The Top Ten Emerging Technologies of 2016

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For the past several years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has published an annual list of the Top Ten Emerging Technologies that would likely have the greatest impact on the world in the years to come. The technologies on the list are not new.

Technological Unemployment and the Future of Work

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Few topics are as important, - and as challenging to anticipate, - than the future of work given our justifiable fears of rising technological unemployment. This question has been widely discussed for years, but, - at the end of the day, - we don’t really have good answers.

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Managing in Complexity

Harold Jarche

As our markets and technologies get more complex, we need new models to get work done. However, complex systems are not fully knowable, though they can be partially understood through interaction with them. Complex problems cannot be solved alone.

Complex Systems and the “Rashomon Effect”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the column, professor Frenkel discusses a very deep and important question: Is there such a thing as a true reality, or “is our belief in a definite, objective, observer-independent reality an illusion?”

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The column addresses a fundamental question that those studying innovation have been wrestling with for years: “Are big companies the best catalysts of innovation, or are small ones better?” Large enterprises are typically thought of as hidebound defenders of the status quo, dominating by market power and brute force rather than technological and innovative prowess.Yet reality is far more complicated than this simple small versus big distinction.

Re-wiring for the Complex Workplace

Harold Jarche

Note: The following article appears in Inside Learning Technologies & Skills – May 2014. Complexity is the new normal. Inside Learning Technologies & Skills – May 2014. Re-wiring for complexity. complexity Learning Wirearchy

The Firm as a Large, Complex, Extended Family

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A second article in the same September, 2013 Economist issue, The man who showed why firms exist , said: “The job of clever people is to ask difficult questions. A firms is best viewed as a kind-of rather large and highly complex family.

The Power of Networks in a Complex (Business) World

Luis Suarez

And yet they are missing a brave new world out there that social technologies are, finally, helping unleash some of its true potential in helping us understand how network thinking goes well beyond a business context.

Big Data, Complex Systems and Quantum Mechanics

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In thinking about this question over the last few years, I started to notice that a number of subtle, non-intuitive concepts that I learned many years ago as a physics student seem to apply to the world of big data and information-based predictions in highly complex systems. The concept of wave-particle duality explains that reality depends on what question you are asking and what experiment you perform to answer the question.

Preparing Students for an Increasingly Complex Business World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Are engineering and management schools adequately preparing students for our fast-changing, highly complex business world? Universities generally do a pretty good job when it comes to teaching hard skills, - engineering methods, technology, analytical tools, finance, marketing, and so on.

Social Learning, Complexity and the Enterprise

Harold Jarche

Corporations that understand the value of knowledge sharing, teamwork, informal learning and joint problem solving are investing heavily in collaboration technology and are reaping the early rewards. ~ Our relationship with knowledge is changing as our work becomes more intangible and complex.

Blockchain - Once Again, the Technological Genie Has Been Unleashed from its Bottle

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

MIT research scientist and Internet pioneer David Clark addressed this question in a recent article about the early design choices that have led to today’s Internet.

Strategy Made Simple - The 3 Core Strategy Questions

John Hagel

In increasingly turbulent and complex times, we understandably fall prey to a dangerous temptation – both as institutions and individuals. The option is to focus more than ever on three core strategy questions that can help provide us with focus and stability even as the turbulence increases around us – and help us to prioritize where we need to respond and where we don’t. This is a relatively new, but increasingly important, strategic question

Some Puzzling Questions about Innovation in the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Teaching forces you to take a fresh look at the subjects you are covering, so I find myself revisiting questions I’ve long been thinking about: What is the essence of innovation in the digital economy and how does it differ from the industrial age innovation of the past two hundred years?

Payment Technologies: Past, Present and Future

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I was reminded of this dictum when recently attending a very interesting workshop, Payment Technologies: Past Present and Future. The workshop was sponsored by UC Irvine’s Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI).

Education Technology Strategies - Day One

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

lessons scripted around 1:1 laptop); IT issues - we were a Windows network, with everything on our own domain - we needed to open eg printing etc O - consumer technology far more accessible in 2012 esp. dates to classical Greece How does technology change this? - Most classrooms still dominated by teachers teaching answers and students remembering them We can change the technology but if we haven''t changed the goal we really haven''t accomplished anything.

The Science of Complex Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

When I look back over my long, relatively eclectic career, complex systems have been a common theme in all the activities I’ve been involved in. It started in the 1960s, when I was an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in physics, - the study of complex natural systems. The research for my thesis was focused on the highly complex world of atoms and molecules.

How Can We Ensure that Our Complex AI Systems Do What We Want Them to Do?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Things are even tougher with people-centric sociotechnical systems, which not only have to deal with potential software problems, but with the even more complex issues involved in human behaviors and interactions. What is it that makes these systems so intrinsically complex?

A Useful Framework for Analyzing the Impact of Technology on Jobs

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Last week I discussed a recent Pew Research report on the impact of AI, robotics and other advanced technologies on the future of jobs. The expert’s responses to this question where divided down the middle. .

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Managing Complex, Disruptive Innovations - Some Lessons Learned

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

One of the major challenges in managing disruptive innovations is that even if you are sure that change is inevitable and you must therefore embrace the new ideas and technologies, you really don’t know what lies ahead.

Five Key Questions

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I was asked to provide some initial recommendations for that initiative, in the form of responses to five questions. Though some feel distance and online learning will not reduce costs[2], many are looking to new technologies not only to increase access but also to reduce the load borne by government. Which current or emerging technology has the potential of radically transforming online and distance learning?

Strategy and Execution in an Increasingly Complex World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Its title asks the question: “ Strategy or Execution: Which Is More Important? ,” to which it adds the tagline: “Many business leaders think they’d rather have great execution than superior strategies, but you can’t have the first without the second” . Twenty-thirty years ago, the business world was arguably less complex, slower moving and more predictable. These shifts are unyielding and contribute to the sense of a world growing more uncertain, volatile and complex.” .

Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The focus for this year’s conference was Digital Technologies for 21st Century Democracy. I was invited to attend the conference, and participate in the opening plenary panel on D igital Technologies and the Future of Governance. The panel was moderated by Beth Noveck , Professor of Law at the New York Law School , who until recently served in the White House as Deputy Chief Technology Officer and leader of the White House Open Government Initiative.

Technology and the Future of Media

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Most everyone will agree that advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) are radically transforming the business landscape. Digital technologies are not only giving rise to more distributed and inclusive models, but are also enabling alternative unilateral-like models.

Better Education Through Technology

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

me) on seeing a sight like this is to suggest that everybody would be better off with a little more investment in technology. But they could instead higher fewer people, pay them more, and use technology to make up the difference. But third, and perhaps most critically, you don't actually get any improvements in output using the technological solution. It is in this context we need to read an article like Kentaro Toyama's Can Technology End Poverty?

The Complex Transition to the Age of the Cloud

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, while many of us feel that cloud is even bigger and more profound than we thought back in 2008, lots of questions remain on its intrinsic nature and its value to the business. . At present, there’s a lot of uncertainty and skepticism around the cloud, particularly among technology professionals who have deep expertise with, or attachment to, on-premise computing,” McAfee adds. In June of 2008 I participated in a conference on cloud computing.

Making sense of complexity and innovation

Harold Jarche

Friday’s Finds: Gall’s Law: A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. complexity Friday''s Finds Innovation

The Collapse of Complex Business Models ? Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky

The Times’ Paywall and Newsletter Economics » The Collapse of Complex Business Models. From the Q&A after, it was clear that for them, the question wasn’t whether the internet was going to alter their business, but about the mode and tempo of that alteration. That kind of question comes up a lot. In 1988, Joseph Tainter wrote a chilling book called The Collapse of Complex Societies. At this point, any additional complexity is pure cost.

People, Organization, Technology?

Martijn Linssen

Headed for my personal trash bin: ‘People, Process, Technology.’ For complex systems, for innovation efforts, for creativity – process engineering is not only the wrong approach, it is a mistake. For the rest, technology should enable serendipity rather than predictive process.

Robocalypse Now? Technology, Productivity and Employment

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

they asked in the paper’s abstract. “Canonical economic theory says no, but much recent economic theory says maybe - that is, rapid advances in machine capabilities may curtail aggregate labor demand as technology increasingly encroaches on human job tasks.”. Is the Robocalypse upon us?,

On the Governance of Blockchain: Lessons from the Internet

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

However, this extraordinary technology may be stalled, sidetracked, captured or otherwise suboptimized depending on how all the stakeholders behave in stewarding this set of resources - i.e. how it is governed,” they add in a strong note of caution. “How

AI, Automation and the US Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But it’s recent advances based on machine learning and related data-driven technologies are still relatively new, making it hard to predict where AI will be heading over time. Like no other technology, AI forces us to explore the very boundaries between machines and humans.

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The Emerging Data Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Data has been closely intertwined with our digital technology revolution since the early days of the IT industry. Ever since, digital technologies have been permeating just about every nook and cranny of the economy, society and our personal lives.

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Global Trends and Business Strategy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Companies that correctly identify and ride the tailwinds of technology and market trends will generally perform significantly better than companies for whom these same trends become tough headwinds.

Corporate Survival: Lessons from Biology

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Let’s take a closer look at the nature of complex adaptive systems. Why are these systems so complex? I found the most satisfying answer to this seemingly Socratic question in an excellent 2002 paper - Complexity and Robustness - by professors Jean Carlson and John Doyle.

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Blockchain Can Reshape Financial Services… But it Will Take Significant Time and Investment

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Not only are there major technology and standards issues to be worked out, but the industry will have to collaborate with governments around the world to develop the appropriate legal frameworks and regulatory environments. Transforming this highly complex global ecosystem is very difficult.

Is Design Thinking the “New Liberal Arts”?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Design thinking is now being applied to abstract entities, - e.g. systems, services, information and organizations, - as well as to devise strategies, manage change and solve complex problems. But a number of recent articles have been asking an intriguing question.

The Evolution of the Firm

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the article, Professor Coase provided a simple answer to the question: Why do firms exist? Do we need a different answer to the question Why do firms exist? Among the key such other factors is the ability to address complex technical and management problems.

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Lepore’s article may well be part of a growing backlash against the relentless advances in technology. Most of us who’ve studied or lived through them find Christensen’s work to be a useful explanation and organizing framework for understanding technology-based disruptions.

Complexity and Design in Warfare

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The workshop explored how design-oriented approaches can help us better understand and deal with the very complex problems we are increasingly encountering in all aspects of business, economies, government, public policy, military operations and society in general. The Forum holds several meetings a year, each centered on a specific topic, mostly related to information technologies and their impact on society. A significant goal of CACD is a shared understanding of complex problems.