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Josh Klein

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Professional Hacker

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About Josh

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Hacking is often associated with something negative. Keynote speaker Joshua Klein successfully emphasizes the positive definition and outcomes of hacking. By taking apart and redesigning systems, hardware, instutions, etc he shows how hacking can be used to re-use or redesign a system to create new and surperior results and opportunities. Hacking can actually help your organization.

“Josh Klein is the quintessential hacker – a cross-disciplinary, pattern recognizing polymath who takes his greatest joy from combining the unexpected and seeing the result work in new and better ways.”

Josh Klein can be classified as a passionate hacker of all things. He examines systems, then he takes them apart, and finally he puts different pieces together to produce something new and more effective. He hacks everything. His list includes social systems, consumer hardware, computer networks, institutions, animal behavior, and many more. Klein has learnt that the greatest innovations come from rethinking ordinary situations or hacking- a do-it-yourself movement with roots inside the engineering community.

Understanding the definition of a hacker is important. A hacker is someone who is willing to take a system apart to create new opportunities. A “hack” in the traditional engineering sense is a clever re-use of technology or systems to achieve a superior result. It is increasingly becoming the most common means of innovation available to any organization or individual. Join Joshua Klein as he explains how hacking allows success everywhere, for anyone – from the tooth fairy to the publishing industry – and how we as hackers can herald global improvements by being exactly who we are.

See keynotes with Josh Klein

    Keynote by Speaker Josh Klein

    Lulz to Larceny: A How To Guide to Self-Defence in a New Media World

    • Anonymous. Black Hat Hackers. Facebook Stalkers. Learn about the very latest in hacking tools and attack methodologies, from a corporate and personal perspective, as well as what to do to defend against them.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Josh Klein

    How Everyone Can Innovate: From the Tooth Fairy to Television

    • Innovation is something anyone can do – it’s what we were born for. Hear several different examples of how thinking outside the box resulted in unprecedented success – and how you can enjoy the same.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Josh Klein

    Meritocratic Marketplaces; The secret side to the megatrends you thought you understood

    • “Transparency,” “Big Data,” “The Cloud”: we’ve all heard the buzzwords, but what do they *mean*? The answer turns out to be both more and less than you’d think. Come discover how common opinion has shortsighted the impact and opportunity of the biggest trends we’ve all misunderstood.

     

    Keynote by Speaker Josh Klein

    Hacking Work; How Work is Broken and How We Can Fix It – From the Bottom Up

    • We all know that big bureaucracies are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. Turn one of your biggest costs – frustrated employees – into one of your biggest assets. (Based on my recent book.)

     

    Keynote by Speaker Josh Klein

    Synanthropy; How parasitic species can be coopted to beneficial systems

    • Rats, cockroaches, deer, crows – all of these species are hyperadapted to living with humanity (synanthropes), and yet we persist in trying to eradicate them. It turns out that with a little ingenuity we can make them productive elements of human society, instead. Find out how as we explore synanthropy.
10.13.2014

Interview with Josh Klein

What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?

If it’s my presentation on cybersecurity, I hope it’s that they now realize that with a few manageable steps they can do an enormous amount to protect themselves. If it’s my presentation on innovation, I hope it’s that they realize it’s not only worth it, but is imperative to pursue their passions in order to succeed.

How are your keynotes unique?

Not many people have consulted on IT Security for the US State Department and emerged with their sense of humor intact. Translating deep technology concepts in a way that leaves you able to share them with your Mom sets my talks apart. I try to arm those of us that don’t do deep packet inspection of darknet traffic for fun (that’s an internet thing) with the ability to understand the capabilities and limitations of, and then to act on, new and emerging technologies.

How did you become a hacker?

When I was 11 a friend of mine showed me how to steal a pirated video game from a local university network. Once we’d played for a few hours he deleted the game and told me that if I wanted to finish it I’d have to figure out how to go get it myself. 18 hours later I had the game, but never did play it – it turns out figuring out how to get it was so very much more fun.

What are your thoughts on ‘destructive hackers’?

If by “destructive” you mean “malicious” I don’t much like them – being mean nets short term gains but never adds up to mutually beneficial actions in the long term. If by “destructive” you mean taking things apart to understand how things work so we can make them better, well, that’s what human beings are made for.

Can you give 3 tips for companies who wish to increase innovation and creativity?

  • 1.  Make it comfortable – and an avenue for advancement – for your employees to suggest improvements.
  • 2.   Accept that your business model is 3-5 years from failing due to some unknown outlier, and plan for pivots to accommodate.
  • 3.  Regularly bring in outside thinking. Bureaucracy is the plaque on your company’s sharp teeth, and if you don’t keep it off with regular infusions of insight and challenge you’ll be chewing toothless in no time.

What is the best experience you have had as a keynote speaker?

I gave a talk on my last book, Hacking Work (www.hackingwork.com) in Canada a year or so ago. At the end of the talk one gentleman waited in line to talk with me, and told me rather respectfully that he thought I was full of crap. He thought what I was suggesting was disrespectful to the trust relationship between employer and employee, and pointed out he’d been working for the same company for 26 years.

Two months later he emailed me and explained that a week after my talk – and two weeks before he was due to retire – his company had fired him in order to avoid having to pay his pension. After he’d gotten over the shock, he bought my book and implemented a bunch of the strategies, and eventually got hired at another company doing work he’d always dreamt of doing. Knowing that my work had helped someone not only cope with a betrayal like that but come out thriving made every bit of blood sweat and tears I put into it entirely worthwhile.

See keynotes with Josh Klein
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Keynote topics with Josh Klein