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MIT Technology Review

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Editorial director of events

Do you have the mind of a journalist and the soul of an impresario? Are you fascinated by technology, its impact on society, and its implications for business? Do you thrive on a stage or a screen? Are you patient but determined, as comfortable coaxing an MIT professor to explain quantum computing in simple terms as challenging a Silicon Valley executive to account for how her company treats Black employees? Do you love the puzzle of bringing a complex set of issues to life in front of hundreds or thousands of people? Do you want to be one of the most prominent public faces of one of the world’s most important technology publications? If so, we might have a job for you.

About us

MIT Technology Review is a world-renowned name in technology news. We cover tech at the cutting edge, where it’s just emerging into the world. Our mission: to make technology more of a force for good through authoritative, influential, and trusted coverage that leads to better decision-making by those who build, use, and regulate technology. We are “of MIT but not about MIT”; we benefit from our ties to one of the world’s top research institutions, but we cover technology in general and enjoy strict editorial independence. And unlike many publications these days, we’re expanding. In 2020 we launched new podcasts, new conferences, new beats, and new investigative reporting projects, and we have ambitious plans for 2021 as well.

About the job

Our events are MIT Technology Review’s journalism brought to life. These aren’t academic conferences: they’re deep, detailed, but accessible insights into how technology is changing the world. Recent speakers include the CEOs of Slack, Zoom, Verizon, and Salesforce, the CTOs of Twitter and Facebook, the president of Microsoft, the head of Alphabet’s “moonshots factory,” the chief of cybersecurity at the National Security Agency, the acting chief technology officer of the United States, the chief scientists and heads of research at many of the world’s biggest companies, the top academic researchers in fields like AI, biotech, and computing, and founders of some of the most innovative startups… not to mention human-rights activists, politicians, and community leaders who work on pressing questions of technology’s impact on society, the economy, and business.

Our dedicated events team produces these in close collaboration with our journalists and editors. In the coming year we plan to grow them in both quantity and scale, and explore new ways of doing virtual and—when it’s safe to gather again—physical and hybrid experiences. As the slate has grown, we need a dedicated editorial lead. That’s where you come in.

This will be one of the top jobs on our team. Reporting directly to the editor-in-chief and often standing in for him, you’ll be a pivotal figure in the conception, creation, and presentation of each event and in the shaping of our overall events strategy. While the events team does much of the programming and logistics and other editors provide expertise and contacts, you’ll be the one with an eye on the big picture. You’ll help craft the story, shape the structure, and make sure each event is the very best it can be: inspiring, challenging, timely, relevant, showcasing the most interesting and diverse possible set of speakers and the best of our journalistic expertise in the most engaging ways. You’ll also do a lot of the public-facing work, acting as the emcee or co-host and moderating some of the sessions.

There’ll also be opportunities for you to write, participate on our podcasts, and represent MIT Technology Review at other events, including those held by our affiliates in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

About you

Perhaps you’ve spent your career as a TV or radio journalist; perhaps you’re a print or online journalist who’s also done a lot of conference moderating; or perhaps you’ve worked more as a consultant or analyst, seeing businesses in various sectors from up close. Having some technology background helps, but don’t let it deter you from applying if your main expertise lies elsewhere. What matters most is that you’re comfortable on stage and screen, and that you can think on your feet, ask good questions, make people explain themselves clearly, spot the connections and contradictions, and articulate them well.

Some of the things you’ll regularly need to be able to do:

  • look at a proposed conference agenda, see the broader story it’s trying to tell, and notice what’s missing, out of place, or out of balance
  • quickly get up to speed on a new topic and identify the main issues and fault lines
  • listen to someone speak, think back to what they said five minutes ago, think back to what someone else said two hours ago, and tie it all together with your next comment
  • cast your mind back over a day full of talks and capture the most important takeaways in few pithy remarks
  • pay attention to what someone is saying while simultaneously noticing what they’re not saying, and call them on it
  • have the confidence to interrupt and challenge an interviewee on stage, as well as the empathy and patience to collaborate with a large team behind the scenes

And though none of these is a requirement, we’d be extra pleased to hear from you if you

  • have a good contacts book in the worlds of business and/or government
  • are an established writer on technology and business
  • have experience working in TV
  • have impeccable taste in Zoom backgrounds
  • can juggle three champagne bottles while explaining quantum superposition to a live audience

(OK, we made that last one up.)

We’ve been making concerted efforts to make our newsroom more diverse and inclusive (ask us about them!) and we’re always trying to do better. We think technology coverage benefits from a critical outsider’s perspective, and so we especially welcome applications from women, people of color, and other groups underrepresented in the world of tech.

If this sounds exciting but you’re not sure you fit the bill, reach out anyway: email editorialjobs@technologyreview.com with “events” in the subject line, a few words about yourself (what skills would you bring that we just haven’t thought of?) and a couple of questions to get a sense of whether this might be for you. At worst we’ll say no, and we promise to say it with kindness.

What we’ll give you

We pay a wage that’s commensurate with your experience and competitive with other national magazines and digital publications; MIT takes pay equity very seriously. In addition, you get MIT employee benefits, which are some of the best in the US and include tuition discounts if you want to take MIT courses on the side.

You can be based remotely anywhere in US time zones, as long as you’re willing to travel for live events (when those become a thing again). If you don’t live in the Boston area you’ll miss out on the summer barbecue, the office Christmas party, the Hallowe’en movie week, and the editor-in-chief’s Friday cocktail hours—but for now we’re holding them all via Zoom anyway.

How to apply

When applying, please include in your cover letter or resume some links to video/audio of previous TV, radio, podcast, and/or conference appearances you've made.