Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Marina Gorbis's Required Reading: Human Nature and Networks

strategy+business, December 7, 2017

by Theodore Kinni

Marina Gorbis has studied the future of just about everything. It’s her job. Since 2006, the Ukrainian-born social scientist has been the executive director of the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a Silicon Valley–based research and consulting nonprofit founded almost a half-century ago to explore the future and create organizational tools and programs for successfully navigating it.

Recently, Gorbis has been focused on the future of work and learning. Her book, The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World (Free Press, 2013), which was named as one of the year’s best business books by s+b in 2013, explored the economic, political, and educational ramifications of the large, distributed networks of individuals that are forming with the help of social technologies. In the IFTF’s Future of Learning project, Gorbis is leading an effort to map the disruptions that are reshaping education and the future scenarios they might produce.
Gorbis previously created the Global Innovation Forum, a project comparing innovation strategies in different regions, and the IFTF’s Global Ethnographic Network, a multiyear research program aimed at understanding daily lives of people in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Silicon Valley. She is an active speaker and writer whose work has appeared iFast Company and Harvard Business Review, among other publications. 

When I asked Gorbis to share a few books that business executives should read, she said, “I have to tell you the truth. I hate business books and rarely read them.” But then she called out three titles that examine human nature and networks — essential knowledge for anyone who leads people. Read the rest here.