Rahaf Harfoush is a Digital Anthropologist and bestselling author researching the impacts of emerging technologies on our society. She focuses on understanding the deep (and often hidden) behavioral shifts that are taking place within organizations and individuals as global digital infrastructures enable the unprecedented exchange of ideas, information, and opinions.
Rahaf Harfoush is the Executive Director of the Red Thread Institute of Digital Culture, where she leads a team of researchers in exploring the implications of the first global digital culture on how we live our lives. Harfoush is a member of the German Marshall Fund’s Young Transatlantic Network of Leader. She has been named a top future thinker by the Hay Literary Festival, and was named a Young Global Changer at the G20 Think Tank Summit.
Previously, she was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Program at the World Economic Forum and was a part of the Forum's WELCOM Interaction team, helping to create the strategy of building an online community for the Forum's social network. Prior to this, Harfoush spent three months with the Obama New Media team in Chicago. An active member of Toronto's technology community, she is involved with associations like The Movement, an organization of people committed to collaborating on projects for social good, and The Overlap, a community that combines cross-disciplinary expertise to tackle the challenges of sustainable innovation.
Harfoush supports organizations in navigating our new constantly connected reality to strengthen their innovation, talent management, and foresight strategies as well as ensuring they are on top of the latest trends and best practices. Her clients include Starwood Capital Group, Baccarat, E&Y, Estée Lauder, L’Oreal, UNESCO, The OECD, Cross Knowledge, A1, ING Direct, EuroRSG and more.
Her interest in technology's impact on governance, education and the workplace began as an analyst at Don Tapscott's thinktank, where she published whitepapers on topics including the Net Generation and women and the web. Harfoush helps organizations build effective online strategies that create meaningful conversation with their employees, consumers and the general public.
Rahaf's third book, Hustle & Float: Reclaim Your Creativity in a World Obsessed with Work, is out now. Her other books include The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers, and Yes We Did: An Insider's Look at how Social Media Built the Obama Brand.
Jam-packed with ideas, anecdotes and the hopeful spirit that animated Obama's campaign, Harfoush tells us what she and other members on the team did. "Everything that we did was to connect people, because it was a movement that was fundamentally about people." With brilliant use of everything from YouTube to Facebook to text messages to the iPhone to the billion emails they sent out, they covered every base. But, she tells us, social media is a means to an end -- a tool to enable strategy. From this, Harfoush unveils six lessons that any organization can take away and apply to their own needs.
From finding a cure for tuberculosis to the world's first open source car, Harfoush uses vibrant case studies spanning medicine, science, literature and business to demonstrate how online communities are subverting traditional models and are creating unprecedented opportunities for smart organizations who dare to do business differently.