Cognitive Free Agent
Advisor, Singularity University Graduate Studies Program
Way back in 1980, I graduated university with a fuzzy but prescient vision of the future: a world where the clunky “personal computers” of 1980 would be replaced by sleek “dynabooks” used as communication and information portals, a world with a new electronic nervous system connecting the world. I didn’t know exactly what it would look like, and I didn’t think I was going to invent it; I just knew that it was coming, and that I wanted to be part of it.
After some years as a software and sales engineer, I went to business school at MIT to learn what I needed to become an entrepreneur. What I learned instead is that I have a gift for seeing context and trends, for seeing what is important from different perspectives, and for communicating. So I went into Marketing, and moved to Silicon Valley. Over the next two decades I helped bring to market some of the networking technologies that have now realized the fuzzy vision I had as a college student. Five companies and two IPOs later, as Vice President of Marketing at Copper Mountain Networks, I rode through the manic technology boom and bust of 1999-2001, first hiring and then laying off dozens of employees in a period of only three years. I decided then that there were larger issues, and larger trends, that I needed to understand and be part of.
For the past decade, I have dedicated myself to understanding human society, our economic activities, and our planetary environment as a single, wholly integrated system: an econosystem. You will find some of my evolving ideas on this website.
As a management consultant, I work with organizations to:
- Facilitate reframing their values, mission, and strategy around sustainable net value creation and positive social impact.
- Review governance and increase multi-stakeholder involvement
- Build values adoption, mission enthusiasm and impact effectiveness within their organizations.
- Improve the quality of communications within the organization and with partners, suppliers, and customers
- Explore the disruptive impacts and opportunities of social and technological trends
I have recently begun work with several organizations to facilitate adoption of online collaboration environments that can bridge geographies and time zones, stimulate and capture ideas and expertise flow across departmental boundaries, and facilitate collaboration among multiple organizations. This is a very exciting area with a great deal of impact potential.
As a project advisor for Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program, I have helped participants from around the world create several several award-winning social-benefit start-ups, based on applying exponentially improving technologies to global challenges. This role has been invaluable both for the opportunity to meet many brilliant thinkers and entrepreneurs, and for helping me to better understand the many disruptive technologies that will be shaping society in dramatic ways over the next decade.
Our culture is evolving at a mind-boggling rate. Even while we lament slow progress on so many social and environmental issues, tremendous change is occurring in how we live, interact, and create value. There are enormous challenges and tragic injustices, but we do not have to stay on a linear path as we face them. Our history gives us momentum into the probable, but we live, at every moment, at the edge of a vast adjacent possible.