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MIT Sloan researchers named to Thinkers50 awards shortlist


Several researchers from MIT Sloan are on the shortlist for the 2021 Thinkers50 awards, biennial honors given in 10 different categories to global business leaders. The winners will be named at a virtual event Nov. 15 and Nov. 16.

Three people from MIT Sloan were nominated for the Digital Thinking Award, which honors researchers who shed valuable insight on the “new digital reality of business.”

is a professor of information technology and marketing, and director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. His research areas include business analytics and social media, and his recent book “The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health — and How We Must Adapt” looks at the promise and peril of social media.

His recent research includes a look at how emphasizing vaccine acceptance can boost immunization rates.

Matt Beane, SM ’14, PhD ’17, is an assistant professor at the University of California Santa Barbara and a digital fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and the Stanford University Digital Economy Lab. He researches intelligent machines, particularly robotics.

Beane was also named to the 2021 Thinkers50 Radar list. His recent work includes an article about working with robots in the post-pandemic world.

Erica Dhawan, MBA ’12, studies teamwork, collaboration, and innovation. She is the founder and CEO of Cotential, a company that helps companies improve performance through better collaboration skills.

In her recent book “Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance,” Dhawan explores how things like punctuation, emojis, and Zoom backgrounds can build or erode trust and connection.


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5 from MIT Sloan honored at Thinkers50 awards
4 from MIT Sloan honored at Thinkers50 awards

, an assistant professor of work and organization studies at MIT Sloan, was nominated for the Thinkers50 Radar Award, which honors a new thinker who has the potential to “change the world of theory and practice.” Lu was named to the 2021 Thinkers50 Radar list earlier this year.

Lu’s research focuses on culture and globalization, including recent papers about how multicultural experiences can make people more effective leaders and how cultural psychology influences attitudes toward mask-wearing.


Elizabeth Altman, SM ’92, was nominated for the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea award, which honors researchers who had a “eureka moment” in management thinking. Altman, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, was nominated for research about ecosystems in business and organizations.

Altman’s areas of research include platforms, workforce ecosystems, the future of work, and innovation. She was the guest editor of the MIT Sloan Management Review Future of the Workforce research project.

For more info Sara Brown Senior News Editor and Writer