Peter Hirshberg

Peter HirshbergPeter Hirshberg is at the epicenter of the noisy, connected world of online conversation. He is changing our thinking about marketing, branding and customer relationships. A Silicon Valley executive with several high profile marketing and branding related ventures, Peter has led emerging media and technology companies at the center of disruptive change for more than 20 years.

Hirshberg is the Co-Founder of the Maker City Project, which works with private sector companies and cities to explore new models of economic and civic development, and co-authored Maker City: A practical guide to reinventing our cities (2016), which examined many of the economic development experiments that are defining the renewal of America’s cities. He is also Chairman of The Re:imagine Group, which develops strategies and marketing in a world of empowered and connected audiences and customers. He’s worked with executive teams at Best Buy, Hertz, Sony, Unilever, Thomson Reuters, IBM, Verizon, GE, Estee Lauder, Telefonica and many others on digital growth strategies. He is also a Board Member of Place Lab (formerly Build Public).

Hirshberg has served as Chairman of Technorati, the pioneering social media engine and ad network with an audience of over 108 million unique visitors a month on over 400 professionally run sites with over a billion monthly page views.

Peter is strategic advisor to United Nations Global Pulse, an initiative of the Secretary General’s office to use emerging big data techniques to help vulnerable populations in real-time. In November 2011 he keynoted the UN General Assembly session on Real-Time Data and is editor of the forthcoming, “Taking the Global Pulse.”

As Chairman and co-founder of San Francisco’s Grey Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA), Peter had led successful initiatives to bring urban innovations, smart city applications, and open data interventions to the global stage. These include:

  • Urban Prototyping Festival Singapore, with Singapore Economic Development Board (Private data and urban innovation, 2012)
  • Summer of Smart with the SF Department of Technology in (Open data, innovation and the political process, during the SF Mayor’s race, 2011)
  • The exhibitions “SENSEable Cities: Exploring Urban Futures” with MIT and “The Citizen, The Cloud and the Smart City” World Cities Summit, 2012)

Peter is a board member of ActiveVideo Networks and serves on the advisory boards of Ideeli and GlamMedia. He is a Trustee of The Computer History Museum and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Hirshberg serves as a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

Peter was founder and CEO of Elemental Software (sold to Macromedia in 1999) and served as president and CEO of, the online prestige beauty etailer co-owned by Estee Lauder Companies, Chanel and Clarins.

During a nine year tenure at Apple Computer, Hirshberg headed Enterprise Marketing, where he grew Apple’s large business and government revenue to $1 billion annually and helped lead the company’s entry into the online service arena. Earlier, he led Apple’s efforts in online banking and financial services. He developed Apple’s early partnerships with Chase, Citibank, Manufactures Hanover and Chemical Bank helping to introduce and market some of the first ever home banking offerings.

Peter is a frequent technology and media industry speaker, having presented at TED, the World Economic Forum, DLD, EG the Entertainment Gathering, the 140 Character Conference, Agenda, The Aspen Ideas Festival, TIEcon, CEBIT, WEB 2.0 Summit, and many other events.

Peter Hirshberg earned his bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth College and his MBA at Wharton.

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