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Marty Anderson

Senior Lecturer in Management

Lewis Family Chair in Social Innovation

Marty travels the world tracking complex human networks looking for innovations  and new ventures of all kinds: social, commercial, technological. From the earliest days of the public internet, he has worked with affected companies around the world.  During the past ten years he has been observing in person how the rapid deployment of 7 billion mobile devices has transformed global human experience far beyond simple communications.  He is documenting the rise of “emergent” global technologies that rest on networked human behavior, and on our basic needs and aspirations: media, health care, education, food, water, waste, mining, energy, housing, space exploration, and various forms of “science”.

 
His basic focus is that humans organize our activities in two network formats, and we are now shifting rapidly our dominant forms of organization.  “Command” networks are our traditional centrally-organized networks: companies, governments, supply chains, roads, electrical grids, physical manufacturing, controlled scientific processes, etc.  Command networks dominated our 20th century business and social models and framed most of our strategies, economic/business models, scientific theories, and legal structures.  “Emergent” networks are the real-time second-by-second actions of all humans as we go about our daily lives.  Our new 21st century technologies, business/social models, and sciences rest on the sudden ability to electronically track and interact with almost all human behavior on Earth in real time. 
 
20th century human institutions were based on central-command scale.  21st century human institutions are now dominated by global emergent behavior that has completely re-organized “soft” industries like music, media, credit, information – and is rapidly re-organizing “structured” enterprises like manufacturing, energy, health care, government, traditional science.
 
Given the overwhelming global changes underway, our institutions find it almost impossible to predict the future, which means “entrepreneurial thought and action” is becoming the dominant behavior of sustainable institutions.  Google, Tencent, Baidu have massive scale, but they evolve by the minute, while long-gone 20th century giants created 10 year plans.
 
Marty works with collaborators around the world seeking to bring this emergent reality into the classroom through ever-changing “living cases” based on video and real-time communication.  He also seeks to bring students of all ages into the field to see first hand the amazing transformation of our world.
 
Marty consults with organizations large and small to help them map and implement networked innovations.  Before joining Babson, he had more than 20 years of executive-level commercial experience in strategy, market development, supply-demand chain reorganization, and technological innovation in more than 35 nations.  He has worked with many companies and government, managed commercially sponsored research at MIT, and has taught at schools around the world.
 
He is a contributor on Forbes.com