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John Seely Brown

Visiting scholar at the Annenberg Center, University of Southern California; former Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and Director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

John Seely Brown
John Seely Brown is currently a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Center at USC. He was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation until April 2002 and also the director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) until June 2000–a position he held for twelve years. While head of PARC, Brown expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as organizational learning, complex adaptive systems, micro electrical mechanical system (MEMS) and NANO technology. His personal research interests include digital culture and rich media (both of which he pursues at USC), ubiquitous computing, web service architectures and organizational and individual learning.

John, or as he is often called – JSB – is a member of the National Academy of Education and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and of AAAS and a Trustee of Brown University, the MacArthur Foundation and In-Q-Tel. He serves on the boards of directors for Corning, Varian Medical Systems and Polycom and on numerous advisory boards and boards of startups. He 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 his article (with John Hagel), “Your next IT strategy.” In 1997 he published the book, Seeing Differently: Insights on Innovation (Harvard Business Review Books). 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. He received the 1998 Industrial Research Institute Medal for outstanding accomplishments in technological innovation and the 1999 Holland Award in recognition of the best paper published in Research Technology Management in 1998. With Paul Duguid he co-authored the acclaimed book, The Social Life of Information (Harvard Business School Press, 2000), which has been translated into 9 languages with a second edition in April 2002. Recently, he and John Hagel have published The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends On Productive Friction And Dynamic Specialization ( Harvard Business School Press, 2005).

JSB received a BA from Brown University in 1962 in mathematics and physics and a PhD from University of Michigan in 1970 in computer and communication sciences. In May of 2000 Brown University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science Degree. It was followed by an Honorary Doctor of Science in Economics conferred by the London Business School in July 2001. He is an avid reader, traveler and motorcyclist. Part scientist, part designer and part strategist, JSB’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.

Links: Home page | Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

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  jsbrown, 02.12.05

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