We’re just a few weeks away from the fourteenth Future of Music Policy Summit, and couldn’t be happier to announce that Mignon Clyburn and Damian Kulash will be among the keynote speakers for the event, which takes place at Georgetown University on October 27 and 28. (Check out the full lineup and register before Oct 1 to get our special early-bird registration rate!)
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is currently in her second term at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a position she has held since 2009. In describing her duties as a public servant, Clyburn has said “I believe my mission is to listen to the voices of consumers and give voice to those unavailable to speak.” Her efforts within the FCC have included advocating for wider accessibility to communications for disabled citizens, media ownership rules to protect diversity in ownership, and universal access to telephone and broadband technology.
Clyburn’s interest in diversity in media ownership is grounded in her personal experience; before entering public service, Clyburn was publisher and general manager of a family-founded weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina that focused primarily on issues of interest to the African-American community. As net neutrality debates are generating unprecedented public interest and Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable adds to the telecommunications controversy, we are thrilled to welcome Clyburn to our Summit for an amazing opportunity hear directly from someone The Huffington Post describes as one of the “two women who hold the future of the internet in their hands”
Watch: Mignon Clyburn speaks to The Washington Post on “Bridging the Digital Divide”
Damian Kulash is the lead singer of the innovative rock band OK Go. As one of the first bands to really explode online, OK Go have paired catchy tunes with quirky inventive low-budget videos of increasing complexity that have earned them a devoted following. At our 2010 Policy Summit, Kulash told NPR’s Neda Ulaby of his teenhood among the punks of Washington DC, and how that DIY ethos informed his band’s playful experimentation with new models of distribution.
And while the Internet has been very good to OK Go, Kulash has made it a priority to return the favor. Since 2007, Kulash and his band have been outspoken advocates for Net Neutrality, from testifying in Congress to penning op-eds for the New York Times and the Washington Post to debating with comedian/”deranged billionaire” John Hodgman, and meeting with policymakers. When accepting their 2010 Webby award, the band’s five word acceptance speech was “Fight for Net Neutrality Now.”
October will see the release of OK Go’s latest LP, “Hungry Ghosts”, their first studio full-length for their own independent label Paracadute. We’re stoked that Kulash is taking a break from a busy touring schedule to speak at our event.
Be sure to register now for the best rates. Scholarships for working musicians and big discounts for students are available.
And here’s an exciting bonus: Ok Go will also be among the honorees at the Future of Music Honors on Monday October 27. The evening will feature an amazing lineup of musical performer and shine a light on leaders and organizations that inspire us through their creativity, art and activism. We focus on those who, like Ok Go, demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the broader structural concerns that make up a healthy and thriving cultural community for others. We hope you’ll join us.
Watch: Ok Go perform “The Writing’s On The Wall”