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Katie Harbath

Founder and CEO, Anchor Change; Director of Tech & Democracy, International Republican Institute; Former Public Policy Director, Facebook

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Katie Harbath is a global leader at the intersection of elections, democracy, civic engagement, and technology. Her unique expertise stems from her decade-long position as a public policy director at Facebook, where she is credited with assembling and leading a global team responsible for managing elections, amongst other accomplishments. Katie’s teams continue to empower governments and elected officials around the world to use Facebook and Instagram as a way to connect and engage with constituents.

Katie educates and advises audiences of all kinds with her knowledge of how to utilize up-and-coming technology for marketing campaigns, presenting a balanced outlook on the positives and negatives where tech, social media, and public policy converge.

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Katie Harbath is the founder and CEO of Anchor Change, a civic tech strategies firm focused on developing solutions for global issues related to democracy, elections, and civic engagement online. She is also a fellow on the Bipartisan Policy Center elections team. Prior to starting her own firm, she was a public policy director at Facebook for ten years where she was credited with building out and leading global teams responsible for managing elections as well as helping government and political figures use the platform to engage with constituents. Prior to her work with Facebook, Katie held senior strategic digital roles at the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, DCI Group, and multiple campaigns. Katie is on the boards of the National Conference on Citizenship, Democracy Works, and the Center for Journalism Ethics at UW Madison.

Speech Topics

Technology as we know it today only started being used in campaigns 20 years ago. In this presentation, audiences will learn more about the evolution of how the internet, social media, and other modern technologies have been used by campaigns, governments, and advocacy organizations to win elections and engage with citizens. Harbath’s remarks include the positive effects as well as how these technologies have been used to sow distrust in democracy. The talk will end in discussing current proposals around fixing these problems and how we can get to a point where we amplify the good parts about technology and democracy and mitigate the bad.

From the United States to Europe and India, countries all over the globe are looking at different ways to regulate technology companies. With Harbath’s perspective, audiences will learn more about the problems that are causing policymakers to look for legislative solutions, what those proposals are, and what the future could look like, depending on which regulations are enacted. These decisions will have far-reaching ramifications for any industry that relies on the internet for its core business and marketing.

The year 2024 will be an unprecedented year for the world. For the first time ever, presidential elections will take place not only in the U.S., but also in India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the European Parliament. In 2022 and 2023,  elections will take place in France, Philippines, Brazil, Kenya, Canada, and many other countries.

How these elections are conducted and the policymakers elected will set a standard for the future of democracy and the internet for decades to come. Katie Harbath explains why in this riveting discussion.

In this insightful discussion, Harbath answers the question: Which new technologies should companies be monitoring and paying attention to for the benefit of their marketing and public relations efforts in the next two, five, ten years and beyond?

Harbath looks at what the future might hold and how that could affect your organization, from the new audio platforms and creator economy of today to the virtual reality of the future.