WASHINGTON, DC — Media theorist and author Douglas Rushkoff has joined the lineup for PRovoke19 next week, where he will explore whether public relations needs to be more human in an era of autonomous technologies, runaway markets and weaponized media.

The session, moderated by Weber Shandwick CEO Gail Heimann, follows the publication Rushkoff's latest book Team Human, which he describes as a manifesto arguing for human dignity and prosperity in a digital age.

"Autonomous technologies, runaway markets and weaponized media seem to have overturned civil society, paralyzing our ability to think constructively, connect meaningfully, or act purposefully," writes Rushkoff on LinkedIn.

"Yet the root causes for our collective disempowerment are based on some very old, false ideas about competition, individuality, scarcity, and progress. We needn’t embed these values in the digital landscape of tomorrow, or develop algorithms to impose them on us by any means necessary. They are obsolete. We must stop optimizing human beings for technology, and start optimizing technology for us."

The eighth Global PR Summit takes place at the Watergate Hotel in Washington DC from 21-23 October, and promises to be a provocative examination of the challenges facing business in today's society — where populism, political turbulence and activism have combined to reset expectations of the corporate world. The programme features more than 70 top-tier speakers. 

Highlights from the programme include:

PRovoke19 will also feature the Global SABRE Awards on Wednesday evening, where we will count down the world's 40 best PR programs as selected by SABRE Awards judges, and reveal our Global Agencies of the Year.

Backed by more than 30 of the world's leading PR firms, research agencies and communications trade groups, PRovoke19 promises to be a remarkable exploration of the critical issues that define the growth of the public relations industry, at a time of unprecedented change. Full details here.