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About Us

The Digital Initiative studies the digital transformation of the economy, and seeks to shape it by equipping leaders and engaging our community with cutting-edge research.

Video: Who we are

As a think/do start-up at Harvard Business School, D/I brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore the re-invention of business in a digital, networked, and media-rich environment. We traverse disciplines, methods, sectors, and communities to develop and share novel insights, approaches, and values in this evolving space. A tight loop between rigorous research, teaching, and engagement with the practice helps us to inform, test, and share our ideas, while allowing us to reach entrepreneurs and policy makers, innovators and researchers, and technologists and users.

We think about the changes spurred and facilitated by the digital transformation in three key layers: economics and strategy, organizations and culture, and individual skills and capabilities. Our expansive view of ‘Digital’ encompasses technologically-based phenomena such networks, media, mobile, data, cloud services, as well as the associated strategies, gatekeepers, leaders, crowds, creators, designers, platforms, and property rights that are every bit as important. The interactions among them are what excites us most.

D/I is informed by the values and practices from the Internet ecosystem, embracing the potential of networks and platforms, embodying the virtues of user-centered design and agile development, and knowing the power of design-thinking, collaboration, openness, and interoperability. We revel in our service as an HBS innovation test-bed. We endeavor to experiment, to create and facilitate new conversation and co-creation, ultimately fostering exploration of the intersections among disciplines, methods, sectors, and geographies.

Team+

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Adrienne Debigare

Community Manager

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Adrienne Debigare is the Community Manager for the Digital Initiative, specializing in the development and maintenance of online communities. She comes to the Initiative from Boston Globe Media Partners, first as the new media catalyst in GlobeLab-a Boston Globe R&D lab, now retired-and then as a product manager for Boston.com. In her spare time, Adrienne often finds herself attempting to bend nature to her will, sometimes successfully. If she could only eat three things for the rest of her life, it would be burritos, biryani and yellow curry.

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Caroline Fay

Manager

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Caroline Fay spearheads a diverse mix of projects for D/I, often focused on student and community engagement, event strategy and management, and communications. You’re likely to spot her speedwalking back and forth over the Charles River, as she is also an Ed.M. candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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David Homa

Director

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David Homa has built a career out of integrating business and technology with experiences in enterprise software, ecommerce, internet media, and several years designing sound systems for pro sports stadiums.  Outside work you'll most likely find him on nordic ski trails or anywhere there’s Scottish fiddle music.

Faculty+

Bharat Anand

Bharat Anand

Faculty

Bharat Anand is a Professor in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School, is the faculty chair of the HBX initiative, and serves on the HarvardX Faculty Committee. His research is in applied and empirical industrial organization. His research examines competition in information goods markets, with a primary focus on media and entertainment.

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Lynda Applegate

Faculty

Lynda M. Applegate is the Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration at HBS and serves as the Faculty Chair of the HBS Business Owner Portfolio of executive programs, which includes the Owner President Management and Key Executive programs and its newly-launched Global Immersions for Business Owners.

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Julia B. Austin

Faculty

Julia Austin is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the HBS. She teaches Product Management 101 and Product Management 102 in the second-year MBA program. Julia is also the CTO at DigitalOcean, Inc - a cloud hosting provider. She is a board member, advisor and angel investor to several startups and is often called upon as a leadership coach with a focus on the engineering process, staffing and functional operations. 

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Carliss Baldwin

Faculty

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Carliss Y. Baldwin is the William L. White Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. She studies the process of design and its impact on firm strategy and the structure of business ecosystems.

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Jeff Bussgang

Faculty

Jeff Bussgang is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School and a general partner at Flybridge Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Boston and New York City. He teaches the popular elective course Launching Technology Ventures in the MBA program.

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James I. Cash

Faculty

James Cash is the James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus. His research and work is focused on the strategic use of information technology in the service sector.

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Srikant M. Datar

Faculty

Srikant Datar is the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Business Administration at HBS and serves as the Faculty Chair of Harvard Innovation Lab. He teaches MBA and executive education classes in design thinking, innovation, big data, and strategy implementation.

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John Deighton

Faculty

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John Deighton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is an authority on consumer behavior and marketing, with a focus on digital and direct marketing. He initiated and has led the HBS Executive Education program in digital marketing and taught the elective MBA course, Digital Marketing Strategy.

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Anita Elberse

Faculty

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Anita Elberse is the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Professor Elberse develops and teaches a course on Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, covering the businesses of entertainment, media, and sports, which ranks among the most sought-after courses in the School’s curriculum for MBA students.

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Chiara Farronato

Faculty

Chiara Farronato is an assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit. She draws from the fields of industrial organization and technology to study the evolution of e-commerce and peer-to-peer online platforms, including platform adoption, economies of scale, and drivers of heterogeneous platform success.

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Kris Ferreira

Faculty

Kris Ferreira is an assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit. In her research, she develops new operations management models and machine learning algorithms that use rich data sources to aid decision making, particularly for online retailers and other B2C companies.

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Shane Greenstein

Faculty Chair

Shane Greenstein is the MBA Class of 1957 Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, and co-chair of the Digital Initiative. He teaches in the Technology, Operations and Management unit. Greenstein is co-director of the program on the economics of digitization at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Sunil Gupta

Faculty

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Sunil Gupta is the Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration and Chair of the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is also the co-chair of the executive programs on Driving Digital and Social Strategy and Competing on Business Analytics and Big Data.

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Andrei Hagiu

Faculty

Andrei Hagiu is an Associate Professor in the Strategy group at Harvard Business School. Andrei's research focuses on multi-sided markets, which feature platforms/intermediaries serving two or more distinct groups of customers, who value each other's participation. He is studying the business strategies used by such platforms and the economic structure of the industries in which they operate: videogames, e-commerce, shopping malls, intellectual property, payment systems, online TV services, etc.

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Regina E. Herzlinger

Faculty

Regina E. Herzlinger is the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. She was the first woman to be tenured and chaired at Harvard Business School. She teaches three HBS MBA courses on Innovating in Health Care and founded and co-chairs a new HBS Executive Education program on Business Innovations in Global Health Care (BIG).

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Bob Higgins

Faculty

Bob Higgins is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit.  His current course focuses on healthcare IT.  Bob is also the Founder or Co-Founder of several venture capital firms, including Highland Capital Partners and Causeway Media Partners.

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Linda A. Hill

Faculty

Linda A. Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and faculty chair of the Leadership Initiative. She is coauthor of Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation and Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives of Becoming a Great Leader. She is also the author of Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master the Challenges of Leadership.

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Marco Iansiti

Faculty Chair

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Marco Iansiti, David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration, heads the Technology and Operations Management Unit and the Digital Initiative at HBS. He has taught a variety of Executive Education and MBA courses on innovation, entrepreneurship, and operations, and is the creator of two HBS courses: "Managing Product Development" and "Starting New Ventures" (with HBS Professor Myra Hart).  Iansiti is currently collaborating with Prof. Karim Lakhani in the design of a third, new MBA course on Digital Innovation and Transformation.

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Ayelet Israeli

Faculty

Ayelet Israeli is an assistant professor of business administration in the Marketing Unit  at Harvard Business School. She utilizes econometric methods and field experiments to study pricing, channel management and online marketing. In particular, she studies how the online channel affects firms and consumers. 

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John Jong-Hyun Kim

Faculty

John J-H Kim is a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School and the CEO of The District Management Council, a firm which helps school districts manage for success. John created and teaches Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovations in Education and Social Innovation Lab. He is also the co-chair of The Public Education Leadership Project.

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Karim Lakhani

Faculty

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Karim Lakhani studies how communities and contests can be designed and executed for obtaining superior innovative performance. He is the Principal Investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab at Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science.

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Rajiv Lal

Faculty

Rajiv Lal is the Stanley Roth, Sr. Professor of Retailing at Harvard Business School. He has also been responsible for the retailing curriculum and has served as the course head for Marketing, required study in the first year of the MBA program.

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Michael Luca

Faculty

Michael Luca is an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Professor Luca’s research applies econometric methods to field data in order to study the impact of information in market settings.

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Alan MacCormack

Faculty

Alan MacCormack is the MBA class of 1949 Adjunct Professor of Business Administration. His research explores the management of innovation in high-technology industries, with a particular focus on the design and development of software. Alan teaches courses on innovation, product design, product development and high-tech entrepreneurship.

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F. Warren McFarlan

Faculty

Warren McFarlan is the Baker Foundation Professor and Albert H. Gordon Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at Harvard Business School. He has had a significant role in introducing materials on Management Information Systems to all major programs at the Harvard Business School since the first course on the subject was offered in 1962.

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Henry W. McGee

Faculty

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Henry McGee is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School.  A member of the General Management Unit, he teaches the required MBA courses Leadership and Corporate Accountability (LCA) and Field Immersion Experience for Leadership Development (FIELD).

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Michael Norton

Faculty

Michael I. Norton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and a member of Harvard’s Behavioral Insights Group. He is the co-author – with Elizabeth Dunn – of the book, Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending. Prior to joining HBS, Professor Norton was a Fellow at the MIT Media Lab. In 2012, he was selected for Wired Magazine’s Smart List as one of “50 People Who Will Change the World” and his TEDx talk, How to Buy Happiness, has been viewed more than 3 million times.

 

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Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Faculty

Felix Oberholzer-Gee is the Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit, and the Senior Associate Dean of the MBA Program at Harvard Business School. Professor Oberholzer-Gee’s research and consulting are centered on competitive strategy, international competition, and non-market strategy, a branch of strategic management that studies how companies best work with government and non-governmental groups.

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Ryan Raffaelli

Faculty

Ryan Raffaelli is an assistant professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit and the Richard Hodgson Strategy & Technology Fellow. He studies how innovations transform industries, organizational turnarounds, and leadership for change. His research introduces the concept of "technology reemergence," a process whereby organizations and industries faced with technological change reinvent themselves.

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Jeffrey F. Rayport

Faculty

Jeffrey F. Rayport is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. A member of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit, he teaches the elective MBA courses Launching Technology Ventures and Founders Dilemmas. In the early days of the Web, he launched the first online commerce course at the School. Currently, his research focuses on digital marketing services and growing technology ventures.

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Mark N. Roberge

Mark Roberge is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at the Harvard Business School. He teaches Entrepreneurial Sales and Marketing in the second-year MBA program in the Fall term and The Entrepreneurial Manager in the first-year MBA program in the Winter term.

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Pian Shu

Faculty

Pian Shu is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit. Her research focuses on the origin, development, and deployment of innovative and entrepreneurial talent—that is, the factors that determine the supply of innovators and entrepreneurs.

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Ariel D. Stern

Faculty

Ariel Stern is an assistant professor at at the Harvard Business School in the Technology and Operations Management unit. Her research focuses on the empirical analysis of health-care markets, health-care policy, and innovation incentives faced by medical technology firms. 

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Thales Teixeira

Faculty

Thales Teixeira is a faculty in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School. There he teaches Digital Marketing Strategies to MBA students, doctoral students and executives. He researches the Economics of Attention as a novel approach to more effective advertising and building brands online.

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Michael Tushman

Faculty

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Michael Tushman is the Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor of Business Administration and the Chair, Program for Leadership Development. He is internationally recognized for his work on the relations between technological change, executive leadership and organization adaptation.

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Mitch Weiss

Faculty

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Mitch Weiss is a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School. He created and teaches the school's course on Public Entrepreneurship -- on public leaders and private entrepreneurs who invent a difference in the world. He also teaches Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development, an experiential, field-based course in the first year of the MBA Program.

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Andy Wu

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

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Andy Wu is an assistant professor of business administration in the Strategy unit, teaching the Strategy course in the MBA required curriculum. Using the lenses of organizational economics and strategic management, he studies organizational structure as a capability for the acquisition and utilization of human, financial, and social capital in technology-focused entrepreneurial ventures.

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David B. Yoffie

Faculty

David B. Yoffie is the Max & Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School.  Professor Yoffie's research and consulting focus on competitive strategy in high technology industries, and he teaches an elective MBA course called Strategy & Technology.  His current research examines competition in platform markets.

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Feng Zhu

Faculty

Feng Zhu is an assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit and teaches its course in the MBA required curriculum. In his research, Professor Zhu examines competitive strategy and innovation in high-technology industries, with an emphasis on platform-based markets. He has studied a wide range of platforms, such as video game consoles, social-networking sites, Craigslist, Wikipedia, smartphone operating systems, blogs, newspapers, and ad-sponsored free products.

Advisors+

Janet Balis

Janet Balis

Advisor

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Janet Balis is a Partner at Betaworks, a studio of digital companies in NYC, and she is HBS '99.  She has led media innovation in a variety of executive roles across companies including Time Warner, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, AOL, and the Huffington Post.

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Robin Chase

Advisor

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Robin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur. She is founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world; Buzzcar, a service that brings together car owners and drivers in a carsharing marketplace in France; and GoLoco, an online ridesharing community. She is also Executive Chairman of Veniam ‘Works, a vehicle mesh communications company. She focuses on open solutions, pragmatic implementation, and real-time CO2 reductions.

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Kate Crawford

Advisor

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Kate Crawford is an academic researcher who works on issues of data, ethics and power. She is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Visiting Professor at the MIT Center for Civic Media, a Senior Fellow at NYU's Information Law Institute, and an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales.

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Perry Hewitt

Advisor

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Perry Hewitt is the first Chief Digital Officer at Harvard University, where she leads digital strategy for communications and engagement technology reaching the public, media, and alumni. Perry has worked in marketing, editorial, and strategy roles at firms including Crimson Hexagon, Razorfish, Harcourt, and Lotus Development. She advises students and start-ups, and writes and speaks on topics including digital transformation, marketing and content strategy, user experience, mobile, women's leadership, and the social web. She serves on several boards related to marketing and education, and is an unrepentant supporter of Arsenal Football Club.

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Mina Hsiang

Advisor

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Mina is an engineer who brings together people and technology to solve complex problems.  She currently leads efforts at Optum to build an open platform for health data- based on true clinical data- that can incorporate and quantitatively evaluate innovations, finally enabling scalable data-driven decision making.  Past projects include robotic prosthetic control, rural supply chain management, molecular diagnostics, and fixing and scaling major web projects used by millions of people. Mina is totally fascinated by how the world works and has been called the chief curiosity officer.

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Julia LeStage

Advisor

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Julia Foote LeStage is the Founder and CEO of Weathermob, Inc., a global crowdsourced weather company. A 25-year veteran of the media industry, LeStage is a former Head of the Daytime and Reality divisions of Channel 4 TV, a national broadcaster in the UK. LeStage's work has won Bafta's, Royal Television Awards, Broadcast Awards and People's Choice Awards.

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Albert Yu-Min Lin, Ph.D.

Advisor

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Albert is a research scientist at the UC San Diego, an Explorer of the National Geographic Society, and co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at STEAM Engine Inc, a technology company focused on innovative digital learning media and citizen science for K-12 education. He has led multiple expeditions deep into the most remote parts of the world, imparting digital innovations in search of anomalies ranging from Genghis Khan's tomb to Maya Temples. His pioneering work on big data, crowdsourcing, and citizen science has earned him numerous awards and resulted in his co-founding of Tomnod Inc. (acquired by Digital Globe), a platform that has applied crowdsourced analytics to applications ranging from humanitarian monitoring to search and rescue.

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Colin Maclay

Research Professor

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From tech policy to new media in emerging markets, Colin embraces the challenges of the digital transformation, seeking progress through mode and product. He works at the intersections of disciplines and sectors, connecting scholarship and impact. After Harvard tours at Berkman and the Center for International Development, Colin launched D/I, and is now at USC Annenberg where he is privileged to research, teach, facilitate, advise, and otherwise foster collaborative trouble and serious fun.

Michael Maness

Michael Maness

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Michael Maness is the co-founder of Subculture, and was the first Innovator in Residence for DI. Michael was previously the VP of Journalism and Media Innovation at the John S. And James L. Knight Foundation. Prior to his work at Knight, he was VP of Innovation and Design for Gannet and USA Today, the largest publisher in the US and a Fortune 300 company.

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Hilary Mason

Advisor

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Hilary is Founder and CEO of Fast Forward Labs, an independent data technology research lab and Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners. Previously, Hilary was Chief Scientist at bitly. She co-hosts a DataGotham, a conference for New York's home grown data community, and co-founded HackNY, a non-profit that helps engineering students find opportunities in New York's creative technical economy. Hilary served on Mayor Bloomberg's Technology Advisory Board, and is a member of Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor.

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Dave Munichiello

Advisor

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Dave's a Partner at Google Ventures, where he invests in rockstar teams who dream big and leverage new technologies to make the world better. His investments include SlackPremise, and DataFox. Formerly a paratrooper sourcing new technologies for elite special forces, then robotics entrepreneur-turned-investor; Dave is now kept on his toes helping his 4-year-old daughter dream big as she readies herself for a maiden voyage to Mars in 2040.

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Dele Olojede

Advisor

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Dele Olojede is a writer, publisher, digital media enthusiast and investor. He is also a moderator of the Aspen Institute’s leadership seminars, a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

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Harper Reed

Advisor

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Harper is an hacker/engineer who builds paradigm-shifting tech and leads others to do the same. Harper loves using the enormity of the Internet to bring people together, whether as CTO of Obama for America, CTO at Threadless.com, or on his own projects. Harper and his team created Dashboard, a site that connects volunteer teams and acts as an online component of the field office. You can often find Harper playing with new technology, looking for something to hack, or enjoying life in Chicago with his amazing wife, Hiromi. Currently Harper is focusing on defining the future of commerce with the awesome team at Modest.com.

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Greg Richards

Advisor

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Greg Richards is the CEO of Keystone, a strategy and economics consulting firm. He has 23 years of experience overseeing marketing, strategy, engineering, and general management projects for multiple Fortune 500 companies in consumer products, industrial equipment, healthcare, aerospace, software, online services and semiconductors.

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Ryan A. Servatius

Advisor

Ryan is currently Vice President of Business Operations and Strategy at salesforce.com. While at Microsoft, Ryan was Director of Strategy and M&A leading multiple acquisitions in the cloud computing and enterprise software spaces. Prior to this he was a product manager for Internet Explorer and held various business development roles in tech and telecom. When not working and traveling, Ryan enjoys cycling and backcountry skiing. He currently splits his time between San Francisco and Seattle.

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David Weinberger

Advisor

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David Weinberger, Ph.D., explores the Internet's effect on our ideas and business, in books including The Cluetrain Manifesto (co-author), Small Pieces Loosely JoinedEverything is Miscellaneous, and Too Big to Know, as well as in numerous articles for HBR, Wired, CNN.com and Scientific American, and in talks around the world. He has worked in or with the high tech industry, presidential campaigns, the US State Dept, Harvard's Berkman Center and Library Innovation Lab, and will be a spring 2015 fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto.

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John Winsor

Advisor

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John Winsor is the world’s leading authority on open innovation, co-creation and crowdsourcing in marketing. Along with being a leading thinker, speaker and author, he also applies his theories to business.  He is currently the Founder and CEO of Victors & Spoils, the worlds leading open advertising agency. John is also the Chief Innovation Officer of Havas, the world’s sixth largest advertising holding company.

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Nicole Wong

Advisor

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Nicole Wong is the former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer, focusing on internet, privacy and innovation policy.  Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Nicole served as the Legal Director for Products at Twitter.  From 2004 to 2011, she was Google’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, primarily responsible for the company’s product and regulatory matters.

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Michelle Zatlyn

Advisor

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Michelle is the co-founder of CloudFlare and creates products people love. Prior to CloudFlare, she worked at Google and Toshiba, launched two successful startups and got her MBA from Harvard Business School. Growing up in Canada, Michelle earned a degree in chemistry and now she uses the scientific method to improve businesses. Outside of the office, you can find Michelle on the yoga mat or working on the Sunday New York Times crossword.