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Seven from MIT make Thinkers50 shortlist

Winners will be announced Nov. 13 in London.

By Rebecca Linke  |  August 4, 2017

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Clockwise from top left: Kate Darling, Hal Gregersen, Lauren Noël, David Robertson, Sherry Turkle, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Andrew McAfee

Seven members of the MIT community were named this week to the shortlist for the biennial Thinkers50 awards.

In addition to its ranked list of 50 top management thinkers, Thinkers50 gives out awards in eight categories, plus a Lifetime Achievement award. This year’s winners will be announced at an event in London on November 13.

Those included in the shortlist hail from all over the world — and the number of women named to the shortlist increased this year to 30.

Here are the 2017 finalists from MIT.

Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ‘91 and Andrew McAfee, SB ’88, SB ’89, LFM ’90
Brynjolfsson and McAfee have co-authored three books, the most recent of which is this year’s "Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future" (excerpted here). Brynjolfsson is a professor at MIT Sloan and the director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. McAfee is a principle research scientist at MIT Sloan and the co-founder of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

Brynjolfsson and McAfee are nominated for the Digital Thinking award, which they also won in 2015. 

Kate Darling
Darling, an expert in robot ethics, is a researcher at the MIT Media Lab. She is the co-author of this year’s book "Creativity without Law: Challenging the Assumptions of Intellectual Property." Darling is nominated for the Digital Thinking award.

Hal Gregersen
The executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan, Gregersen is the co-author of the 2011 book "The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators." Gregersen is nominated for the Leadership award.

Lauren Noël, MBA ’10
Noël is the managing director of QUEST, a global leadership institute for early career women. She is the co-author of 2015’s "What executives need to know about millennial women" [PDF]. Noël is nominated for the Talent award. She is co-nominated with Christie Hunter Arscott, a principal at QUEST.

David Robertson, PhD ’90
Robertson is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan. His latest book is this year’s "The Power of Little Ideas: A Low-risk, High-reward Approach to Innovation." Robertson is nominated for the Innovation award.

Sherry Turkle
Turkle is an MIT professor and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Her most recent book is 2015’s "Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age." Turkle is nominated for the Digital Thinking award.