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.

Should the US Slowly Phase Out the $100 Bill?

Last November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shocked the country by banning the use of all 500- ($7.50) and 1,000-rupee...

The Growing Importance of Storytelling in the Business World

Communications have played a major role in my work over the past few decades.  During this period, I was involved...

Automation and Employment in the 21st Century

Ever since the advent of industrialization over 200 years ago, there’ve been periodic fears about the impact of technology-based automation...

Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery

After decades of promise and hype, artificial intelligence is finally achieving an inflection point of market success.  It’s now

The Fourth Industrial Revolution - Risks and Benefits

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) was the central theme of the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) that took place a...

The Future of the Globally Integrated Enterprise

“In Retreat: Global companies in the era of protecti

The Emerging, Unpredictable Age of AI

In a 1930 essay, Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, English economist John Maynard Keynes wrote about the onset of “a...

The Competitive Value of Data: From Analytics to Machine Learning

A recent article by NY Times reporter Steve Lohr discussed the rising importance of data as a major competitive differentiator. ...

AI and Public Policy

Two years ago, Stanford University launched the One Hundred Year Study of AI (AI100), “to study and anticipate how the...

The Internet, Blockchain, and the Evolution of Foundational Innovations

Last year, a panel of global experts convened by the World Economic Forum selected blockchain as one of the