ReadWriteWeb is pleased to be hosting a live-stream for tonight’s Ai Weiwei event at the Paley Center in New York City. You can watch it live on our site, where we will be discussing social media and digital activism. Ai Weiwei will be joined by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, our own Richard MacManus, and moderator Emily Parker. Make sure to tune in tonight at 6:30 pm Eastern.

Special thanks to Conjunctured Coworking in Austin for hosting the RWW team during the event. To take part in the conversation on Twitter use the hashtag #aiweiwei.

Ai Weiwei and Digital Activism in China

ReadWriteWeb has been actively covering events in China this year, in particular Google’s struggle to effect change regarding censorship in China. So I’m personally thrilled to join the conversation with these three smart and influential people: Ai Weiwei, Jack Dorsey and Orville Schell.

Ai Weiwei is undoubtedly the star attraction. He is China’s leading digital activist and a pioneer in the use of blogging and Twitter in China. He’s also a renown international artist and architect. In the early 2000s, he collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron on the famous “Bird’s Nest” design of the National Stadium for the Beijing Olympics. Ai Weiwei later renounced that design as a “pretend smile” from the Chinese government.

Details About the Participants

This information comes from the Paley Center website:

Ai Weiwei is a conceptual artist, curator, architect, social commentator, and activist. He was born in 1957 into the domestic political exile of his father, the noted modernist poet Ai Qing. Ai Weiwei’s birthright was simultaneously one of a cultural insider and a political outsider, and he quickly perceived the contradictions of his condition.

Ai Weiwei’s art has been shown in museums and galleries internationally. As a curator, he is known for cutting-edge exhibitions. In the early 2000s, he collaborated with the acclaimed Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron on the winning design for the National Stadium project for the Beijing Olympics, popularly known as the “Bird’s Nest,” which he later renounced as a “pretend smile.”

Ai Weiwei has never sought foreign citizenship and maintains his credibility among a devoted Chinese following as a highly active blogger, with his finger on the pulse of modern China. Unafraid to spotlight injustices, he has documented the arbitrary conviction and swift execution of alleged cop-killer Yang Jia in Shanghai, investigated shoddy school construction in Sichuan, and led a movement to oppose the nationwide installation of Internet filtering software in new computers. He is critical of one-party rule and government corruption, as well as the nationalist tendencies of China’s citizenry, which allow state power to go unchecked. As a result his blogs are shut down, his home studio is under surveillance, and he’s had to have cranial surgery for injuries sustained during a recent altercation with local police in Sichuan.

Jack Dorsey is the creator, cofounder, and chairman of Twitter, Inc. Originally from St. Louis, Jack’s early fascination for mass-transit and how cities function led him to Manhattan and programming real-time messaging systems for couriers, taxis, and emergency vehicles. Throughout this work Jack witnessed thousands of workers in the field constantly updating where they were and what they were doing; Twitter is a constrained simplification designed for general usage and extended by the millions of people who make it their own every day. Jack is dedicated to creating public goods which foster approachability, immediacy, and transparency, and is starting a second company named Square focused on bringing these concepts to commerce.

Richard MacManus is the founder and editor in chief of ReadWriteWeb, one of the most popular and influential technology blogs in the world. New Zealander MacManus founded ReadWriteWeb in 2003 and grew his blog about the evolving Internet into an international team of journalists. ReadWriteWeb is read by millions of thought leaders and consumers, and is syndicated daily by the New York Times.

From the early days of blogging, social networks and YouTube to the future of machine learning, aggregate data analysis and other meta-trends, MacManus is widely recognized as a leader in articulating what’s next in technology and what it means for society at large.