E. (Eric) Glen Weyl uses ideas from political economy to develop social technology for widely-shared prosperity and social cooperation. These ideas have inspired a social movement, RadicalxChange, that convenes activists artists, entrepreneurs and researchers using market mechanisms to create a richer and more equal society. Glen helps catalyze this collaboration as Founder and Chairman of the RadicalxChange Foundation, as he continues his research as Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City. He also teaches a course as a Visiting Research Scholar and Lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs on his recent book with Eric A. Posner, Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society, which summarizes many of these ideas.
Glen was born in San Francisco on May 6, 1985 and raised in the Bay Area, where he was a Democratic and socialist activist, before becoming an Ayn Rand follower and founding a national teenage Republican organization while attending boarding school at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. Much of his life since has been about reconciling these apparently contradictory ideologies. As he worked to do this, he was valedictorian of Princeton University’s 2007 class, receiving an AB in economics, followed by an MA and PhD in 2008. He then spent three years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and three years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago before joining Microsoft. He is a Sloan Research Fellow 2014-2019.
Glen’s work focuses on “political economy”, a philosophically-inclined field of inquiry that gave birth to modern economics, sociology and political science, as a way to build “social technology”, algorithmic designs for social institutions. He has developed these ideas through academic research in a range of fields, for example articles published in the American Economic Review, Science, the Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation, the Harvard Law Review and Politics, Philosophy and Economics. However, his recent organizing has moved him significantly beyond research and he increasingly gives talks to activist groups, consults for governments and political parties, advises start-ups (especially in the blockchain space) and collaborates with artists.
Glen is married to Alisha C. Holland, a political scientist studying urban Latin America at Princeton’s Politics department. WIRED recently profiled him as one of 25 leaders shaping the next 25 years of technology.