A leader in digital communication and grassroots political campaigns explains how the internet and modern media have undermined America and how we can reclaim our voices for the good of civic life.
The creators of the internet promised us jetpacks: better experiences, more choices, and deeper relationships.
Built on a diversity of voices, our online freedom was supposed to spark a democratic transformation. But our platforms don’t work for us—we’re the inventory and our outrage fuels a tech revolution optimized for profit, not civic life.
As one of the top digital strategists for Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns, Michael Slaby saw the beginning of a new kind of national division. What he witnessed would spawn the Tea Party movement, upset the 2016 election, and accelerate the polarization of American civic life.
Slaby presents the four core areas which can be reclaimed to work better for all of us: platforms, government institutions, corporations, and even the users ourselves. Optimistic, future-focused, and deeply passionate, For ALL the People breaks down how we got here, and how we, the users, can work toward a better democracy through tech.
About the Author
Michael Slaby helped lead Obama for America as chief integration and innovation officer in 2012 where he oversaw all of technology and analytics, and as deputy digital director and chief technology officer in 2008. As a world leader in digital strategy and technology, Slaby has devoted his career to repairing our broken information systems. He currently serves as community director at the media research nonprofit Harmony Labs. Slaby is a graduate of Brown University. He lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with his wife, author Lydia Slaby.
"In For ALL the People, Michael Slaby shows us how to think anew about media and the tsunami of information coming at us in our age of technology. This is a book for all of us, offering insights and actions to help make sense of our new world and connect more powerfully with one another." —Beth Comstock, author and former vice chair, GE
"The book combines the big thinking that is too often lacking from today's political dialogue and action steps that will actually make a difference. To say it is a must-read is an understatement." —Brian Reich, author of The Imagination Gap and VP of communications, Murmuration
"An awakening for innovators seeking to drive positive social change and a reclamation of our democracy." —Elizabeth Brigham, director, Hurt Hub@Davidson
"Essential reading for every storyteller, politician, technologist, and citizen." —Lyel Resner, professor, NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
"Michael Slaby does stellar work explaining how we got to this point as a society and, even more important, presents a compelling—and constructive—vision of where we go from here." —Ian Bremmer, founder and president, Eurasia Group
"This is required reading for anyone working in media, technology, or civic life." —Alex Johnston, founder, Cities Reimagined
"Slaby is the Yuval Noah Harari of media. He pointedly outlines the fracture of our culture and democracy while providing hopeful next steps for how we can redesign our systems for a more civically-minded world." —Megan Kiefer, author of The Third Dimension of Literacy and founder, Take Two Film Academy
"An earnest and optimistic must-read that can help lead us to a better place as a nation." —Lauren Zalaznick, former chair, Entertainment & Digital Networks, NBC Universal
"After four years of our spiraling through disinformation cycles and infodemics, Slaby puts forward important ideas that can move us toward restoring trust in the information we receive and enable a return to progress." —Lisa Kaplan, founder and CEO, Alethea Group
"Slaby offers a vivid reimagining of civic life in America, one in which technology and media bring us together instead of tearing us apart; one in which we unlearn the habits ingrained in us by a media economy optimized to capture our attention." —Kate Catherall, founder of Arena and EVP of political strategy, Avalanche Insights
"Slaby's insistence that we redesign, reclaim, restore, and then, finally, redeem the shared experiences that constitute our modern media should awaken all Americans to our opportunity to set an example for all the world." —Rishi Jaitly, founding CEO, Times Bridge; former vice president, Asia Pacific/Middle East, Twitter; and former Google/YouTube
"For ALL the People does two critical things—it helps us understand how we got here, and it reminds us that we have the agency to repair it. Perhaps most important and prophetic, Slaby shows that indeed we are the only ones who can." —Jason Green, former Associate White House Counsel and director, Finding Fellowship
"A must-read for anyone interested in disrupting the toxic social echo chambers and bringing about positive change." —Charlene Li, New York Times bestselling author of The Disruption Mindset
"A protégé of Obama, Slaby is relentlessly optimistic even while acknowledging the contemporary cesspool of new media platforms and the failures of traditional media outlets, and the book successfully blends sophisticated analysis with an uplifting, engaging message." —Kirkus Reviews