The world has rocketed into a new phase of technology, leaving organizations uncertain about where to invest and how their businesses will be affected. AI and big data have a pervasive – and some say, damaging – influence on our economy and our lives. New power to influence users through data and algorithms brings with it the potential for abuse. Innovations such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies are hyped as essential to the future, yet equally dismissed as scams.
In two new, authoritative books, tech pioneer Kevin Werbach helps us overcome the threats and capitalize on the opportunities these advances bring.
Werbach, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at The Wharton School, takes readers on a deep dive into what has changed in “After the Digital Tornado: Networks, Algorithms, Humanity” (July 2020), which features some of the world’s leading technology scholars explaining the challenges of digital accountability. Werbach’s second book release, “For the Win: The Power of Gamification and Game Thinking in Business, Education, Government and Social Impact” (November 2020), offers readers an updated edition of his acclaimed 2012 guidebook to the new tools of digital engagement.
An interdisciplinary thinker whose expertise ranges from algorithmic responsibility and internet policy to gamification and blockchain, Werbach is a realist when examining urgent tech issues. He remains skeptical of both “techno-utopians” blind to the downsides and critics who ignore the valuable steps organizations are taking. Drilling down, he highlights the potential of emerging technologies, identifies their limitations, develops policy recommendations, and shows organizations how they can avoid pitfalls while capturing the benefits.
His pioneering work on blockchain technology as a “new architecture of trust” illustrates his approach. As he writes, “Blockchain systems that ignore law and governance are likely to fail, or to become outlaw technologies irrelevant to the mainstream economy. If, however, we recognize the blockchain as a kind of legal technology that shapes behavior in new ways, it can be harnessed to create tremendous business and social value.”
Leveraging Innovations to Build Trust
With hands-on experience crafting policies that helped shape the internet age, Werbach advises leaders on ways to leverage innovations and governance to promote trust.
Called “one of the few policy wonks who really got it” by Wired, Werbach helped craft the U.S. government’s e-commerce policies as Counsel for New Technology Policy at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during the Clinton Administration. He later served on the Presidential Transition Team and worked as technology policy advisor to the FCC and U.S. Department of Commerce in the Obama Administration. His seminal white paper, Digital Tornado: The Internet and Telecommunications Policy, was the first comprehensive look at the regulatory consequences of the internet.
As an advisor, speaker and teacher, Werbach provides clear, strategic direction on how an organization can achieve its goals, even in times of uncertainty.
Advance Praise for “After the Digital Tornado”
“An important collection of diverse perspectives on the legal, ethical and social challenges of the information age. Essential reading for anyone interested in the past and future of Internet policy.” – Bruce Schneier, Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and author of “Click Here to Kill Everybody”
“Kevin Werbach assembles some of the world’s best thinkers to analyze the transformations wrought by code, data and silicon. A masterful meditation on what is next for digital life and how policy might be able to harness technology for good.” – Ellen P. Goodman, Professor, Rutgers Law School and Co-Director, Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law
“This book is destined to be as vital to the debate over the future of the Internet as Werbach’s ground-breaking white paper ‘Digital Tornado.’ It examines how much the Internet has changed over two decades and looks ahead with concrete recommendations about how to ensure a vibrant and open Internet ecosystem from some of the world’s top experts in Internet law and policy.”– Gigi Sohn, Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy, and Benton Senior Fellow
“Some of the sharpest thinkers about technology and society examine where we have come from, what has changed, and what the future may be. Old models, antitrust, new power centers, dehumanized humanity, blockchain and more are explored and explained with an eye to what we can and should do next.”– Deven Desai, Associate Professor, Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business