Esther Dyson

Chairman and Founder, EDventure Holdings

Founder, Health Initiative Coordinating Council (HICCup)

Esther Dyson keynote speech, conference, lecture, speaker

Esther Dyson is chairman and founder of HICCup (Health Initiative Coordinating Council) and chairman of EDventure Holdings.

Esther Dyson is the Internet’s court jester, a person of no institutional importance who somehow manages to speak the truth and to be heard when and where it matters. She does business as EDventure, the reclaimed name of the company she owned for 20-odd years before selling it to CNET Networks in 2004.

Her primary activity is investing in start-ups and guiding many of them as a board member. Her board seats include Boxbe (pending), CVO Group, Eventful, Evernote, IBS Group (Russia, advisory board), Meetup, Midentity (UK), NewspaperDirect, Voxiva, Yandex (Russia)and WPP Group (not a start-up). Some of her other direct IT investments include Flickr and (sold to Yahoo!), BrightMail (sold to Symantec), Orbitz (sold to Cendant), ActiveWeave, BlogAds, ChoiceStream, Dotomi, Linkstorm, Medstory, Ovusoft, Plazes, Powerset, Resilient, Tacit, Technorati, Visible Path, and Zedo.

As a two-time weightless flyer, Esther Dyson is also active in the commercial space/airline start-up world, with investments in Constellation Services, Space Adventures, XCOR Aerospace and Zero-G. She will run the third annual Flight School conference, on the new air-taxi market, this June 20 to 22 in Aspen, CO. On the non-profit side, Dyson sits on the boards of the Eurasia Foundation, the Santa Fe Institute and the Sunlight Foundation.

For more than 20 years Dyson wrote the newsletter Release 1.0 and ran PC Forum, the IT market’s leading executive conference. She sold them to CNET Networks in 2004, and left CNET at the end of 2006. Esther Dyson was the founding chairman of ICANN (policy-setter for the DNS) from 1998-2000, and was also chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the 90s. In 1997, she wrote her (so far) only book, “Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age”, which appeared in paperback a year later as “Release 2.1.” In 1994, she wrote a seminal essay on intellectual property for WIRED magazine. In both her investments and her nonprofit activities, she has always been concerned with the impact of information (technology) on business and society.

Her current investments include Icon Aircraft, Space Adventures, Evernote and Square. She also sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including ExpandED Learning, Long Now Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation and the Personal Genome Foundation.

The Future of High Technology

A Design for Living in the Digital Age

The Role of Intellectual Property


U.S. & Foreign Government Policy on Information Technology

The Future of the Internet

The Future of Health and IT


One of only two women included in Vanity Fair's October "new establishment" roundup of the top 50 information age leaders and best known as writer/editor of the 15-year-old computer insiders' newsletter, Release 1.0, Dyson seems well credentialed to explain the importance, current and future, of net culture to the average citizen. Indeed, she delivers a readable analysis of such issues as the impact of the net on our education system, the ups and downs of privacy in digital environments, and the best strategies for governing amorphous international communities. The problem is that, though written in an engaging style, this is a serious study of many complex issues, and Dyson doesn't always resolve them easily. (Librarians may be disappointed at the short shrift they are given in the chapters on "Intellectual Property" and "Content Control.") Netizens will be fascinated, and those of us professionally affected by the net should read this book, but it will have trouble achieving the international best seller status that some expected.?Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"