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ShaperTalk with Dorothie and Martin Hellman

On August 30, San Francisco Global Shapers hosted Dorothie and Martin Hellman for a ShaperTalk at WeWork.

This ShaperTalk featured insights on privacy battles with the NSA, nuclear non-proliferation, the importance of interpersonal relationships, and how to create lasting impact on the world.

Dorothie Hellman was the vice-president of a non-profit, and Marty Hellman was the co-inventor of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange algorithm, and public key cryptography. Marty's work helps billions of people around the world shop and bank securely on the web, and it was the first salvo in the ongoing debate between surveillance and privacy between the NSA and different technology companies. It is the basis behind the HTTPS standard on the web.

They co-wrote a book, A New Map for Relationships.

A New Map for Relationships reveals the secrets that allowed Dorothie and Marty to transform an almost failed marriage into one where they reclaimed the true love that they felt when they first met fifty years ago. Their marriage became a laboratory, where they learned how to resolve seemingly unfathomable differences through holistic thinking and compassion. They invite you to eavesdrop on their conversations so that you can do the same. Working on global issues proved critical to bringing magic back into their marriage, and truly loving personal relationships provide the model for a peaceful, sustainable planet.


My research on encryption was originally seen as a fool’s errand, but recently won me and a colleague the ACM’s million dollar Turing Award – often regarded as the Nobel Prize in computing. Following Dorothie down an uncharted path that even she could not fully describe until we reclaimed the true love that we felt when we first met also seemed like a fool’s errand, but proved even more rewarding. Even a million dollars can’t buy true love.


After spending several decades following a relationship map that had me repeatedly driving off cliffs, I found the courage to tear it up and piece together a new map that allowed me to reach the place of love, acceptance and peace where I’d always wanted to dwell. To get there, I have spent more than half my life studying anger, fear and grief, as well as joy, love and compassion. Practicing compassion was particularly important in my journey and is the centerpiece of my part of this book.

All proceeds from ticket sales for this event went to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a charity dedicated to nuclear non-proliferation.