile as consumers become their own sourcers with all of the information. Costolo lays out the implications of an open access economy on the way buy and sell.

The Crumbling Barriers to Power

One effect of technology permeating every aspect of our lives is the crumbling barriers between us. Social media and the Internet have taken a sledgehammer to The Great Wall between us and those in power, as well as between us and those who previously had no voice. Now status, race and socioeconomics have less relevance, and equal access to information is officially declared a human right by the U.N, much to the chagrin of dictators who know the most effective way to keep power is to restrict access to information. Social media and the Internet are in fact the world's most powerful democratic tools, and this has real geopolitical and governance implications. Costolo explores the ambitious and significant implications of Twitter and other technology platforms based on a democratic ideal of equal access for all.

Ethics, Empathy and the Future of Technology

The future of technology is about open and equal access to information and expression. Social media brings down regimes, allows one person's voice to reach the world, and gives news stories multiple points-of-view. As with any democratic platform, we must ask how we will govern ourselves and cultivate civility and responsibility within our freedom. What will each of us choose to say and to permit with our new global voice? Costolo explores the intersection of ethics and content and urges each of us to use our access responsibly and with empathy. He encourages us to shine a light on what's good in the world and what needs to be changed, to champion the underserved, to embrace people's differences and amplify the best of humanity.


Ex-Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to start new company
Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced on Tuesday that he is starting a new company with Bryan Oki, co-founder and CEO at wellness consulting firm Fitify.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Stepping Down
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down from his post after months of mounting pressure from investors, the social media company announced on Thursday. Co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey will serve as interim CEO beginning July 1.
What Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is like as a leader
After Twitter CEO Dick Costolo joined the company as COO four years ago, his first tweet read as follows: “First full day as Twitter COO tomorrow. Task #1: ...
What Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is like as a leader
After Twitter CEO Dick Costolo joined the company as COO four years ago, his first tweet read as follows: “First full day as Twitter COO tomorrow. Task #1: ...

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