You are here

Bentley Provost Seminar Series Examines Social Life of Knowing

January 25, 2004

WALTHAM, Mass.- As part of its emphasis on promoting practical research that addresses current and future issues in the world of business and society more generally, the 2003-2004 Provost Seminar Series at Bentley continues with a lecture by John Seely Brown entitled "Social Life of Knowing - creating a context for continuous learning and innovating in the knowledge economy." An authority on knowledge management and organizational knowing, Brown is among several internationally recognized professionals and researchers invited to Bentley this year to discuss topics for scholars and practitioners dedicated to a transdisciplinary treatment of key issues in the modern world. The seminar will be held on February 13 in the LaCava Campus Center at Bentley. The program is free and open to the public.

"The pressures of offshoring demand we find new ways to continuously innovate," says Dr. Brown. "Key to this challenge, we believe, is to reframe the workscape to bring more of a social practice perspective and to understand the dynamics of innovation and knowledge flow."

John Seely Brown is currently a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Center at USC. He was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation until April 2002 and also the director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) until June 2000a position he held for twelve years. His personal research interests include digital culture and rich media (both of which he pursues at USC), ubiquitous computing, web service architectures and organizational and individual learning. Part scientist, part artist, and part philosopher, Brown's viewpoints are unique and distinguished by a broad view of the human contexts in which technologies operate, as well as a refreshing skepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress.

At Xerox, Brown was deeply involved in corporate strategy and in expanding the role of corporate research to include such topics as organizational learning, ethnographies of the workplace, complex adaptive systems, and techniques for unfreezing the corporate mind. He received a BA from Brown University in 1962 in mathematics and physics and a PhD from University of Michigan in 1970 in computer and communication sciences.

The seminar will be held on Friday, February 13, 2004 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the LaCava Campus Center, Room 325 ABC, immediately followed by a reception. The event is free but pre-registration is requested. RSVP for the seminar and reception to Diane Whelan, Office of the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs at (phone) 781-891-2471 or email:

For directions to Bentley, call 781-891-2100 or online at:


BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

Type: Latest Headlines