From one of the world’s leading data scientists, a landmark tour of the new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT’s Alex “Sandy” Pentland. Over years of groundbreaking experiments, he has distilled remarkable discoveries significant enough to become the bedrock of a whole new scientific field: social physics. Humans have more in common with bees than we like to admit: We’re social creatures first and foremost. Our most important habits of action—and most basic notions of common sense—are wired into us through our coordination in social groups. Social physics is about idea flow, the way human social networks spread ideas and transform those ideas into behaviors. Thanks to the millions of digital bread crumbs people leave behind via smartphones, GPS devices, and the Internet, the amount of new information we have about human activity is truly profound. Until now, sociologists have depended on limited data sets and surveys that tell us how people say they think and behave, rather than what they actually do. As a result, we’ve been stuck with the same stale social structures—classes, markets—and a focus on individual actors, data snapshots, and steady states. Pentland shows that, in fact, humans respond much more powerfully to social incentives that involve rewarding others and strengthening the ties that bind than incentives that involve only their own economic self-interest. Pentland and his teams have found that they can study patterns of information exchange in a social network without any knowledge of the actual content of the information and predict with stunning accuracy how productive and effective that network is, whether it’s a business or an entire city. We can maximize a group’s collective intelligence to improve performance and use social incentives to create new organizations and guide them through disruptive change in a way that maximizes the good. At every level of interaction, from small groups to large cities, social networks can be tuned to increase exploration and engagement, thus vastly improving idea flow. Social Physics will change the way we think about how we learn and how our social groups work—and can be made to work better, at every level of society. Pentland leads readers to the edge of the most important revolution in the study of social behavior in a generation, an entirely new way to look at life itself. From the Trade Paperback edition.
How Activity and Material Processes Dynamize Practices
Author: Theodore R. Schatzki
Category: Social Science
Social Change in a Material World offers a new, practice theoretical account of social change and its explanation. Extending the author’s earlier account of social life, and drawing on general ideas about events, processes, and change, the book conceptualizes social changes as configurations of significant differences in bundles of practices and material arrangements. Illustrated with examples from the history of bourbon distillation and the formation and evolution of digitally-mediated associations in contemporary life, the book argues that chains of activity combine with material events and processes to cause social changes. The book thereby stresses the significance of the material dimension of society for the constitution, determination, and explanation of social phenomena, as well as the types of space needed to understand them. The book also challenges the explanatory significance of such key phenomena as power, dependence, relations, mechanisms, and individual behavior. As such, it will appeal to sociologists, geographers, organization studies scholars, and others interested in social life and social change.
Using Collaborative Innovation Networks to Build a Better Business
Author: Peter A. Gloor
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
Category: Business & Economics
The future of business is swarm business – whether it’s at Uber, Airbnb, Tesla, or Apple, it’s not about being a fearless leader, but about creating a swarm that works together in collective consciousness to create great things and reinvent your business.
Are you curious about smart cities? You should be! By mid-century, two-thirds of us will live in cities. The world of tomorrow will be a world of cities. But will they be smart cities? Smart cities are complex blends of technologies, systems and services designed and orchestrated to help people lead productive, fulfilling, safe and happy lives. This remarkable book is a window into our shared future. In crisp language and sharp detail, Mike Barlow and Cornelia Lévy-Bencheton explain how smart cities are powerful forces for positive change. With keen eyes and warm hearts, they invite readers to imagine the world of tomorrow, a fascinating world of connected cities and communities. They capture and convey the depth and richness of the worldwide smart city movement. Smart Cities, Smart Future describes the impact of smart city projects on people in towns, cities and nations around the world. The book includes descriptions of ongoing smart city projects in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Looking Ahead to an Urban World No two smart cities are alike. No one can say with certainty or precision what the term “smart city” means. There is no standard definition or common template. Today, smart cities are works in progress. They emerge from our hopes and our dreams. This book provides you with the knowledge and insight you need to participate in the smart city movement. It explains how smart cities are “systems of systems” and introduces key concepts such as interoperability, open standards, resiliency, agility, adaptability and continuous improvement. Includes Detailed Glossary of Terms and Essential Vocabulary The book includes a detailed comprehensive glossary of essential smart city terms. The glossary will become your indispensable resource as you engage more deeply with the smart city movement and become more involved in planning our common future in an urban world. Carefully Researched and Crisply Written Smart Cities, Smart Future is carefully researched and fully documented. It includes interviews with leaders and experts in multiple disciplines essential to the development of smart cities, towns, regions, states and nations. Written in the clean style of modern journalism, the book offers a strong and compelling narrative of a changing world. It reminds us that we are responsible for choosing our destiny and determining the shape of things to come. The smart city movement is gaining speed and momentum. Read this book, and enjoy the ride!
A new, counterintuitive theory for how social networks influence the spread of behavior New social movements, technologies, and public-health initiatives often struggle to take off, yet many diseases disperse rapidly without issue. Can the lessons learned from the viral diffusion of diseases be used to improve the spread of beneficial behaviors and innovations? In How Behavior Spreads, Damon Centola presents over a decade of original research examining how changes in societal behavior--in voting, health, technology, and finance—occur and the ways social networks can be used to influence how they propagate. Centola's startling findings show that the same conditions accelerating the viral expansion of an epidemic unexpectedly inhibit the spread of behaviors. While it is commonly believed that "weak ties"—long-distance connections linking acquaintances—lead to the quicker spread of behaviors, in fact the exact opposite holds true. Centola demonstrates how the most well-known, intuitive ideas about social networks have caused past diffusion efforts to fail, and how such efforts might succeed in the future. Pioneering the use of Web-based methods to understand how changes in people's social networks alter their behaviors, Centola illustrates the ways in which these insights can be applied to solve countless problems of organizational change, cultural evolution, and social innovation. His findings offer important lessons for public health workers, entrepreneurs, and activists looking to harness networks for social change. Practical and informative, How Behavior Spreads is a must-read for anyone interested in how the theory of social networks can transform our world.
Build a championship sales team that prepares, practices, and plays in sync—and closes every deal Gone are the days of meeting a client for lunch, chatting about your product, and closing the sale over dessert. Buyers today look very differently from those of the past. They make networked purchasing decisions by committee, with diverse roles, interests and backgrounds. With access to more information and a greater ability to share it, they demand value, access and alignment from their counterparties. Sales is now a team sport, and to win you have to build and manage selling squads that work in complete alignment—not just during client meetings, but before and after, as well. In Sell Like a Team, Michael Dalis, a senior consultant at the legendary sales training firm, The Richardson Company, guides you through the process of creating and managing selling squads that execute and win in every sales meeting or pitch. Winning selling squads are fueled by trust. There is an effective leader and every member knows his or her role. They plan, practice and make adjustments together. During customer meetings, they execute as a unit. And afterward, they debrief together so they can advance the sale, replicate the high points and eliminate the low ones in future meetings. In today’s competitive market, the difference between the winner and all the others is a lean at the tape. There’s a world of difference between teams that are qualified and those that win. This groundbreaking guide provides everything you need to create and organize selling squads that win more and win big.