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Harper Reed: Technologist, Futurist, and Hacker

Sep 20, 12:30pm to 1:45pm

Tellabs @ Kaplan Institute
3137 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616

12:30pm Registration
12:45pm – 1:10pm Presentation
1:10pm – 1:30pm Fireside Chat with Howard Tullman
1:30pm to 1:45pm Q&A

  • Free for all IIT affiliated students/faculty/staff
  • $5 for non-IIT affiliated students
  • $10 for general public outside of IIT

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Harper Reed is an inspired technologist who predicts and creates the future for a living. He builds big things, hacks almost everything else, juggles occasionally, and loves to tell his story. As CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign, he brought smart tech and politics together and changed the game forever. He’s a great team builder who combines people with diverse talents into transformative organizations. He believes you can have lots of fun while you’re making a real difference. And he believes that preparation helps you make your own luck and your dreams come true.


Harper Reed is a technologist that predicts the future for a living. He spends his life traveling around the world showing people the possibilities of tech and sharing his experiences to propel the greater good, all while raising the level of fun in the room.

Harper knows his incredible luck has led him to achieve many wonderful things. At PayPal, his roles as Head of Commerce and as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence allowed him to guide teams into the thrilling future of e-commerce. The technology he developed as co-founder at startup Modest Inc. had initially garnered the attention of PayPal, which led them to acquire Modest only a few years after launch.

Harper also believes the talent of a great bunch of humans can transform an organization like nothing else and he uses that belief to strengthen, deploy, and inspire every team he works with. Previously, Harper was CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign, where he was the first to bring the mentality and connective capabilities of tech to the political stage. He was also the CTO of, where he pioneered crowdsourcing and grew the company from a 12 person startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise. Harper is an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, sits on the advisory boards for IIT Computer Science and the Royal United Service Institute, and is on the Cornell College Board of Trustees.