Kevin Werbach
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Kevin Werbach

Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Author of The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust and For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business

A leading authority on the business, legal, and public policy implications of emerging technologies, Wharton professor Kevin Werbach has helped to develop the U.S. government’s approach to internet policy and pioneered research into the disruptive forces that are upending traditional business models.

The Blockchain as a New Architecture of Trust

The technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could change business and society as profoundly as the internet did. Yet it remains wildly misunderstood, leading to rampant hype and dangerous speculation. The blockchain is fundamentally not about money; it is a new form of decentralized trust and collaboration. In an era when conventional trust is collapsing, the blockchain offers a set of extraordinary new opportunities…but also creates new risks. A successful blockchain strategy requires a clear understanding of the blockchain’s value proposition and, perhaps ironically, an appreciation of governance and regulation. 

Big Data, Big Responsibilities

Big data, machine learning, and predictive analytics are transforming the business landscape in virtually every industry. For all their power, these techniques can also result in abuses of privacy, unethical manipulation, and new forms of discrimination. Organizations seeking to benefit from big data and analytics must consider their limitations, as well as the emerging legal and technical mechanisms of algorithmic accountability.

Game Thinking for Business

What actually makes games fun? What do game developers understand about motivation and design that can be applied to virtually any business challenge? How can “gamification” go beyond surface-level rewards such as points and badges to engage customers, employees, or other participants deeply and sustainably?

Meet Kevin Werbach

A leading authority on the business, legal, and public policy implications of emerging technologies, Wharton School professor Kevin Werbach has helped to develop the U.S. government’s approach to internet policy and pioneered research into cutting edge technologies.

For more than twenty years, Kevin Werbach has been a leading thinker on cutting edge trends in information technology. Straddling the corporate, government, startup, and academic worlds, he has consistently spotted critical issues ahead of the curve. At the Federal Communications Commission and as a member of the Presidential Transition Team, he helped develop the U.S. regulatory approach to the internet. His first book, For the Win (2012), and his massive open online course with nearly half a million learners showed how motivational techniques from games could be applied to business. Werbach created the first business school course on legal and ethical considerations for big data, such as privacy, algorithmic bias, and manipulation.

Werbach's latest book, The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust (2018), cuts through the hype around blockchain technology to explain the real value propositions—and the risks—of cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers. His rare ability to translate between the languages of business, law, and engineering makes him an insightful and provocative speaker for any audience.



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