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Conferment of Honorary Doctor of Information Systems Degree to John Seely Brown by SMU



On 25th July, 2013, The Singapore Management University confers an Honorary Doctor of Information Systems degree upon John Seely Brown in recognition of his outstanding record as a scientist, scholar and innovator in:

  • Information and communications technology (ICT)
  • Assessments of the business and economic impacts of ICT
  • Using ICT to enhance the science and practice of learning

See also the full citation and hooding ceremony video in the next section below for more details and links to Dr. John Seely Brown's personal website, twitter profile and his wikipedia article.

Also, on this day, the SMU School of Information Systems held the commencement ceremony for its new batch of graduants, at Resorts World Sentosa. John Seely Brown was the guest of honour. See his insightful commencement speech to the class of 2013 before our graduates embark upon the next phase in their life.





... John has been responsible for or involved in some of the most significant advances in ICT research, development, and practice over the past three decades. His insights and observations on ICT trends are sought out by private and public sector leaders world-wide. His unique way of looking at ICT developments and trends within the broader social context is highly acclaimed. While John has been an important contributor to ICT development through his prior work as a researcher, laboratory director, corporate board director, advisor, and entrepreneur, he also maintains a healthy scepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress.

When John served as the Director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre, he expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as the management of radical innovation, organisational learning, complex adaptive systems, and nano technologies. He was a co-founder of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL). His research interests include digital youth culture, digital media and institutional innovation, the social context and social influences of learning, and the role of technology in business and education.

John is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and of AAAS and a former Trustee of the MacArthur Foundation. He serves on numerous public boards including Amazon and Corning, Inc. and private boards of directors. He has published over 100 papers in scientific journals, co-authored numerous influential books, and has received the annual McKinsey Prize for the best article in the Harvard Business Review on two separate occasions.

He received a BA from Brown University in 1962 in mathematics and physics, and a PhD from the University of Michigan in 1970 in computer and communication sciences. He has received six honorary degrees, namely Honorary Doctor of Science Degrees from Brown University, University of Michigan and North Carolina State University; Honorary Doctor of Science in Economics from the London Business School; Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Claremont Graduate University; and Honorary Doctor of Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

He has been an actively contributing member of the SMU School of Information Systems’ Advisory Board since 2006 and served on many other international panels. These include advisory boards in Singapore for the Ministry of Education, Media Development Authority, and National Research Foundation. He has also served on the Universities and Enterprise International Advisory Panel on Research and Innovation for the Government of Catalonia’s Minister for Innovation.

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Last updated on 22 Sep 2016 .