I founded and am Research Lead of the Microsoft Research Special Project the Plural Technology Collaboratory, founded and serve as Board Chair of the Plurality Institute, and founded and serve on the board of the RadicalxChange Foundation. I am also Senior Advisor to the GETTING-Plurality Research Network at the Harvard Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics. In the past I led Web3 technical strategy at Microsoft’s Office of the Chief Technology Officers, served as Co-Chair and Technical Lead of the Harvard Edmond & Lily Safra Center Rapid Response Task Force on Covid-19 and taught economics at University of Chicago, Princeton and Yale.
In 2018, I wrote a book with Eric Posner, Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society, and I am currently working on a book with Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Plurality: Technology for Cooperative Diversity and Democracy, which we are writing as an open, git-based collaboration. I have published a range of papers in a variety of venues across academic fields (e.g. the American Economic Review, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Harvard Law Review), mainstream media (e.g. the New York Times, WIRED and Harvard Business Review) and self-published white papers such as Decentralized Society: Finding Web’s Soul with Vitalik Buterin and Puja Ohlhaver (which became the 25th most downloaded paper of all time on the Social Science Research Network within its first year after publication).
I graduated as Valedictorian of my 2007 Princeton class and received my PhD in economics also there in 2008. I then spent three years as a Junior Fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows before beginning an Assistant Professorship at the University of Chicago and moving to Microsoft Research. I have been recognized as a leader in technology by WIRED, in business by Bloomberg Businessweek and in the Web3 space by CoinDesk.
I was born in the Bay Area into a family of secular Ashkenazi Jewish technology entrepreneurs and executives. My mother, Lorraine Hariton, is now CEO of Catalyst and my father, Stephen Weyl, had a long career in the technology industry. I grew up in the Bay and the New York City area with my sister, Laura Frances Weyl, now Kimmel (after her husband Richard Kimmel, proprietor of The Box) and an artist. My paternal grandfather K. Peter Weyl, a founder of physical oceanography, fled Nazi persecution and I am thus a restored German citizen, as well as an American citizen.
During my freshman year at college, I met the love of my life, Alisha Caroline Holland, who went on to become one of the leading political scientists of Latin America of her generation. After almost 7 years together, we married in the summer of 2010 and, almost nine years after that, Alisha gave birth to our daughter, Alma Margret Weyl. Her first name was chosen to work in four languages (English, Spanish, German and Hebrew), as well as in honor of composer Alma Mahler and journalist Alma Guillermoprieto. Her middle name is an Anglicization of the Dutch name Margarethe, after one of my favorite political leaders, European Union Vice-President Margarethe Vestager. Two and a half years later, she got a sister, Talia Audrey Weyl, whose middle name comes from my hero and co-author, Audrey Tang.
We have mostly lived in Boston and the New York City area together, but have also spent months in many Latin American countries (Colombia, Perú, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, and México). Toulouse (France) and Israel (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) and a year in the Seattle area. Today we live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
I grew up in a secular Jewish family, whose attitude towards organized Judaism ranged from mild affection to hostility. The combination of spiritual void and deep skepticism of narrow religious community drew me towards the Unitarian University church (a syncretic, inclusive and broad one, which I regularly attended until early adulthood.
As I grew older, however, I came to see that my deep skepticism of organized Judaism and universalist rationalist outlook was extremely common among my social class of overeducated Jews from secular families. As such, I realized my attitudes were paradoxically more expressions, rather than rejections, of my cultural inheritance. This led me backwards towards Judaism, first as a topic of academic analysis in relation to economics, then as an impetus to a strong though often deeply critical connection to the State of Israel and finally to raising our daughter in Lab/Shui, a God-optional, everybody-friendly, artist-driven experimental pop-up Jewish community, under the leadership of Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie. I am today a proud Jew, who wears a Star of David around his neck and encloses his Twitter handle in triple parentheses.
Work and family leave little time for hobbies, but I have a few. I love to cook, especially Israeli food (predictably from my favorite chef Yotam Ottolenghi). I try to exercise every day, often just in standard group high intensity interval training, but when I can i prefer to paddleboard, rollerblade, climb stairs or occasionally run. I listen to The Economist and books on Audible as I am a slow reader. I enjoy Marvel Comics, science fiction and especially Star Trek film and television (though I used to be a bit more of a film snob, and still enjoy a wide range of cinema) and historico-strategic games like Axis and Allies and Sid Meier’s Civilization.