Irving Wladawsky-Berger




Irving Wladawsky-Berger retired from IBM on May 31, 2007 after 37 years with the company. Since then, he has continued to consult for IBM in a number of initiatives including Cloud Computing, Smart Planet and other technical and innovation areas. In March of 2008 he joined Citigroup as Strategic Advisor, helping with innovation and technology initiatives across the company.

At IBM Wladawsky-Berger was responsible for identifying emerging technologies and marketplace developments that are critical to the future of the IT industry, and then organizing activities in and outside IBM in order to capitalize on them. He was also responsible for the university relations office and for the IBM Academy of Technology where he served as Chairman of the Board of Governors. In 1996, he led the effort to formulate IBM’s Internet strategy and to develop and bring to market leading-edge Internet technologies that could be integrated into IBM’s mainstream business. Since then, he has led a number of company wide initiatives like Linux, Grid Computing and, in October 2002, the On Demand Business initiative.

Wladawsky-Berger is Visiting Lecturer at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Engineering Systems Division; Senior Fellow at the Levin Institute of the State University of New York; and Adjunct Professor in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at the Imperial College Business School. In his academic activities he is involved in multi-disciplinary research and teaching focused on how technology can best help transform business organizations and the institutions of society

He is a member of BP’s Technology Advisory Council, the Visiting Committee for the Physical Sciences Division at the University of Chicago and the Board of Visitors for the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was his honor to serve on and later act as co-chair of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee from 1997 to 2001, and to be a founding member of the Computer Sciences and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council in 1986. He is a former member of University of Chicago Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratories and of the Board of Overseers for Fermilab. A few years ago, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Cuba and come to the US at the age of 15, one of the things of which he is proudest is having been named 2001 Hispanic Engineer of the Year. Wladawsky-Berger has an M.S. and Ph. D. in physics from the University of Chicago.

Reflections on Big Data, Data Science and Related Subjects

A couple of months ago I was appointed executive-in-residence at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), an interdisciplinary applied science resear

Creating More Intelligent Organizations

I recently read a fascinating online conversation on Collective Intelligence with Tom Malone.  Malone is Professor of Management at MIT’s...

The Future of Jobs in the Digital Economy

I recently participated in a roundtable discussion on Work and Value in the Digital Economy, convened by MIT’s Center for...

The Science of Information-based Predictions

For months, just like a good portion of the country, I followed closely our 2012 presidential campaign.  Up to the...

Big Data, Complex Systems and Quantum Mechanics

Big Data is one of the hottest topics out there.  Big data is a foundational element in IT’s quartet of...

Hurricane Sandy: a 21st Century Wake-Up Call?

As I was personally experiencing the fury of Hurricane Sandy a few weeks ago, I thought of the Internet Highway...

Governance and Pragmatism: Moving Beyond “The Culture of No”

Checks and balances is one of the most important principles for making decisions and getting things done in a highly...

The Rise of the Chief Digital Officer

At its recent Symposium/ITxpo 2012 in Orlando, Gartner predicted that by 2015, about a quarter of all organizations will have...

Solving Big Problems in Our 21st Century Information Society

The November issue of the MIT Technology Review featured a provocative article, Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems, written by...

Reflections on the Nature of Human Organizations

Urbanization is one of the major forces transforming societies all over the world.  The rapid pace of urbanization is succinctly...