John Seely Brown

Part scientist, part artist, and part strategist, John Seely Brown (a.k.a., JSB) has views that are distinguished by a broad conception of the human contexts in which technologies operate and a healthy skepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress.

He is a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California and independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation.

His research interests include the impact of globalization on business, the management of radical innovation, digital culture, ubiquitous computing, and organizational and individual learning.

For nearly two decades, Brown was chief scientist of Xerox Corporation and director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). While head of PARC, he expanded the role of corporate research to include organizational learning, knowledge management, complex adaptive systems, ethnographic studies of the workscape, and nanotechnology. He cofounded the Institute for Research on Learning.

Brown has published more than 100 articles and half a dozen books, the most acclaimed of which is The Social Life of Information (co-authored with Paul Duguid), a seminal work now widely taught in information schools that argues that information acquires meaning only through its social context. His latest book, A New Culture of Learning (co-authored with Doug Thomas), explores cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change.