Micah White, PhD is the lifelong activist who co-created Occupy Wall Street, a global social movement that spread to 82 countries, while an editor of Adbusters magazine. He is the co-founder of Activist Graduate School, an online school taught by, and for, experienced activists. Micah is a Roddenberry Fellow, Voqal Fellow and the National Endowment for the Humanities / Hannah Arendt Center Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Bard College.
White's first book, The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution, was published in 2016 by Knopf Canada. The End of Protest has been translated into German and Greek. White's essays and interviews on the future of protest have been published internationally in periodicals including The New York Times, The Guardian, Folha de São Paulo, The Washington Post, Poder (Brazil) and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He has been a featured guest on major network television shows such as Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect, the BBC's Newsnight and The National, Canada’s flagship nightly current affairs broadcast.
He has a twenty year record of innovative activism, including conceiving the debt forgiveness tactic used by the Rolling Jubilee and RIP Medical Debt, popularizing the critique of clicktivism and identifying the emerging trend of "social movement warfare."
He is a sought after global public speaker. He has delivered more than thirty lectures at prestigious universities, cultural festivals and private events in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Indonesia, the Netherlands and the United States. Widely recognized as a pioneer of social movement creation, White has been profiled by NPR's Morning Edition, The New Yorker and The Guardian. In recognition of his contributions, Esquire has named him one of the most influential young thinkers alive today.
As a teenage activist he was awarded Americans United's Religious Liberty Award, the ACLU of Michigan’s Wendy Joyrich Award, the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Ruth Jokinen Student Activist Memorial Award, and the ACLU of Greater Flint Michigan's Civil Libertarian of The Year Award. In college he sparked the nationwide Diebold Electronic Civil Disobedience.
White received his MA and PhD (summa cum laude) in Media and Communications from the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland where he studied with leading philosophers Alain Badiou, Michael Hardt, Jacques Rancière, Slavoj Žižek and Avital Ronell. He holds a BA in Philosophy with a minor in Film and Media Studies and a minor in Interpretation Theory from Swarthmore College.
In 2017, Micah was a Fulani Fellow at the All Stars Project in New York City where he worked with Dr. Lenora Fulani, the first woman to run for president of the United States and get on the ballot in all 50 states. As a Fulani Fellow he studied the revolutionary potential of electoral social movements.
In 2018, Micah was awarded the Roddenberry Fellowship and Voqal Fellowship to create Activist Graduate School. He was also named the National Endowment for the Humanities / Hannah Arendt Center Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Bard College where he is co-teaching a seminar on social activism.
In 2019, he was selected as an activist-in-residence at the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin.
Sample of Recent Talks
The Hague, Netherlands
World Affairs Conference
Upper Canada College
"Making Protest Work"
"Is Protest Political?"
Bard College's Hannah Arendt Center
Melbourne Writer's Festival
Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH
"The Beginning of Protest"
October 22-23, 2014
Miami University, Oxford, OH
Grayson Kirk Distinguished Lecture
"The End of Protest"
October 20-21, 2014
University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
Guest of Religion and Library Science faculty
“What is a protest?”
April 8-10, 2014
Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH
Guest of the Philosophy department
“The Future of Protest is Slow”
Feb. 15-18, 2014
5 Star Movement’s V3DAY Rally, Victory Square, Genoa, Italy
Guest of Beppe Grillo
“Three Catastrophes and Three Solutions”
40,000+ activists in attendance
Dec. 1, 2013
"What Creates Social Change?"
Health Sciences Association of Alberta Convention
"Activism at a Crossroads"
"Why Protests Fail"
"Power of the People"
University of Chicago
University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, CO
Smoke Farm Symposium, Arlington, WA
“The Role of Cascadia in the Leaderless Revolution”
Gathering of scientists, visionaries and philosophers
Aug. 3, 2013
Get Up! Stand Up!, Convocation Hall, Toronto, ON
“The Future of Social Change”
Other speakers included John Ralston Saul, Chris Hedges and Margaret Atwood. Micah’s lecture and on-stage interview was selected for national broadcast by CBC radio.
May 4, 2013
St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St Mary’s, MD
Guest of the Political Science department
“Political Theory of Horizontalism”
Lecture and seminar on the political theory of Occupy Wall Street
Nov. 3 – 6, 2012
"Will Democracy Win?"
EARCOS Global Issues Network
"How to Create Social Change"
David Brower Center
"Is Climate Change Protest Broken?"
Culture and Political Subjectivities Conference, Columbia University, NY
May 29, 2015
Ideas City Festival, New York City, NY
"Hope and Unrest in the Invisible City"
May 28, 2015
GUME, São Paulo, Brazil
May 26, 2015
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, Denver, CO
Visiting Artist, Scholar and Designer
“The Future of Protest is Fast/The Future of Protest is Slow”
Lecture, classroom visit and student workshop on art and activism
Nov. 5 - 7, 2013
Internazionale a Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
“Vices and Virtues of Online Activism” and “Print and Finance in Times of Crisis”
Two panel discussions at Italy’s largest public literary event
Oct. 5, 2013