Tony Award-winning Saint Vincent grad to speak about internet’s future |
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Jeff Himler

A Saint Vincent College graduate who has straddled the worlds of web-based technology and Broadway entertainment will return to the Unity campus March 14 to speak about new possibilities for the internet.

In his presentation, “The Once and Future Internet,” Michael Kriak will discuss new, decentralized models for use of the internet — specifically, “What Web3 and blockchain is trying to get right in the 2020s that the first Internet got wrong in the 1990s.”

The 7 p.m. program, part of the college’s Manoli Lecture Series, is open to the public and will be held in the Fred M. Rogers Center. Reservations are requested by March 13, by contacting Marsha Kush in the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, at [email protected] or 724-805-2814.

A 1996 Saint Vincent alumnus, Kriak is the media circle global lead for ConsenSys, a New York-based eading blockchain technology company that builds internet platforms, applications and tools. In that role, he has noted, he’ll be “building financial business plans, securing strategic partnerships and raising capital” for media start-ups.

He’s working on initiatives such as Civil, a platform for “sustainable and trustworthy” journalism, and Ujo, a digital rights management platform for music and other creative works.

Kriak previously was the chief operating officer and chief financial officer for global media and entertainment company Mashable and was integral in leading the process to sell the company to Ziff Davis in December 2017.

He also has worked for Haymarket Media, serving as chief operating officer of the British media company’s U.S. division, and for RxCentric, an early digital media and marketing company for the health care industry. He began his career at Arthur Andersen’s technology practice, auditing and advising some of the internet’s first companies.

Kriak additionally is a Tony Award-winning producer of the musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” and co-producer of the Broadway musical “The Prom.”He sits on the board of Lincoln Center Theater and mentors at Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in underrepresented technology founders such as women, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.

Kriak earned a bachelor degree in accounting at Saint Vincent, attending the London School of Economics during his junior year.

His lecture is presented by Saint Vincent’s School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing and the Charles G. and Anita L. Manoli Scholarship Committee.

A 1951 Saint Vincent graduate, the late Charles G. Manoli Sr. taught for more than 40 years at the college, where he was an emeritus professor of history. He received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the college in 2005.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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