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A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities

The future of humanity is urban, and the nature of urban space enables, and necessitates, sharing—of resources, goods and services, experiences. Yet traditional forms of sharing have been undermined in modern cities by social fragmentation and commercialization of the public realm. In Sharing Cities, Duncan McLaren and Julian Agyeman argue that the intersection of cities’ highly networked physical space with new digital technologies and new mediated forms of sharing offers cities the opportunity to connect smart technology to justice, solidarity, and sustainability.

Navigating the Emotional Spaces of Digital Social Networks

We are active with our mobile devices; we play games, watch films, listen to music, check social media, and tap screens and keyboards while we are on the move. In Mood and Mobility, Richard Coyne argues that not only do we communicate, process information, and entertain ourselves through devices and social media; we also receive, modify, intensify, and transmit moods. Designers, practitioners, educators, researchers, and users should pay more attention to the moods created around our smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

On Software and Sovereignty

What has planetary-scale computation done to our geopolitical realities? In The Stack, Benjamin Bratton proposes that smart grids, cloud computing, mobile software and smart cities, universal addressing systems, ubiquitous computing, and other types of apparently unrelated planetary-scale computation can be viewed as forming a coherent whole—an accidental megastructure called The Stack that is both a computational apparatus and a new geopolitical architecture.

Users, Communities, and Open Innovation

The last two decades have witnessed an extraordinary growth of new models of managing and organizing the innovation process that emphasizes users over producers. Large parts of the knowledge economy now routinely rely on users, communities, and open innovation approaches to solve important technological and organizational problems. This view of innovation, pioneered by the economist Eric von Hippel, counters the dominant paradigm, which cast the profit-seeking incentives of firms as the main driver of technical change.

Essays in Honor of John D.C. Little

John D. C. Little of MIT’s Sloan School of Management is famous for his contributions to operations research and marketing science. He formulated a fundamental theorem in queuing theory known as Little’s Law, which is used widely in a variety of fields. His work on such topics as optimal advertising experimentation, advertising budgeting, and aggregate marketing models, and its subsequent applications, has generated entire streams of research.

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