CJ Koh Professorial Lecture entitled "The New Culture of Learning: Cultivating Imagination for a  World of Constant Change"

CJ Koh Professorial Lecture entitled "The New Culture of Learning: Cultivating Imagination for a World of Constant Change"

Date & Time

22 November 2012, 00:00


Auditorium, NTU @ one-north, 11 Slim Barracks Rise, level 3


Office of Education Research (OER)

Events Details

Time: 3.30pm - 5.30pm


In this talk, Dr John Seely Brown will examine how and why we need to think differently about the skills and dispositions needed to thrive (and not just cope) in the 21st century. He will explore notions of imagination, tinkering, play and failure, how these notions are integral to learning and the implications they have for schooling, how such a vision radically changes how we think about assessment, and what it means to develop organisational cultures that create, innovate, learn and thrive in the 21st century.


John Seely Brown is a visiting scholar and advisor to the Provost at the University of Southern California (USC) and the independent co-chairman for Deloitte Center for the Edge. He was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation until April 2002 as well as the director of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) until June 2000, a position he held for 15 years. While head of PARC, Dr Brown expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as organisational learning, complex adaptive systems, micro electrical mechanical system and NANO technology. His personal research interests include digital culture, ubiquitous computing, service-oriented architectures, global innovation networks and learning ecologies.

Dr Brown or ‘JSB’ as he is often called, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) as well as the National Academy of Education and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the AAAS, and a Trustee of the MacArthur Foundation. He serves on numerous boards of directors (Amazon, Corning, Varian Medical Systems) and advisory boards. He has published over 100 papers in scientific journals and was awarded the Harvard Business Review’s 1991 McKinsey Award for his article Research that Reinvents the Corporation and again in 2002 for his article (with John Hagel) Your Next IT Strategy. In 1997, he published the book Seeing Differently: Insights on Innovation (Harvard Business Review Books). He was an executive producer for the award winning film Art · Lunch · Internet · Dinner, which won a bronze medal at Worldfest 1994, the Charleston International Film Festival.

Dr Brown received the 1998 Industrial Research Institute Medal for outstanding accomplishments in technological innovation and the 1999 Holland Award in recognition of the best paper published in Research Technology Management in 1998. He was presented with a 2002 Visionary Award by the Software Development Forum and was inducted into the Industry Hall of Fame in November 2004. With Paul Duguid he co-authored the acclaimed book The Social Life of Information (HBS Press, 2000) that has been translated into 10 languages with a second addition in April 2002. With John Hagel, he co-authored the book The Only Sustainable Edge which is about new forms of collaborative innovation and The Power of Pull: how small moves, smartly made can set big things in motion, published April 2010. His current book, The New Culture of Learning co-authored with Professor Doug Thomas at USC, was released in January 2011.

Dr Brown received a BA (mathematics and physics) from Brown University in 1962 and a PhD (computer and communication sciences) from University of Michigan in 1970. He is also a recipient of six honorary degrees. He is an avid reader, traveller and motorcyclist. Part scientist, part artist and part strategist, Dr Brown’s views are unique and distinguished by a broad view of the human contexts in which technologies operate and a healthy skepticism about whether or not change always represents genuine progress.


Please register your attendance with the Office of Education Research by 19 November 2012.

Queries can also be directed to email: cjkoh.professorship@nie.edu.sg.

Refreshments will be served after the lecture.