Internet, Environment, and Venture Capital

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Date: Monday, April 13

  • Special Guest: Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel (born 1967) is an American entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, and venture capitalist. With Max Levchin, Thiel co-founded PayPal and was its CEO. He currently serves as president of Clarium Capital Management LLC, a global macro hedge fund with more than $6 billion under management, and a managing partner in The Founders Fund, a $275 million under management venture capital fund he launched with Ken Howery and Luke Nosek in 2005. He was an early investor in Facebook, the popular social-networking site, and sits on the company’s Board of Directors. Thiel was ranked #377 on the Forbes 400, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. To read more on Peter see:

  • Topics to be covered

1) Is MONOPOLY is a good thing in most things digital?

2) How will the Internet-driven centralization and decentralization of information continue to impact the balance of power between state and non-state actors, especially multinational corporations, and how does this phenomenon affect your macro-hedge fund's investment philosophy and process?

3) With the proliferation of smart mobile devices like the I-Phone, how will our interactions in an increasingly mobile world become more efficient, more productive, and ultimately how will it change the way we interact with our environment?

4) How is social media and increasing transparency changing personal and corporate accountability, and how will these changes influence corporate responsibility, including environmental responsibility, going forward?

5) Given your role as the managing partner at the Founders Fund, where do you see the greatest innovation taking place in the Internet-space among start-ups?

6) Do you buy into the Black Swan phenomenon and, if so, how do you think about the Black Swan phenomenon as it relates to the Internet, the environment, and investing?

  • Readings

David and Andrew will meet with Peter Thiel in late February to compile a suitable list of readings.

  • Session owners: Andrew Klaber and David Levine