Dartmouth Events

“Hacking Trust," M. Todd Henderson, Professor of Law, University of Chicago

The Thurlow M. Gordon 1906 Lecture: “Hacking Trust: How the Social Technology of Cooperation Will Revolutionize Government”

Thursday, January 11, 2018
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Room 003, Rockefeller Center
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Trust is what makes us human and fabulously wealthy compared with our ancestors. The crucial question is: Which entity or institution can most cost-effectively create sufficient trust to enable cooperation among humans? Those who claim the growth of government over the past hundred years was wrong miss the point, just as those who call for it, and only it, to do more. In this lecture, based on a forthcoming book, the concept of a market for trust will be explored, using modern examples, like Uber, to trace humanity’s development of trust-creating institutions back to our cave-dwelling ancestors.

  • The U.S. government, eBay, Uber, McDonalds, Finra, and the Teamsters are all in the same business – the trust business.
  • The history of humanity has been about developing social technologies, such as law, language, advertising, and, now, Internet-based ratings systems, that enable more cooperation at lower costs.
  • The future of government is going to be disrupted by the advent of more efficient trust-creating technologies, and the potential benefit to humanity will be profound.


Speaker Bio:

M. Todd Henderson is the Michael J. Marks Professor of Law and Mark Claster Mamolen Research Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School. Professor Henderson’s research interests include corporations, securities regulation, and law and economics. He has taught classes ranging from Banking Regulation to American Indian Law. Professor Henderson received an engineering degree cum laude from Princeton University in 1993. He worked for several years designing and building dams in California before matriculating at the Law School. While at the Law School, Todd was an editor of the Law Review and captained the Law School's all-University champion intramural football team. He graduated from Chicago with high honors. Todd served as clerk to the Hon. Dennis Jacobs of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He then practiced appellate litigation at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, DC, and was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company in Boston.

For more information, contact:
Joanne Needham

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.