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An Interview with Stephen Harwood

by | May 24, 2022 | Interviews,

Stephen Harwood

Stephen Harwood

Entrepreneur and Educator at TechnoForeSight.

Key Topics:Managing technology, Digital futures, Handing-managing complexity, Sustainability.
Location:Edinburgh, Scotland

Dr. Stephen Harwood has had many lives including that of geophysicist, writer, educator, change agent, entrepreneur, and director. Most recently he founded TechnoForeSight to promote and advise upon developments in the future of technology, work, and education.

Stephen lectures at the University of Edinburgh Business School, from where he was awarded his Doctorate. He also writes, with publications spanning a range of topics including technology futures, ERP implementation, maker spaces, and sustainability. His work is grounded in the theoretical domains of cybernetics and systems thinking. One current project is the development of skills for handling complex situations, drawing upon VIPLAN Methodology.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I have been fortunate to have had a rich range of challenging business–management experiences, both as a practitioner and educator. Further, my technical background (computing, geophysics, cybernetics, and systems thinking) has provided the requisite insights to appreciate the complexity of business and technology in novel ways. This has provided me with ample opportunity to reflect upon, learn from and share with others, the underlying principles that I believe guide successful change management and specifically, applications of technology as well as allows consideration of possible futures.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

Digital inclusion, Sustainable development, and Cyber systemic thinking.

Who influences you on these topics?

John Dewey, Charles Pierce, William Edwards Deming, Raul Espejo, Stafford Beer, Carlota Perez.

What do you think the future holds in this space?

With the growing complexity, uncertainty, and turbulence of the World, geopolitics, inflation, sustainability concerns, and social unrest will provide destabilizing influences and consequential challenges, especially with regard to international trade. Organizational resilience will become a core issue, supported by how emerging forms of technology can enable and transform.

One of the key threats is the establishment of a possible East-West divide, each dominating particular markets around the world. Lack of interoperability between the technologies emerging from these two spheres, especially infrastructure, may, through lock-in, close these markets to the other sphere, rendering permanency to this divide. This undermines global trade, international cooperation, and social well-being.

What brands are leading the way in this space?

These are clearly the technology and communications organisations to be found in the Global500.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

Content production (e.g. white papers); Speaking opportunities; Strategy development.

What are your passions outside of work?


What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?


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