Could Anna Wintour, Graydon Carter and David Remnick have even more competition in the wings? President Obama is trying his hand at magazine editing, and he’s starting with Condé Nast’s technology-inspired title Wired.
For Wired, the president will guest-edit the November issue working with the theme of “frontiers.” The issue marks a departure from the standard magazine format, as the special guest-edited issue showcases a “complete one-off structure” with brand-new story forms and design elements, Wired said.
According to editor in chief Scott Dadich, this includes five sections that cover personal frontiers, local frontiers, national and international frontiers and final frontiers. Topics explore overcoming barriers to optimal health; personal performance; how to build stronger communities; public, private and international obstacles, and future endeavors such as landing on Mars.
“When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, they were at the bleeding edge of Enlightenment philosophy and technology,” said Dadich. “[Benjamin] Franklin was talking about crazy stuff like electricity and communications networks; [Thomas] Paine gave up the copyright to ‘Common Sense’ so it could get wider publication. [Thomas] Jefferson was radically rethinking design and land use. These notions were as novel as Twitter or a global search of the World Wide Web are today, as powerful as having a supercomputer in your pocket. We want to wrestle with the idea of how today’s technology can influence political leadership. We want to explore how modern thinking and tools can help advance us as a society. And who better to help us explore these ideas than President Obama? He’s one of the smartest, most thoughtful leaders this country has had in generations.”
Among the various essays and stories is a conversation between the president, Dadich and Massachusetts Institute of Technology media lab director Joi Ito about artificial intelligence and the future.
For Wired, this is the eighth time a well-known figure has guest-edited the magazine with recent editors including Serena Williams in 2015, Christopher Nolan in 2014 and Bill Gates in 2013.
Separate from his magazine work, Obama will host the White House Frontiers Conference, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, which will explore the future of science, technology and innovation. While Wired is not hosting the conference, many of the topics and themes explored at it will be inspired by the November issue, which will be available on select newsstands, tablet editions and on Wired.com beginning Oct. 18. It will go on sale nationwide on Oct. 25.