Drawing on two decades of his own research and business experience, MIT professor Sinan Aral will go under the hood of the biggest, most powerful social networks to tackle the critical question of just how much social media actually shapes our choices, for better or worse. Aral will show how the tech behind social media offers the same set of behaviour-influencing levers to both Russian hackers and brand marketers—to everyone who hopes to change the way we think and act—which is why its consequences affect everything from elections to business, dating to health.

Sinan Aral is a scientist, entrepreneur and investor. He is the David Austin Professor of Management at MIT, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) and a founding partner at Manifest Capital. He is the author of The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health–and How We Must Adapt.