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Maria A. Ressa

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5 out of 5

Co-Founder & CEO of Rappler, Journalist, Author & Freedom Advocate; 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Co-Founder & CEO of Rappler, Journalist, Author & Freedom Advocate; 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Winner

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Philippines
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Maria A. Ressa Biography

Maria Ressa co-founded Rappler, the top digital-only news site that is leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines. As Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has endured constant political harassment and arrests by the previous Filipino government headed by Rodrigo Duterte and forced to post bail ten times to stay free. Rappler’s battle for truth and democracy is the subject of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary, A Thousand Cuts.

In October 2021, Ressa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

In her talks, Ressa connects the dots as to how social media and recent technological developments often deceive and entrench political power, a dilemma that we all face.

For her courage and work on disinformation and ‘fake news,’ Ressa was named one of Time Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year, was among its 100 Most Influential People of 2019, and has also been named one of Time’s Most Influential Women of the Century.

Before co-founding Rappler, Ressa focused on investigating terrorism in Southeast Asia. She opened and ran CNN’s Manila Bureau for nearly a decade before moving to Indonesia and opening the network’s Jakarta bureau, which she ran from 1995 to 2005. That was when she returned to Manila as the senior vice president in charge of ABS-CBN’s multimedia news operations, managing almost a thousand journalists for the largest news organization in the country.

Ressa’s most recent book, "How to Stand Up to a Dictator," was released in 2022 and has been translated into 20 languages, with more to come in 2024. It is an urgent cry for readers worldwide to recognize and understand the dangers to our freedoms before it is too late.

She is an inaugural Carnegie Distinguished Fellow at Columbia University’s newly launched Institute of Global Politics, where she leads projects related to artificial intelligence and democracy. In July 2024, she will join the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs as a professor of professional practice.

Ressa focuses critical attention on the breakdown of our global information ecosystem and how interconnected communities of action can hold the line to protect democratic values. She now travels the world speaking to organizations of all kinds on democracy, how to keep it, and freedom of the press.

Maria A. Ressa Speaking Topics

  • Technology’s Impact on Democracy

    Social media companies have become the dominant source of news and information. The distributors of news and information gain power. To grow and increase power, the platforms require continuously increasing viewers, which drives advertising revenue.

    Social media platforms have discovered that pushing viewers to the extreme left or right increases engagement, which increases ad revenue. To achieve this, the platforms develop algorithms designed to spread lies laced with hate and anger.

    Technology, once heralded as an enabler, is now the destroyer. How can we re-orient social media platforms to bring us together rather than divide us?

    In this talk, Maria explains how we went off the rails but, more importantly, how we can right the train.

  • The Fight for Democracy

    In this talk, Maria discusses how today’s style of leadership, us against them, sexism, and misogyny, has given everyone to be their worst selves in many ways.

    Democracies rely on elections, but as we’ve been manipulated before the elections, where’s the freedom of will? Without free will, we are simply carrying out the wishes of the manipulators. How do we protect democracy when surrounded by manipulation?

    Maria describes the four-layer pyramid that was successfully executed in the most recent Philippines election:

    • Hashtag facts through social and traditional media
    • The Mesh of civil society, NGOs, human rights, and business groups
    • Academia research groups
    • Legal groups from the left, right, and center working together

    This is the time to act. Don’t bury your head in the sand. This is an existential moment, and we either fight for our democracy, or we lose our rights.

Maria A. Ressa Videos

  • Keynote address by Maria Ressa at the UNESCO Global ...
    Maria Ressa is co-founder and CEO of Rappler. In October 2021 she was one of two journalists awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Maria Ressa | Rappler | Keynote and Q&A with Femi Oke
    A journalist in Asia for 35 years, Maria Ressa co-founded Rappler, the top digital only news site that is leading the fight for press freedom in the...
  • A THOUSAND CUTS (2020) | Official Trailer | PBS Distribution

Maria A. Ressa Books

  • How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future
    How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future
  • From Bin Laden To Facebook: 10 Days Of Abduction, 10 Years Of Terrorism
    From Bin Laden To Facebook: 10 Days Of Abduction, 10 Years Of Terrorism
  • Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia
    Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia

Speaker Lists Featuring Maria A. Ressa

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  • What topics does Maria A. Ressa speak about?

  • Where does Maria A. Ressa travel from?

    Maria A. Ressa generally travels from Philippines, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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Maria A. Ressa is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Technology’s Impact on Democracy and The Fight for Democracy. The estimated speaking fee range to book Maria A. Ressa for your event is $100,000 - $200,000. Maria A. Ressa generally travels from Philippines and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Joy-Ann Reid, Laura Ling, Lata Reddy, Shiza Shahid and Andrea Mitchell. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Maria A. Ressa for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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