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Biography

Photo Credit: Karen Smul

Photo Credit: Karen Smul

“I write about the crucial intangibles of life – home, attention, uncertainty – that we often overlook in a technological age, and I search for ways to counterbalance the restlessness, speed, complexity and machine-centric nature of our times with calm, reverence, lucidity and humanity. I am not a Luddite, nor am I entranced by technology. I consider myself a user with eyes wide open, and someone who is constantly asking: what kind of humans do we want to be, today and in future?”

Maggie Jackson is an award-winning author and journalist known for her penetrating writings on social trends, particularly technology’s impact on humanity.

Her acclaimed book Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention sparked a global conversation on the steep costs to our tech-centric, attention-deficient modern lives. With a foreword by Bill McKibben, the book reveals the scientific discoveries that can help rekindle our powers of focus in a world of overload and fragmentation. Hailed as “influential” by the New Yorker and compared by Fast Company.com to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Distracted offers a “richly detailed and passionately argued … account of the travails facing an ADD society” (Publishers Weekly) and “concentrates the mind on a real problem of modern life” (The Wall Street Journal). The book is “now more essential than ever,” says Pulitzer finalist Nicholas Carr.

Maggie Jackson’s essays, commentary, and books have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New Philosopher, on National Public Radio, and in media worldwide. Her essays appear in numerous anthologies, including State of the American Mind: Sixteen Leading Critics on the New Anti-Intellectualism (Templeton, 2015) and The Digital Divide: Arguments For and Against Facebook, Google, Texting and the Age of Social Networking  (Penguin, 2011). Her book, What’s Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age, was the first to explore the fate of home in the digital age, a time when private life is permeable and portable.

Jackson is the recipient of numerous grants, awards, and fellowships, including a 2016 Bard Graduate Center Visiting Fellowship; Media Awards from the Work-Life Council of the Conference Board, the Massachusetts Psychological Association, and the Women’s Press Club of New York. For a National Public Radio segment on the lack of labor protections offered to child newspaper carriers, she was a finalist for a Hillman Prize, one of journalism’s highest honors for social justice reporting. Jackson has served as an affiliate of the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto; a Journalism Fellow in Child and Family Policy at the University of Maryland; and a Scholar-in-Residence at the Museum for Art in Wood in Philadelphia. Her website has been named a Forbes Top 100 Site for Women three times.

Jackson’s is a sought-after speaker, appearing at Harvard Business School, the New York Public Library, the annual invitation-only Forbes CMO summit, the Simmons and other top women’s leadership conferences, and other corporations, libraries, hospitals, schools, religious organizations, and bookstores. A graduate of Yale University and the London School of Economics with highest honors, Jackson lives with her family in New York and Rhode Island.