Richard Thieme (www.thiemeworks.com) is an author and professional speaker focused on the deeper implications of technology, religion, and science for twenty-first century life. He speaks professionally about the challenges posed by new technologies and the future, how to redesign ourselves to meet these challenges, and creativity in response to radical change. His speaking generally addresses “the human in the machine,” technology-related security and intelligence issues as they come home to humanity.
Thieme’s early and creative use of the Internet to reach global markets earned accolades around the world. He is a member of the “cyber avant-garde,” according to CNN … “a prominent American techno-philosopher” according to LAN Magazine (Australia) … “a father figure for online culture,” according to the (London) Sunday Telegraph … “a keen observer of hacker attitudes and behaviors” according to Le Monde (Paris) … “one of the most creative minds of the digital generation” according to the editors of CTHEORY and Digital Delirium … “an online pundit of hacker culture” according to the L A Times … and “extremely subtle and deep” according to the Linux Journal.
Thieme has published widely. Translated into German, Chinese, Japanese, Slovene, Dutch, Hebrew, Danish and Indonesian, his articles are taught at universities in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the United States. His work has been frequently anthologized. His column, “Islands in the Clickstream,” was published in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Toronto, Djakarta, Dublin and Capetown and distributed to thousands of subscribers in 60 countries. Syngress, a division of Elsevier, published a collection in 2004.
Thieme’s passion for integrating technology and spirituality began in the eighties when he wrote “Computer Applications for Spirituality: The Transformation of Religious Experience,” an essay published by the Anglican Theological Review. He joined Bill Moyers and noted religious scholars in New York to explore religion and technology in the twenty-first century; a book based on that conference includes his 10,000- word essay “Entering Sacred Digital Space.” He spoke for the ARIL conference at MIT on spirituality and technology and has guest lectured at churches, synagogues, and interfaith gatherings.
Thieme spoke for the twenty-first year for the Black Hat Briefings (intelligence and corporate security) and Def Con (Def Con 4 – Def Con 24), an annual computer hackers’ convention. as well as Black Hat Windows – Seattle, Black Hat Amsterdam, and for BH at GITEX in Dubai (he keynoted the first 2 Black Hats). He provided three keynotes for the CSO Perspectives Road Show in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney Australia in September 2014. He keynoted O’Reilly Security NY in 2016. He engaged in a “fireside chat” with Dan Geer, CISO of CIA’s In-Q-Tel, as a keynote for SOURCE Boston 2013. He keynoted SOURCE Boston and SOURCE Seattle in 2016 and will keynote SOURCE Dublin in 2017. He keynoted Thotcon – Chicago in 2014. He has spoken for security conferences such as Troopers (Heidelberg Germany), Toor Con, PumpCon, Interz0ne West, SecurityOPUS, Xmas Con (New Orleans 2600), RubiCon, HiverCon (Dublin), ShmooCon, NotaCon and RootFest. He keynoted Hacker Halted in Miami in 2012. He keynoted AUSCERT in Brisbane, Australia in 2005 2006 and 2007. He was invited to keynote again in 2011 and invited to do talks for local AUSCERT events in Perth and Brisbane in 2014. He keynoted govcert in The Hague in 2006 and in Rotterdam in 2009 and 2010. He keynoted Wireless Australia and the ID Management Summit in Sydney. He keynoted Microsoft Tech Ed in consecutive years in Eilat, Israel, and shared the keynote platform at MIS InfoSecWorld with Bob Woodward and NBC’s Roger Cressey. In 2007 he keynoted conferences in Auckland and Wellington NZ and was invited to return to keynote a corporate/government security conference in Wellington. He keynoted IT Defense in Berlin in 2009 and ReCon, a conference on reverse engineering, in Montreal Quebec in 2010. In May 2011 he spoke for the regional Infragard/ISSA Chicago quarterly meeting and keynoted the ITWeb Security Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa and Hack in the Box in Amsterdam. He provided a closing keynote for eComm in San Francisco (“a TED talks for communications”) in 2011. He keynoted Hack in the Box – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2011, 2013, and 2014. He keynoted conferences in spring 2015 on metadata for the University of Texas – San Antonio and for Infosec Southwest in Austin Texas. He keynoted CONFidence in Krakow, Poland and Haxpo in Amsterdam in May 2015. In 2015 he keynoted CornCon1 in Davenport Iowa and Corn Con 2 in 2016. Also in 2015 he spoke at BruCon in Ghent, Belgium and keynoted Code Blue in Tokyo Japan. In 2016 he spoke at Bodyhacking 2016 in Austin, keynoted misc.con in Minneapolis, and was slated to speak at COSAC/SABSA in Ireland.) He has also been invited to speak in Oslo, Warsaw, Bucharest, Sao Paulo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Beijing, Bangalore and New Delhi.
In Canada, in addition to keynoting ReCon (Montreal), he keynoted the Privacy and Information Security Congress 2011 (Ottawa), the 13th Annual Privacy & Security Conference 2011 in Victoria B.C. and lectured on “Designing the Future” at the University of Calgary in 2013 as an invited speaker in their “Design Matters” Lecture Series. He keynoted the 17th Annual Privacy and Security Conference in Victoria BC in 2016 and moderated a panel on biohacking. He will speak at CFI-CIRT in Toronto in June 2017.
He spoke in London in August 2012 for “The Real Truth: A World’s Fair,” hosted by the Raven Row Gallery and curated by Suzznne Treister of Hexen fame, closing an edgy project about surveillance, national security, and the future and how we view these new views of ourselves. He also keynoted a conference on “Untimely Stories” at the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz Poland on how European artists might reimagine “Europe” as prior conceptualizations disintegrate.
At DefCon VIII, he moderated a panel that included the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Dir. of Information and Infrastructure Assurance for DOD, and the Dir. of the Federal Computer Incident Response Team who came to “dialogue” with more than 5000 computer hackers. He was invited to moderate because, according to a National Security Agency veteran, “You’re the only one in the room with the acceptance and respect of both the hacking community and the Feds.”
About a decade ago, a friend at the National Security Agency suggested that he could address the issues they discussed in a context of “ethical considerations for intelligence and security professionals” only if he wrote fiction. “It’s the only way you can tell the truth,” he was told. Three dozen published short stories and one novel-in-progress later, the result is “Mind Games,” published in 2010 by Duncan Long Publishing. “Mind Games” illuminates four kinds of “non-consensual realities:” the world of hackers; the worlds of intelligence professionals; encounters with other intelligent life forms; and illuminations of deeper states of consciousness. In addition, his topic for Def Con 22 (August 2014), The Only Way to Tell the Truth is in Fiction: The Dynamics of Life in the National Security State has been watched several thousand times.
Clients include: National Security Agency; the Pentagon; the FBI (internal presentation + 3 Infragard conferences); the US Secret Service; Los Alamos National Laboratory; US Department of the Treasury; GE Medical Systems; Medtronic; Microsoft; Johnson Controls; Thunderbird School of Global Management; IT Defense (Berlin); Ajilon; OmniTech; Strong Capital Management; Neohapsis; Network Flight Recorder; Merge eFilm; System Planning Corporation (SPC); International Intelligence Ethics Association; Cypress Systems; Ross Systems; Institute for Applied Network Security (IANS); Information Systems Security Assn. (ISSA); Assn. for Investment Management and Research (AIMR); Alliant Energy; Wisconsin Electric; UOP; Firstar Bank; Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC); Psynapse/Center for the Advancement of Intelligent Systems; MAPICS; MIS Training Institute WebSec, HealthSec, and InfoSec Conferences; Influent Technology Group; Case Management Society of America); The CMA Group; Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.; Advanced Health Care; Navy Federal Credit Union; Arthur Andersen; Credit Union Executives Society; Graduate School of Banking; Allstate Insurance; American Council of Life Insurance; Conference of State Legislatures; Society for Technical Communication; the Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin; the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development;
numerous colleges and universities, including the U of Wisconsin (Madison, Eau Claire, Milwaukee, Parkside, Washington County and Stout campuses) and the University of Wisconsin – Waukesha Distinguished Lecture Series; University Research Park; Marquette University; Loyola University – Chicago, University of Chicago – Ryerson Astronomical Society; University of Calgary; Alverno College; Cardinal Stritch University; Wisconsin Medical College; Illinois Institute of Technology; Purdue University – CERIAS; the Technology, Literacy and Culture Distinguished Speakers Series of the University of Texas; and as the Nathan B. Stubblefield Distinguished Lecturer in Telecommunications Systems Management at Murray State University. He keynoted a conference on meta-data for the University of Texas – San Antonio in March 2015.
A Richard Thieme Reader – a 5-volume e-book anthology of fiction and non-fiction on Kindle, spring 2016
FOAM – a novel (Exurban Press: September 2015)
Mind Games, A Collection of Nineteen Stories of Brave New Worlds and Alternate Realities Duncan Long Publications, April 2010
Richard Thieme’s Islands in the Clickstream, a collection of non-fiction, Syngress Publishing (a division of Elsevier), July 2004.
UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry (Anomalist Books: San Antonio, TX: 2012) by Michael Swords and Robert Powell, with Richard Thieme, Clas Svahn, Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos, Bill Chalker, Barry Greenwood, Jan Aldrich, and Steve Purcell – a team effort by a collection of veteran UFO historians and researchers who spent four plus years researching, consulting, writing, and editing to develop a work of historical scholarship on government response to the UFO phenomenon from WWII to the present. Recommended by CHOICE for inclusion in all academic libraries, currently in 50+ university and many public libraries..
“Silent Emergent, Doubly Dark” in Subtle Edens (editor Allen Ashley, Elastic Press: Norwich UK: 2008)
“I Remember Mama” in New Writing, Volume One: An Anthology of Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Drama From Press Americana (2013)
“Entering Sacred Digital Space” published in New Paradigms for Bible Study: The Bible in the Third Millennium from T. & T. Clark, Ltd., June 2004.
“Identity/Destiny” published in Prophecy Anthology, Volume 1” a full-color book featuring sequential art by artists such as Shannon Wheeler, Scott McCloud, Sho Murase, Yuko Shimizu, Nathan Fox and Bernie Mireault by Sequent Media (2004).
“The Changing Context of Intelligence and Ethics: Enabling Technologies as Transformational Engines” in Defense Intelligence Journal (accepted). Published in an adapted version in the proceedings of the New Paradigms for Security Workshop (NPSW 2008) and at the Ethical Spectacle (January 2009 – www.spectacle.org/ as “Changing Contexts of Security and Ethics: You Can’t Have One Without the Other.”
Short stories in Analog Science Fiction, Ascent, The Puckerbrush Review, Timber Creek Review, Porcupine, Zahir, The Future Fire, The Ranfurly Review, Bewildering Stories, anotherealm, Pacific Coast Journal, The Potomac Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Karamu, Combat, Heartlands, The Circle Magazine, The Listening Ear, Words on Walls, Nth Degree, Down in the Dirt, EWG, Phrack, Cantaraville (Eight), Chaos Theory: Tales Askew, Wanderings Magazine, BigCityLit …
articles in: Forbes, Salon, Information Security, Review Americana, The Gardian (Infragard), Secure Business Quarterly, Cyber Defense Magazine, LAN Magazine, Village Voice, LA Weekly, South Africa Computer Magazine, Wired, Counter Punch, The Pedestal Magazine, Common Dreams, alternet, Internet Underground, National Catholic Reporter, Anglican Theological Review, Asia Times Online, .net, Internet Today, Pravda, rebelion, ATTAC Madrid, Computing Japan, Business Times of Singapore, Convergence (Toronto), Computer Underground Digest, CTHEORY, DoubleClick, Ethical Spectacle, Small Business Times, Computer Mediated Communication, Skeptica (Denmark), Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Informatiebeveiliging (Netherlands). Now Magazine (Toronto), Future Briefs, Access Control & Security Systems, The Bangladesh Report, Phrack, The Witness, Interesting Times …
articles anthologized in Digital Delirium, Cyber Reader II, Cyberculture (UK).
fiction anthologized in CyberTales: Live Wire; Chaos Theory; Distinguished Writing: A Master‘s Journal; Whortleberry Summer; Autumn Glory; and Subtle Eden (November 2008, London, Elastic Press). Non-fiction anthologized in New Writing, Volume One: An Anthology of Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Drama From Press Americana
the short stories Gibby the Sit-down King, published in the Timber Creek Review, and The Man Who Hadn’t Disappeared, published in Karamu, were nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
New truths emerge on the edges of our thinking, the Oort Belt of scientific paradigms. As Richard Feynman said, the critical fact that is both a fact and an anomaly can become the cornerstone of a new way thinking about things. But we have to walk a blade as well, staying imaginative but also reasonably sane in what we entertain and explore.
All new ideas sound crazy at first, suggested Robert Galvin of Motorola, and they come from a lone voice. But over time, we all agree that we always thought so from the beginning.
Richard Thieme has spent years on the edges, watching “unthinkable thoughts” move quickly to become the cores of new paradigms. The edge is becoming the center at a faster and faster rate and only collaborative efforts with serious accountability built in can ensure real breakthroughs. This talk provides a framework for doing just that.