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Michael Wesch

Cultural Anthropologist, University Distinguished Scholar, Kansas State University

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Michael Wesch Biography

Dubbed "the explainer" by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture.

After spending two years studying the implications of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, Wesch turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions, translated in over 15 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide.

Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie US Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.

Wesch graduated summa cum laude from the Kansas State University anthropology program in 1997 and returned as a faculty member in 2004 after receiving his doctorate in anthropology at the University of Virginia, where he pursued research on social and cultural change in Melanesia, focusing on the introduction of print and print-based practices like mapping and census-taking in the Mountain Ok region of Papua New Guinea. He lived in the region for a total of 18 months between 1999 to 2003. This work inspired Wesch to examine the effects of new media more broadly, especially digital media.

To this end, Wesch launched the Digital Ethnography Working Group, a team of undergraduates exploring human uses of digital technology. Coinciding with the launch of this group, Wesch created a short video, "The Machine is Us/ing Us." Released on YouTube January 31, 2007, it quickly became one of the most popular videos in the blogosphere and has now been viewed more than 12 million times.

He followed up the success of "The Machine is Us/ing Us" with "A Vision of Students Today," a short video he created with 200 K-State students exploring the state of higher education today. The video was the most popular video on the web in October 2007 and now has more than four million views.

Wesch also has led K-State undergraduate students in a three-year study of YouTube culture. The resulting 55-minute video has now been viewed more than one million times and was called "a phenomenon" by The New York Times.

Saying that "the more individualistic we become, the more we crave community," Wesch speaks on the innate modern-day connection between the media and our sense of cultural and individual identity. Drawing this connection into the world of marketing, he explains how, in worrying about page views and unique visitors, we can lose our view of the big picture: What are we contributing to society?

Speaking Topics
  • A Brief History of the Word "Whatever"

  • Effective Collaboration

  • College Students and Generation Y

  • Education and Technology

  • Social Media

  • Our Mediated Culture & What It Means for Marketers

    It took tens of thousands of years for writing to emerge after humans spoke their first words. It took thousands more before the printing press and a few hundred again before the telegraph. Yet today, a new medium of communication emerges every time somebody creates a new web application. A Flickr here, a Twitter there... and a new way of relating to others emerges, and along with it new types of conversation, affiliations, and collaboration. Using examples from anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, YouTube, university classrooms, and projections into the future, professor and keynote speaker Michael Wesch offers a fascinating look at the often-unnoticed but profound ways in which media "mediate" our culture and transform the way brands and companies need to consider how they relate to their clients and consumers.

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FAQs
  • How do I book Michael Wesch to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Michael Wesch for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Michael Wesch, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Michael Wesch or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Michael Wesch

    Speaking fees for Michael Wesch, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Michael Wesch are under $10,000 for live events and available upon request for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Michael Wesch, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Michael Wesch speak about?

    Michael Wesch is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Business, Culture, Education, Innovation, Internet and New Media, Journalism, Media, Science and Technology, Social Media, Speakers by Industry, Technology Speakers.
  • Where does Michael Wesch travel from?

    Michael Wesch generally travels from Kansas, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Michael Wesch’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Michael Wesch for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Michael Wesch for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Michael Wesch or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

Cultural Anthropologist, University Distinguished Scholar, Kansas State University

Travels From:
Kansas, USA
Speaking Fee:

Michael Wesch Biography

Dubbed "the explainer" by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture.

After spending two years studying the implications of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, Wesch turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions, translated in over 15 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide.

Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie US Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.

Wesch graduated summa cum laude from the Kansas State University anthropology program in 1997 and returned as a faculty member in 2004 after receiving his doctorate in anthropology at the University of Virginia, where he pursued research on social and cultural change in Melanesia, focusing on the introduction of print and print-based practices like mapping and census-taking in the Mountain Ok region of Papua New Guinea. He lived in the region for a total of 18 months between 1999 to 2003. This work inspired Wesch to examine the effects of new media more broadly, especially digital media.

To this end, Wesch launched the Digital Ethnography Working Group, a team of undergraduates exploring human uses of digital technology. Coinciding with the launch of this group, Wesch created a short video, "The Machine is Us/ing Us." Released on YouTube January 31, 2007, it quickly became one of the most popular videos in the blogosphere and has now been viewed more than 12 million times.

He followed up the success of "The Machine is Us/ing Us" with "A Vision of Students Today," a short video he created with 200 K-State students exploring the state of higher education today. The video was the most popular video on the web in October 2007 and now has more than four million views.

Wesch also has led K-State undergraduate students in a three-year study of YouTube culture. The resulting 55-minute video has now been viewed more than one million times and was called "a phenomenon" by The New York Times.

Saying that "the more individualistic we become, the more we crave community," Wesch speaks on the innate modern-day connection between the media and our sense of cultural and individual identity. Drawing this connection into the world of marketing, he explains how, in worrying about page views and unique visitors, we can lose our view of the big picture: What are we contributing to society?

Michael Wesch Speaking Topics

  • A Brief History of the Word "Whatever"

  • Effective Collaboration

  • College Students and Generation Y

  • Education and Technology

  • Social Media

  • Our Mediated Culture & What It Means for Marketers

    It took tens of thousands of years for writing to emerge after humans spoke their first words. It took thousands more before the printing press and a few hundred again before the telegraph. Yet today, a new medium of communication emerges every time somebody creates a new web application. A Flickr here, a Twitter there... and a new way of relating to others emerges, and along with it new types of conversation, affiliations, and collaboration. Using examples from anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, YouTube, university classrooms, and projections into the future, professor and keynote speaker Michael Wesch offers a fascinating look at the often-unnoticed but profound ways in which media "mediate" our culture and transform the way brands and companies need to consider how they relate to their clients and consumers.

Michael Wesch Videos

  • Michael Wesch - US Zeitgeist 2010
  • TEDxNYED - Mike Wesch - 03/06/10 - YouTube

FAQs on booking Michael Wesch

  • How do I book Michael Wesch to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Michael Wesch for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Michael Wesch, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Michael Wesch or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Michael Wesch

    Speaking fees for Michael Wesch, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Michael Wesch are under $10,000 for live events and available upon request for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Michael Wesch, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Michael Wesch speak about?

    Michael Wesch is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Business, Culture, Education, Innovation, Internet and New Media, Journalism, Media, Science and Technology, Social Media, Speakers by Industry, Technology Speakers.
  • Where does Michael Wesch travel from?

    Michael Wesch generally travels from Kansas, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Michael Wesch’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Michael Wesch for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Michael Wesch for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Michael Wesch or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Michael Wesch is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as A Brief History of the Word "Whatever", Effective Collaboration, College Students and Generation Y, Education and Technology, Social Media and Our Mediated Culture & What It Means for Marketers. The estimated speaking fee range to book Michael Wesch for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Michael Wesch generally travels from KS, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Mitch Resnick, Jimmy Wales, Clay Shirky, John Legend and Michael Rogers. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Michael Wesch for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Michael Wesch Speaking Topics

  • A Brief History of the Word "Whatever"

  • Effective Collaboration

  • College Students and Generation Y

  • Education and Technology

  • Social Media

  • Our Mediated Culture & What It Means for Marketers

    It took tens of thousands of years for writing to emerge after humans spoke their first words. It took thousands more before the printing press and a few hundred again before the telegraph. Yet today, a new medium of communication emerges every time somebody creates a new web application. A Flickr here, a Twitter there... and a new way of relating to others emerges, and along with it new types of conversation, affiliations, and collaboration. Using examples from anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, YouTube, university classrooms, and projections into the future, professor and keynote speaker Michael Wesch offers a fascinating look at the often-unnoticed but profound ways in which media "mediate" our culture and transform the way brands and companies need to consider how they relate to their clients and consumers.

Michael Wesch Speaker Videos

  • Michael Wesch - US Zeitgeist 2010
    TEDxNYED - Mike Wesch - 03/06/10 - YouTube

Michael Wesch News

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During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Michael Wesch

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

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