Who We Are

Our Story

Together with our partners, the Center for Humane Technology (CHT) is dedicated to radically reimagining our digital infrastructure. Our mission is to drive a comprehensive shift toward humane technology that supports our well-being, democracy, and shared information environment.

From the dinner table to the corner office to the halls of government, our work mobilizes millions of advocates, technologists, business leaders, and policymakers through media campaigns, working groups, and high-level briefings.

Our journey began in 2013 when Tristan Harris, then a Google Design Ethicist, created the viral presentation, “A Call to Minimize Distraction & Respect Users’ Attention.” The presentation, followed by two TED talks and a 60 Minutes interview, sparked the Time Well Spent movement and laid the groundwork for the founding of the Center for Humane Technology (CHT) as an independent 501c3 nonprofit in 2018.

The timeline below illustrates the most notable public steps on our journey.

2013
Tristan Harris sparks the Time Well Spent movement

2013 | Tristan Harris releases viral presentation at Google, A Call to Minimize Distraction & Respect Users’ Attention

2017 | 60 Minutes features Tristan Harris and Anderson Cooper on Silicon Valley’s “brain hacking” and illusion of neutrality

2018
Center for Humane Technology founded to build on the success of Time Well Spent

Time well spent’ becomes tech’s next big debate

Center for Humane Technology is co-founded by Tristan Harris, Aza Raskin, and Randima Fernando

The Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal exposes FB’s leak of 87 million users' personal data, bringing the harms of the social media business model into focus

Major tech platforms announce new Time Well Spent features

Mark Zuckerberg on changes to its News Feed: “One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent

Google announces new initiative to improve digital wellbeing

YouTube releases “time watched” metric and “take a break” notification

Instagram introduces “You’re All Caught Up” checkmark

Apple introduces a dashboard, app limits, and additional parental controls

2019
CHT diagnoses the systemic harms of the attention economy

CHT releases New York Times op-ed: Our Brains Are No Match for Our Technology

Tristan Harris is featured in Fortune's 25 Ideas That Will Shape the 2020s, among world leaders including Malala Yousafzai, Jamie Dimon, and Melinda Gates

2020
CHT’s mission moves mainstream, reaching over 100 million people globally

Tristan Harris testifies in a House hearing on Americans at Risk: Manipulation and Deception in the Digital Age

World Economic Forum presentation in Davos, including “Tech Cannot be Trusted to Self-Regulate” and a NYT panel with Yuval Harari

CHT supports the development and release of the record-shattering Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma from director Jeff Orlowski on the existential threats posed by social media, reaching an estimated 100 million people

Management Team

Tristan Harris

Co-Founder & President

Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience” by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan was the former Design Ethicist at Google. He is a world expert on how technology steers us all, leaving Google to engage the issue publicly. Tristan spent over a decade understanding subtle psychological forces, from his childhood as a magician, to working with the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, to his role as CEO of Apture, which was acquired by Google. Tristan has been sounding the alarm about technology’s dark sides before most of the world caught on, according to Bloomberg, having been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, the PBS News Hour and more. He has worked with major technology CEOs and briefed Heads of State and other political leaders. He is the co-host of the podcast, “Your Undivided Attention.”

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Aza Raskin

Co-Founder & Program Advisor

Trained as a mathematician and dark matter physicist, Aza is also the co-founder of Earth Species Project, an open-source collaborative nonprofit dedicated to decoding animal communication. He has taken three companies from founding to acquisition, is a co-chairing member of the World Economic Forum’s Global AI Counsel, helped found Mozilla Labs, was named FastCompany’s Master of Design, and listed on Forbes and Inc Magazines 30-under-30. For Aza, the problem is especially personal: his father, Jef Raskin, created the Macintosh project at Apple with the vision that 'humane' technology should help, not harm, humans.

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Randima (Randy) Fernando

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Randy combines expertise in tech, social impact, and mindfulness. He led many award-winning projects and authored 3 books on 3D graphics over 7 years at NVIDIA. He then served as Executive Director of Mindful Schools, a nonprofit that has taught mindfulness to millions of kids and over 30,000 educators worldwide. Randy also serves on the board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

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Rebecca Lendl

Chief Operating Officer

Over the last 20 years, Rebecca has spent her career supporting visionary artists and thinkers in reimagining how we think, connect, and live. Rebecca has worked with New York arts organizations Creative Time and MoMA PS1 on large-scale experimental public art and events; More recently, she helped grow the community at Headlands Center for the Arts, an international contemporary arts center in the Marin Headlands, and supported the open web at Creative Commons. With a passion for building things, Rebecca has raised millions of dollars for social change, bringing together people, ideas, and shared purpose to advance new ways of thinking.

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Staff

Brooke Clinton

Operations Manager

With a background in fundraising and community relations, Brooke works to authentically connect people to mission-driven organizations. Her work at CHT is primarily focused on building operational functions that foster organizational advancement. Brooke has worked for arts and education organizations such as Headlands Center for the Arts, Corcoran Gallery of Art, and The College Preparatory School.

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Abby Hall

Chief of Staff

Abby Hall has dedicated her career to public service that improves people’s lives. Her work managing public and press events for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration helped develop relationships among CEOs, community leaders, press, and world leaders. Abby’s specialty is strategic planning, scheduling, event management, team building, and fundraising in values-based connection.

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David Jay

Head of Mobilization

David has spent 20 years at the intersection of technology and movement building, with a focus on creating change by enabling meaningful human connections. David is the founder of Asexuality.org, the world’s first community of people identifying as asexual, and regularly advises social movement leaders and startups on creating safe spaces online. As a technical or product lead he has worked for Samsung Next, Mozilla’s Coral Project, and several mission-driven startups.

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Project Support

Podcast
Natalie Jones, Dan Kedmey,
Noor Al-Samarrai
Digital
David Jensen, Todd Schulte Design,
Kiki Van Son
Research
Pireeni Sundaralingam
Grants Management
Eva Rogers
Finance
Bannigan McDade, Sutro Li
Education
Doug Keller, Max Stossel
Humane Technology Course
Brett Schilke

Collaborating Partners

Board of Directors

Jane Chen

CEO & Co-Founder
Embrace Innovations

Tristan Harris

Co-Founder & President
Center for Humane Technology

Ben Rattray

Founder & CEO
Change.org

Premal Shah

Co-Founder
Kiva.org

Peter Wang

CEO
Anaconda, Inc.

Thank you to our generous lead supporters

FOUNDING ALLIES, KEY ADVISORS & COMMUNITY

Dr. Guillaume Chaslot

Founder, AlgoTransparency.org

Renée DiResta

CHT Founding Advisor
Research Manager, Stanford Internet Observatory

Joe Edelman

Co-Founder, Time Well Spent
Philosopher, Social Scientist; Former CTO, CouchSurfing

Yaël Eisenstat

CHT Policy Advisor
Visiting Fellow, Cornell Tech

Lynn Fox

CHT Founding Advisor
Principal, Fox Communications

Tom Gruber

Co-Founder, Siri

Chris Hughes

Co-Founder, Facebook

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

Founder, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Dr. Robert Lustig

Professor Emeritus, UCSF

Roger McNamee

CHT Founding Advisor
Co-Founder, Elevation Partners, Silver Lake Partners

Cathy O’Neil

Author, Weapons of Math Destruction

Sandy Parakilas

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Privacy, Apple

Hong Qu

Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School; YouTube’s First Designer

Justin Rosenstein

Co-Founder, Asana; Co-Inventor, Facebook ‘Like’ Button

Marietje Schaake

International Policy Director, Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center

Dr. Natasha Schüll

Professor, NYU; Author, Addiction by Design

Evan Sharp

Co-Founder & COO, Pinterest

Max Stossel

CHT Education Advisor
Poet, Filmmaker, Speaker

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Co-Founders, Archewell Foundation

K. Krasnow Waterman

Visiting Scientist, MIT

James Williams

Co-Founder, Time Well Spent
Philosopher at Oxford Internet Institute; Ex-Google

Tim Wu

Professor, Columbia Law School; Author, The Attention Merchants

John Zimmer

Co-Founder & President, Lyft

Our Work

With our partners in a powerful growing movement, we are catalyzing a radical reimagining of our digital infrastructure. At CHT, our work focuses on:

Educating the Public

We awaken millions globally to the individual and societal harms of social media platforms through mainstream media campaigns and resources like Your Undivided Attention and The Social Dilemma.

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Supporting Technologists and Tech Leaders

We drive changes in tech industry culture and practices through training and educational resources, working groups, and advising executives.

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Informing Policy Change

We brief policymakers in confidential sessions and public testimony to advance legislation that aligns technology with the public good.

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Careers

Thank you for your interest. While we don’t currently have any open roles, we invite you to join the movement to learn about new opportunities.

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Millions of people around the world — from around the dinner table to the halls of government — are demanding change.

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