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Etsy Speaker Series: Douglas Rushkoff

Jan 21, 2010

by sean11

UPDATE 1/21/10: Just a friendly reminder: This is happening at 7 p.m. ET tonight, at Etsy and in the Virtual Labs! See you there.

Looking to expand your horizons? Join us for the second installment of the Etsy Speaker Series at the Etsy Labs in DUMBO, Brooklyn, USA.

Following up on our first Speaker Series event with Rasmus Lerdorf, award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker and scholar Douglas Rushkoff joins us Thursday, January 21. Rushkoff made the PBS Frontline documentaries Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and the upcoming Digital Nation premiering February 2. His book, Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation And How To Take It Back, traces how corporations went from a convenient legal fiction to the dominant fact of contemporary life. Watch Life Inc. The Movie above for a 9-minute summary.

Mr. Rushkoff will be speaking about the creation of value and how to exchange it directly with others.

Come on down on January 21, 2010, at 7 p.m. ET at Etsy, 55 Washington Street, Suite 512, Brooklyn, NY 11201. This is a free event open to the public and refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP here.

If you’re not in the New York area, you can join us through a live web-broadcast in the Virtual Labs, Etsy’s online multi-user chat room of the future. (You don’t need to RSVP. You just need to be signed in to Etsy. Registering for an Etsy account is free. Learn more about how Etsy’s online multi-user Virtual Labs work.)

Praise for Life Inc.:

“This is an urgent book, essential reading about an important topic you’ve probably never considered before. Like all great books, it will open your eyes to a whole new way of thinking. I hope that everyone gets a chance to read it, before it’s too late.”
Seth Godin

“Read this book if you want to understand how the current economic meltdown started 400 years ago, how so much of what you consider to be a natural evolution of daily life was carefully designed to profit a few, and how corporatism has so colonized every part of life that most of us don’t even recognize how our lives and fortunes are channeled and manipulated by it. I love that Rushkoff isn’t afraid to think big—very big.”
– Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs

“Hand wringing over the state of the global economy? Think again. Douglas Rushkoff explains why this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remember what matters, and to rethink our economic system so it reinforces our human values. A profound and important call to action.”
Tim O’Reilly, Founder & CEO of O’Reilly Media

Have you read Rushkoff’s books or seen his documentaries? What do you think? Leave it in the comments below.


  • craftscafe

    craftscafe said 7 years ago

    Etsy's helping take it back by promoting all things handmade!

  • allthingswhite

    allthingswhite said 7 years ago

    this is one of the many reasons why I love etsy

  • AudreyGardenLady

    AudreyGardenLady said 7 years ago

    Thank you Etsy for being there for the individual shop owner and always providing great visionary resources!! AudreyGardenLady

  • MelroseFields

    MelroseFields said 7 years ago

    This is great for the Etsy community! Thank You!!

  • babinka1981knitting

    babinka1981knitting said 7 years ago

    Thanks etsy! interesting!

  • SandBagsDesigns

    SandBagsDesigns said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the info. on this great resource. Really like the fun "lost in forest" magnets!

  • sewlola

    sewlola said 7 years ago

    Very interesting! I am looking forward to watch the live broadcast and read the book.

  • VintageEyeFashion

    VintageEyeFashion said 7 years ago

    sign me up!

  • bysweetmom

    bysweetmom said 7 years ago

    Thanks Etsy!

  • MadeForYouJustByMe

    MadeForYouJustByMe said 7 years ago

    INdeed, very interesting. Thank you, Etsy for all your resources!

  • greencouchdesign

    greencouchdesign said 7 years ago

    Love the related items! I'm in on creating a new society based in love and mutual support!

  • twoknit

    twoknit said 7 years ago


  • yummyandcompany

    yummyandcompany said 7 years ago

    will definitely be watching in the virtual lab!

  • cozettebyclearcat

    cozettebyclearcat said 7 years ago

    Wow, thanks Etsy~!!!

  • Aquanetta

    Aquanetta said 7 years ago

    I live in LA, but I'll be watching :)

  • TheCottageCheese

    TheCottageCheese said 7 years ago

    Looking forward to seeing this! (P.S. Love the feather hair clips).

  • jewelrybyjackie

    jewelrybyjackie said 7 years ago

    Sounds like it will be very insightful, hope to make it!

  • woolbrain

    woolbrain said 7 years ago

    Etsy and handmade :) will be watching. Also love the portable chicken coop...I grew up with something see if you wait long enough things come back around...but I don't want all things back ....indoor plumping is great :)

  • MonikaDesign

    MonikaDesign said 7 years ago

    Thank you so much for this....I'm looking forward to watch the live broadcast...

  • faerwear

    faerwear said 7 years ago

    Doug is a really old friend of mine and an excellent writer and speaker - I highly recommend this if you're in the area. Go doug!

  • woolbrain

    woolbrain said 7 years ago

    oops ! sorry added twice

  • theeye

    theeye said 7 years ago


  • TimeEchoVintage

    TimeEchoVintage said 7 years ago

    All this said as the numbers and company names scroll across his chest...strange mix, but interesting nonetheless!

  • beautifulbridget

    beautifulbridget said 7 years ago

    Thanks Etsy!!

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 7 years ago

    Engaging speaker and insightful discussion!

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 7 years ago

    encouraging and I will try to tune in tonight!

  • Ebruk

    Ebruk said 7 years ago

    Thanks Etsy

  • breadandroses

    breadandroses said 7 years ago

    Couldn't agree more & will be viewing this. Essentially, I think Doug is speaking of our present opportunity for a paradigm shift but the state of affairs of which he speaks took hundreds of years to culminate in our present moment and probably won't change overnight either. And Etsy, while I love you dearly, may I ask why is mega-corporate, monopolistic eBay-owned Paypal still the only integrated online payment option for orders? When I joined a much smaller Etsy a while back, Rob personally promised me that Paypal would never be the integrated online payment processing choice for Etsy buyers/sellers. What happened and will Etsy finally integrate more online payment options into the order form now that Rob's back? Let us know.

  • julieboyles

    julieboyles said 7 years ago

    I couldn't agree more with this life changing philosophy. I've got it written on my calendar, and will be watching. Thank you very much Etsy for the opportunity!

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 7 years ago

    I have not read Rushkoff's books but I plan to now that you got my interest peaked. Thanks

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 7 years ago

    Very interesting!

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 7 years ago

    This is one of the reasons why I love etsy.

  • StelmaDesigns

    StelmaDesigns said 7 years ago


  • foxpots

    foxpots said 7 years ago

    Sounds really interesting!

  • GrayFlannelDesign

    GrayFlannelDesign said 7 years ago

    Looking forward to this - sounds interesting. Thanks Etsy!

  • ElenaMary

    ElenaMary said 7 years ago

    I liked the BBQ analogy...all of us crafting away in isolation is not bad but bringing us together for collaboration on group projects can be lots more fun..Rob, remember when etsy did that super collaborative competition years ago and artists teamed up with other artists to create one unique item?..the most fun I have had here in 4 yrs. Bring the collaborative idea back once in awhile in the spirit of community! An international collaborative project/competition for 2010!

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie said 7 years ago

    What a fascinating perspective. I have to post that video on my blog because it relates to an experience I had last night - how timely.

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams said 7 years ago

    Wow, I'm so impressed. Wish I could be there- may be sending a pal he knows. Rushkoff was a speaker on the interactive startup I worked at back in San Francisco, ZDTV. He's a true visionary and is sure to offer something positive for everyone. Thanks!

  • BlueKimonoStudio

    BlueKimonoStudio said 7 years ago

    This is a philosophy that's gaining ground in the mainstream, and it seems hopeful for us as people. Maybe corporations per se are not the enemies, but corporations that serve corporations rather than people are. Look forward to learning more!

  • theLostEarring

    theLostEarring said 7 years ago

    Brilliant. Made my eyes water. Instantly thought of Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times and The Corporation (documentary) to name a couple. Lots of fresh ideas here. I only wish I could be there to meet him! Definitely will check him out, so thanks a bunch for sharing this Etsy :)

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 7 years ago

    will make it to the virtual labs for that! thank you etsy! I believe etsy is the way forward, empowering the individual to account for their own prosperity outwith the 'system' and I think this is they way forward.

  • PeculiarForest

    PeculiarForest said 7 years ago

    cool! wish I could be there.

  • RubyStudios

    RubyStudios said 7 years ago

    Another great resource.

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 7 years ago

    Sounds awesome! I'm going to check it out in the virtual labs.

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 7 years ago

    thanks for all the interesting info

  • dadadreams

    dadadreams said 7 years ago

    How exciting! I love Rushkoff's books.

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy said 7 years ago

    Looks to be a fantastic night!

  • reinaldovalentin

    reinaldovalentin said 7 years ago

    Wow... wish I could be there. I did read Life Inc. he makes a really good case for change. But, I felt he was very vague on how to do this. But, I guess thats up to the reader to think, and walkout for him/herself. I have been thinking about this for months and how I can walk this out as an artist, neighbor, husband, and father. I have done artist coops, and thinking about food coops, and maybe bartering. I am organizing a art opening fundraiser for a local non-profit, and work with my church on community projects. But I feel like the only one who has read this book and thinks this way. Also a really good book on this topic is The Lonely American. If you have done any of this, send me a shout, I'd love to hear your experiences.

  • belovedbaglady

    belovedbaglady said 7 years ago

    Amazing...and I love the red vintage paint brushes!!!

  • moosomething

    moosomething said 7 years ago

    I love people who look at situations from a different perspective, then actually do something about it. It reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell. Wonderful post!

  • MeekaStella

    MeekaStella said 7 years ago

    Wow! Great video! Too true!

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign said 7 years ago

    Douglas Rushkoff, Etsy Thanks for sharing! Well, I do also see it as a opurtunety :)

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 7 years ago

    Nice article!

  • justthegoods

    justthegoods said 7 years ago

    Thank you SO much for posting this! I've bookmarked it check out later... when I'm not at work. Granted, I'm on an early morning tea break and I'm lucky to work in an Etsy-lovin' environment ;-)

  • shopgoodgrace

    shopgoodgrace said 7 years ago

    Wow... and Wow! I must read this book... I'm too far away to make the Speaker Series, but thank you for introducing us to Mr Rushkoff. Fascinating.

  • wizeowlhandprints

    wizeowlhandprints said 7 years ago

    This is a topic that is starting to at least be talked about locally, that is: bringing back barter systems & local dollars to be cashed in only at local, independently owned stores. I always said if the barter system came back & was embraced, artists would be a lot better off! Creative people who make things with their own hands are a perfect fit in this type of goods/exchange system. Thanks etsy for sharing this insightful & timely video! I want to read his book.

  • greencouchdesign

    greencouchdesign said 7 years ago

    Wonderfully informative! Thanks!

  • upallnightstudio

    upallnightstudio said 7 years ago

    A return to free markets! Local competing currencies!

  • PipocaHandmade

    PipocaHandmade said 7 years ago

    Looking forward to this broadcast!

  • upallnightstudio

    upallnightstudio said 7 years ago

    I also recommend the book "Small is Possible" by Lyle Estill. He's a businessman and artist that helped create a local economy and self sufficient sustainable community.

  • CrabappleVintage

    CrabappleVintage said 7 years ago

    Such an important topic! I've marked my calendar. Thank you for including our wallpaper set in the Related Items section. I am honored.

  • kadlubik

    kadlubik said 7 years ago

    More speakers like Douglas please!

  • jibbyandjuna

    jibbyandjuna said 7 years ago

    Excellent choice of speakers! I have it on my calendar!

  • undertheroot

    undertheroot said 7 years ago

    I am there, even if virtually.

  • kneesandpaws

    kneesandpaws said 7 years ago

    I have repeatedly encountered incidents of people failing to view those around them with compassion, not to mention mild interest. This change in society is what steels my resolve to continue inventing and creating in my home rather than taking my talents, intelligence, and work ethic to a corporate or government arena. Etsy feels like a loving community where people are working and sharing in a meaningful way. I love it here.

  • kneesandpaws

    kneesandpaws said 7 years ago

    Another reason why the choice not to work for corporate institutions and the government is valid. I like my life better now that I'm inventing and creating. My home workplace allows me to share in Etsy; a wonderful beautiful world of art and brilliant creations, with people who would care if you were mugged.

  • MonkeyCatBoutique

    MonkeyCatBoutique said 7 years ago

    can't wait to read the book !thank you for providing great resources.

  • applepaper

    applepaper said 7 years ago

    interesting points to ponder for the new year. thanks! :)

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 7 years ago

    Can't wait to read the book ! Thanks a lot for providing great resources.:))) FREE SHIPPING TODAY DAILY PROMOTION

  • unikalinka

    unikalinka said 7 years ago

    Thank you all the people who work for etsy, who work for searching and sharing such videos and articles! Just great!

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 7 years ago

    The beauty of "community".

  • SurrenderDorothy

    SurrenderDorothy said 7 years ago

    Bravo! What a lovely warm fuzzy article! Thank you.

  • goddessinthemirror

    goddessinthemirror said 7 years ago

    Love it! Portable chicken coop from Brooklyn.

  • LoucheLab

    LoucheLab said 7 years ago

    He's a really amazing speaker! i'm so there!

  • ronniegunn

    ronniegunn said 7 years ago

    Gotta love a portable chicken coop!

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds said 7 years ago

    Interesting. Thank you.

  • blendastudio

    blendastudio said 7 years ago

    Enjoyed the video! Engaging speaker.

  • pagepottery

    pagepottery said 7 years ago

    We love Dumbo! JK Got to check out his books.

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 7 years ago

    give me the coop! Bawk!

  • nanjodogz

    nanjodogz said 7 years ago

    very interesting!

  • zhenunleathers

    zhenunleathers said 7 years ago

    this was amazing! i watched it twice.

  • ArtbyLiza

    ArtbyLiza said 7 years ago

    very nice

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 7 years ago

    thank you so much for posting this in the etsy blog. very insightful and lots of information to take in and process. love it!!

  • cecileDMart

    cecileDMart said 7 years ago


  • cecileDMart

    cecileDMart said 7 years ago

    Hi, i am a french artist

  • lainedesign

    lainedesign said 7 years ago

    What a great video. I'm really looking forward to hearing his presentation today!

  • PeppermintDaydreams

    PeppermintDaydreams said 7 years ago

    Wow, quite the eye opener.

  • reinaldovalentin

    reinaldovalentin said 7 years ago

    NICE... I'm on the edge of my set.

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 7 years ago

    wonderful video, I am looking forward to the lab tonight!

  • Ebruk

    Ebruk said 7 years ago

    Thanks Etsy.

  • momochas

    momochas said 7 years ago

    I couldn´t agree more with what Douglas is explaining in this video. I think there´s no doubt we´re walking in the wrong direction and this could be our chance to change that. See you in the Virtual Labs, Thanks so much Etsy!!

  • seawillowherbs

    seawillowherbs said 7 years ago


  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 7 years ago

    the stock market stats under the speaker are very telling. let handmade goods and independent business prevail!

  • outofline

    outofline said 7 years ago

    I plan on reading "Life Inc." very soon. Thanks!

  • bmjnyc

    bmjnyc said 7 years ago

    A brilliant perspective! How encouraging. Thank you Douglas Rushkoff and Etsy for making this evening possible.

  • happycakejewels

    happycakejewels said 7 years ago

    This is interesting! Thank you Etsy!

  • ArzuMusa

    ArzuMusa said 7 years ago

    Wow! Great video! Thank you so much for sharing... Too true!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 7 years ago

    Great video and I enjoyed the lab last night too~ Thanks Etsy. Need to purchase his book.

  • goldminetrash

    goldminetrash said 7 years ago

    Thumbs up! So glad Etsy offers things like this.

  • okaySK

    okaySK said 7 years ago

    I'm psyched to read the book. good addition to the etsy universe. Thanks.!!

  • bellasparty

    bellasparty said 7 years ago


  • sean11

    sean11 said 7 years ago

    Thanks to everyone who came out and stopped by the lab last night! Here are a few snapshots from the evening:

  • MicheleMichelSilver

    MicheleMichelSilver said 7 years ago

    Wow, and more Wow. About time someone told it like it is. thanks Etsy you guys rock!

  • WieberArt

    WieberArt said 7 years ago

    Was unable to attend. Hopefully, Etsy will be able to offer a replay of the event. An 'eye opener' as to the reality of the Renaissance ~ the end of the 'golden age'.

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    IlluminatedPerfume said 7 years ago

    WOW!! Thank you so much, he's terrific and I am really grateful to Etsy for bringing him to my consciousness.

  • thewaterplanet

    thewaterplanet said 7 years ago

    Will a transcript be available for the hearing-impaired?

  • circlecreekhome

    circlecreekhome said 7 years ago

    This is exactly what we need! Make plans with your neighbor's today and go out and make something happen!! We are so fortunate to live in a time where we can see the opportunity to make a change.Thank you for this post.

  • tweeprints

    tweeprints said 7 years ago

    this is a very inspiring discussion. I can't wait to read the book. Thanks!

  • artbynaomi

    artbynaomi said 7 years ago

    This is so ironic, I'll likely buy LIFE INC. at Costco or Amazon, so there goes the neighbourhood. Guilty.

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