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  • Rethinking Globalization: Innovation in a Flat World
  • Innovation Blowback: The Coming Asian Invasion
  • Value Creation at the Edge: Learning to Cope with Globalization
  • Digital Culture and Learning in the Digital Age
  • Why IT Matters More Today than Ever Before
  • Radical Adaptability
  • Creating a Culture of Learning
  • Managing Radical Innovation
  • The Will to Innovate
  • Design, Design, Design


Change | Communications | Design | Globalization | Strategic Planning | Technology


Part scientist, part designer and part strategist, John Seely Brown's views are unique and distinguished by a broad view of the human contexts in which technologies operate, and a healthy skepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress.

A visiting scholar at the Annenberg Center at USC, John Seely Brown was the chief scientist of Xerox Corporation until April 2002, and was the director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) until June 2000, a position he held for nearly two decades. While director of PARC, John Seely Brown expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as organizational learning, complex adaptive systems, micro electrical mechanical systems, knowledge management, and ethnographic studies of the workscape and nano technology. Additionally, he was a cofounder of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL). His personal research interests include the impact of globalization on business, the management of radical innovation, digital culture, ubiquitous computing, and organizational and individual learning. "Today," says Mr. Brown, " I'm Chief of Confusion, helping people ask the right questions, trying to make a difference through my work - speaking, writing, and teaching."

John Seely Brown is a member of the National Academy of Education, a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and a trustee of Brown University and the MacArthur Foundation. He serves on numerous public boards (Amazon, Corning, Varian Medical Systems and Polycom) and private boards of directors.

John Seely Brown has published over 100 papers in scientific journals and was awarded the Harvard Business Review's 1991 McKinsey Award for his article, "Research that Reinvents the Corporation" and again in 2002 for "Your Next IT Strategy." He was an executive producer for the award winning film Art ~ Lunch ~ Internet ~ Dinner, which won a bronze medal at Worldfest 1994, the Charleston International Film Festival.

With Paul Duguid, Mr. Brown co-authored the book The Social Life of Information, which has been translated into 9 languages with a second addition in April 2002. In 2004, Storytelling in Organizations: Why Storytelling Is Transforming 21st Century Organizations and Management was published, drawing on the expertise of John Seely Brown and three other "thought leaders." Storytelling in Organizations lays out why narrative and storytelling should be part of the mainstream of organizational and management thinking.

His most recent book, co-authored with John Hagel, is The Only Sustainable Edge, published in May 2005. The authors challenge conventional thinking with an analysis of forces shaping the current business environment, and provide a novel framework for understanding what is happening in off-shoring in India and China and how each are inventing powerful new ways to innovate, learn and accelerate capability building.

John Seely Brown received a B.A. from Brown University in 1962 in mathematics, physics, and a Ph.D. from University of Michigan in computer and communication sciences. In 2000, Brown University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science. It was followed by an Honorary Doctor of Science in Economics conferred by the London Business School, a 2004 Claremont Graduate School Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, and a 2005 University of Michigan, Honorary Doctor of Science. In 2004 John Seely Brown was inducted into the Industry Hall of Fame.

BOOKS    Search For A Book

  • The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends on Productive Friction and Dynamic Specialization
  • Storytelling in Organizations: Why Storytelling is Transforming 21st Century Organizations and Management
  • The Social Life of Information
  • Seeing Differently: Insights on Innovation
  • Intelligent Tutoring Systems

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