Week Two :: July 4–11

Forces Unseen: What Shapes Our Daily Lives

We like to think we have ultimate freedom of choice. Yet every product or experience we can possibly consider has been carefully selected for us by a mostly invisible class of societal gatekeepers and tastemakers. Our choices are not only limited, but also affected by everything from explicit advertisements and an industry of “influencers” to secretive campaigns and algorithms.

  • Who are these shapers of modern life? How do they decide what trends to push?
  • Who are they accountable to, and how can we as individuals recognize and contend with them?
10:45 a.m. Lectures

Morning Lectures

10:45 a.m., Monday-Friday, Amphitheater

Ideas and opinions are exchanged in an open, challenging atmosphere, and Chautauqua's knowledgeable audiences have the opportunity to participate in question-and-answer sessions at the conclusion of the lectures.


  • Tuesday, July 07, 2020 | 10:45am

    David Rohde

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    Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former war correspondent David Rohde returns to Chautauqua to discuss his latest book, In Deep: The FBI, the CIA, and the Truth about America’s “Deep State”.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Wednesday, July 08, 2020 | 10:45am

    Franklin Leonard

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    Franklin Leonard is founder and CEO of the Black List, a well-known force in Hollywood for finding the best unproduced screenplays by writers of color and getting those films made.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Friday, July 10, 2020 | 10:45am

    Derek Thompson

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    In his debut book, Thompson shows how blockbuster success isn’t a matter of chance, but a fascinating intersection of power, network, science, art, and sheer brilliance — making some ideas disappear, and others explode.

    Location: Amphitheater