An interview with Thomas Malone, author of Superminds

People have formed groups and thought together to solve problems for millennia. But new ways to do that with digital technologies mean that this commingling of brains is now far greater than the sum of its parts.

THREE decades ago Thomas Malone modernised how the business world thought about digital communications in organisations with a seminal paper, “Electronic Markets and Electronic Hierarchies”. It was 1987, before the commercialisation of the internet, yet he and his co-authors predicted “an overall shift toward proportionately more use of markets—rather than hierarchies—to co-ordinate economic activity”.

Evidence confirming that thesis is now everywhere. His book “The Future of Work” in 2004 foresaw “hyperspecialisation” in business, which has also come to pass. As a professor of management at MIT, Mr Malone has built on his earlier works to consider how new technologies and people can combine to create new kinds of productive entities, which he calls “superminds”—the title of his latest book.

Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.