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John Seely Brown

Former Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation, John Seely Brown spent almost two decades as Director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California. While head of PARC, Brown expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as organizational learning, complex adaptive systems, micro-electrical mechanical systems, and nanotechnology.

Brown's personal research interests include digital culture, ubiquitous computing, Web service architectures, and organizational and individual learning.

Brown is a member of the National Academy of Education, a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a Trustee of Brown University and the MacArthur Foundation, and he also serves on numerous boards of directors and advisory boards.

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 Harvard Business Review edited collection Seeing Differently: Insights on Innovation, which describes how innovation occurs differently in modern organizational structures as a result of new technological tools and new global perspectives.

Brown 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. He co-authored, with historian and social theorist Paul Duguid, the acclaimed book The Social Life of Information (HBS Press, 2000), which addresses the human context in which information technology operates.

Brown was inducted into the Industry Hall of Fame in 2004.

His most recent book with John Hagel The Only Sustainable Edge (HBS Publishing, 2005) is about new forms of collaborative innovation. It also provides a novel framework for understanding what is really happening in off-shoring in India and China, and how each country is inventing powerful new ways to innovate, learn and accelerate capability building.

He received an A.B. degree from Brown University in 1962 in Mathematics and Physics, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1970 in Computer and Communication Sciences.