Dean Wilson Speaks at UCLA-Hosted Digital Cities Conference

Thursday, April 24, and Friday, April 25, 2014, UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs hosted a conference titled “Who Owns the Digital City?” The conference heralded the onset of a larger focus at the School on emerging public policy issues in an increasingly digitally interconnected world.

The conference kicked off Thursday night with a keynote address by Jaron Lanier, who was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” for his work as a pioneering technologist and futurist. Credited with coining the term “virtual reality,” Lanier founded VPL Research, the first company offering products in that space, in the 1980s. Lanier went on to become the chief scientist of Advanced Network and Services and also served as the lead scientist of the National Tele-immersion Initiative.

The second day of the conference included three main panels aimed at discussing the effects of the digital revolution. Speakers included academics and professionals in the information sciences, allowing participants to hear a wide range of perspectives on the digital revolution and its effects on urban and global issues. Dr. Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, was one of those speakers. Peter Marx, Chief Innovation Technology Officer for the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles described Dean Wilson’s discussion of digital connectivity and economic disparity as “fascinating.” That sentiment apparently was shared by others in attendance as several tweets about the event included Wilson’s statement, “The cost of not being on net goes up exponentially [for] the excluded.”


Dr. Ernest J. Wilson III Leads Commission in Producing a New Report on Engendering US-China Rapport: Building U.S.-China Trust: Through Next Generation People, Platforms & Programs

Dr. Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, is one of two selected to lead a commission of leading scholars, former officials and businesspeople who are prominent on the landscape of U.S.-China relations. The commission was convened to research and report on ways to improve the relationship between the two countries. As noted in a release from the USC US-China Institute, American and Chinese economies and societies are more closely connected today than they ever have been, yet headlines and polls conducted among the populations of the two countries indicate low levels of respect and high levels of distrust toward one another. Building U.S.-China Trust: Through Next Generation People, Platforms & Programs is a joint report by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Peking University School of International Studies commissioned to address these issues. Dean Wang Jisi of the Peking University serves as lead for the commission along with Dean Wilson.

The report was presented at USC’s Davidson Conference Center Tuesday, April 22, 2014 and at The Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 24, 2014. Dean Wilson was a featured speaker at both events.

In addition to being dean of the USC Annenberg School and holding the Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication, Dr. Wilson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also serves as a board member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Committee. Wilson was a member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 2000 to 2010, and chaired it in his last year, from 2009-2010. Focusing on the intersection between communication and public policy, Wilson has consulted for the World Bank and United Nations. Wilson also served on the White House National Security Council and as policy and planning director at the U.S. Information Agency. He has published widely on topics including governing global electronic networks and the politics of internet diffusion, and he advised on President Barack Obama’s transition team on matters of communication technology and public diplomacy.

Along with these accomplishments, Dr. Wilson has spoken widely on public diplomacy, communication and innovation issues, including presentations to the prestigious Boao Forum, the State Council, the Peoples Political Consultative Commission, and leading universities in China, and been published in outlets including China Quarterly and the Harvard Journal of International Affairs. He was a member of the Secretary of Commerce’s trade commission to China in 1994, and this year Dr. Wilson attended the China Development Forum in Beijing.


Cracking the “Glass” Ceiling

Dr. Ernest J. Wilson III, dean of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, helps to set the stage for Annenberg’s new journalism class utilizing Google Glass. The move advances the School’s agenda of providing more hands-on skills for its students to make them more marketable in the real world and positions the USC Annenberg School to lead the way in operationalizing this new technology for the journalism industry.

Page School Memories: 1963-1966

Dean Wilson reflects on his days of becoming a Capitol Page. “Growing up in Washington, D.C., made me an atypical student at the Capitol Page School…” Read more… Page School Memories article_The Capitol Courier_12-2013

The Third Space

Executives and thought-leaders from the media, communication and entertainment (MCE) fields seek people who are capable of recognizing new patterns, communicating across multiple boundaries, and effectively using various platforms to reach diverse audiences. This new set of 21st century communications competencies has been dubbed the “Third Space.” Read more… Dean’s column_The Third Space_Talent-21

USC Annenberg Dean to Serve as Fellow of National Academy of Public Administration

Ernest J. Wilson III, Dean of USC Annenberg and Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication, has been selected as a fellow-elect of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), an independent, non-partisan organization that works in a consultative capacity with federal officials. “I am deeply honored,” said Dean Wilson, “for the opportunity to…”

Dean Wilson talks L.A. economy, Internet security and foreign affairs

USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III has had an influence on a range of topics in recent weeks, including the potential of Los Angeles’ economy, Internet security and foreign affairs within the tech industry. Read More »

TIME Magazine quotes Ernest Wilson on L.A. Economy

“L.A. needs to diversify its economy by attracting more investment from sectors such as high tech… If we don’t, there’s a dystopian story. Unemployment will increase. Infrastructure will continue to deteriorate.”

High Tech Sector Pushing US Public Diplomacy Forward

Tech companies may have been listening a year ago when Wilson urged the tech sector to leverage its power to influence the national agenda on topics such as education, immigration, and foreign economic policy to strengthen U.S. smart power.  See Naomi Light’s USC Annenberg’s Center on Public Diplomacy blog.

Council on Foreign Relations publishes report: “Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet”

Ernest Wilson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Task Force, consisting of experts representing a variety of sectors, including high-tech industry, China studies, and leaders on cyber issues. The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force published their report this June. The report warns that “escalating attacks on countries, companies, and individuals… threaten the security and safety of the Internet.”