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John Seely Brown to Address Graduates at Ninth Commencement Ceremony

(Needham, MA, February 3, 2014) John Seely Brown, co-chairman of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, a visiting scholar and advisor at the University of Southern California and an internationally recognized author and speaker, will address the Class of 2014 at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering’s Commencement ceremony Sunday, May 18, at 3 p.m. on the campus’s Great Lawn.

Brown, who styles himself as “chief of confusion” for helping organizations ask probing questions, is perhaps best known for his ideas merging digital culture and education. He has focused his research on how institutions change, not merely on how they’re supposed to.

Brown has also co-authored several well-received books including The Social Life of Information, The Only Sustainable Edge and The New Culture of Learning.

“We are delighted that John Seely Brown will be our Commencement speaker,” said Richard K. Miller, president of Olin College. “His recent book on new learning cultures provides fresh insights into the role of intrinsic motivation, internet learning communities, and design thinking in producing a new generation of adaptive and innovative thinkers.  John’s bold vision of the future of education is frequently sought by leaders in many domains.”

Formerly, Brown was chief scientist at Xerox Corporation and the director of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). He was also the cofounder of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL).

He is a trustee of the MacArthur Foundation, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.

Brown graduated from Brown University with a degree in mathematics and physics. He received a doctorate from University of Michigan in communication and computer sciences. He has also received honorary degrees from several institutions, including Brown, London Business School, University of Michigan and North Carolina State.