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Insight 2020


The world contains an unimaginably vast amount of digital information which is getting ever vaster ever more rapidly. This makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on. Managed well, the data can be used to unlock new sources of economic value… Companies that grasp these new opportunities, or provide the tools for others to do so, will prosper. -The Economist

In a time of uncertain economic stability there is a parallel tectonic shift affecting businesses, based chiefly on the accelerated adoption of consumer-enabling technologies. New devices, applications and methods of communicating are bringing about profound changes in the power and trust balance between producer and consumer, creating an entirely new marketplace that allows for buyers and sellers to engage in a richer, more collaborative relationship.

To assist businesses seeking to identify winning strategies in this post-crisis, multistakeholder, Web 3.0 era, we are introducing our year-long research initiative, called Insight 2020. In this program we will explore the effects of increased inter-and intra-firm collaboration, and collaborative models of production, interaction, learning and decision-making. We’ll examine the power shifts from producer to consumer, from shareholder to stakeholder. And we’ll explore how the social web and its accompanying social data revolution changes how companies should communicate, learn and interact.

In order to help businesses find successful answers in a world rapidly adjusting to phenomena like Facebook and Twitter, we have built a program that will allow companies to interact with and learn from three of the top thought leaders in the new economy marketplace, who each bring a different but complementary viewpoint to the transformational technologies and practices responsible for changing business as we know it.

Our group of assembled independent thinkers includes Harvard Berkman Center Fellow Doc Searls, Cambridge Globalization, Sustainability and Finance Professor Noreena Hertz and Stanford visiting lecturer and past Amazon chief scientist Andreas Weigend. Widely known for their vision, their powers of articulation, and their practical advice, our thought leaders will each direct a separate team of dedicated researchers as part of the Insight 2020 research program, examining best-practice examples and leading theories on how business decision-making for the next 10 years and beyond is changing under conditions of complexity, growing information asymmetries and diverse stakeholder interests.