Harvard’s Mechling on Technology

I love Professor Jerry Mechling.  He’s a legend at the Harvard Kennedy School, which I still think of as the John F. Kennedy School of Government.  I studied under Professor Mechling in Boston in few years ago, in the E-Government program, and it was a remarkable experience.  Professor Mechling has a razor-sharp insight into macro trends in technology and its use in government and its interaction with business.  He’s a one-man catalyst to technology innovation the world today, in my opinion.

A lot of such innovation starts at the grass roots, in bits and bytes and in ways that end-users don’t see coming.  We’ve all witnessed the results of such events over the last several decades  Who saw the coming of the Internet, of social networking, of mobile devices?  Not many. But a few did. You’ll find them among a select few science fiction writers, and of course the visionaries who made it happen.  These people are gems.

And you’ll find one of those gems in the person of Jerry Mechling.  He’s adept at bringing together movers and shakers, both as students and as supplemental presenters to his courses, as he fosters fascinating exchanges and debate, triggering everyone to think in new ways they probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.  By integrating a carefully selected cross-section of movers and shakers in his workshop format, he uniquely positions himself to generate creative thinking, and captures current thought from across the most amazing spectrum of fascinating people, which he funnels right back into the discussions he orchestrates.  He’s a force in technical innovation and implementation in the world today, in a way that we who have been fortunate enough to invest some time in his world have witnessed.  But I don’t think these truths are well known beyond those circles.

His methods are part of the overall Harvard tradition, and Professor Mechling is one of the reasons that Harvard continues to be at the forefront of innovative thought and groundbreaking trends.

Don’t forget:  Bill Gates invented the concept of Microsoft while a student at Harvard.  And the Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook while there as well.  The fact that these and other worldwide trends originated at Harvard is not a coincidence.  It’s a reflection of what goes on there.

So it was fun for me to see this recent video, featuring an interview of Professor Mechling with John O’Leary, executive editor of Better, Faster, Cheaper.  It’s about five minutes long.  It’s quick and insightful – with some key nuggets of wisdom from Professor Mechling.  See below.


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