• Mark Stahlman -- President (New York)

Mark PICMark Stahlman is President of the Center for the Study of Digital Life (CSDL). A retired Wall Street technology strategist, investment banker and serial entrepreneur, he launched his first software company – Computron Technologies, Inc. – in the early 1970s after leaving his study of Theology (University of Chicago) and Molecular Genetics (University of Wisconsin, Madison) to join the still nascent digital revolution. Stahlman started his digital career as a computer architect and programmer, designing computer and networking systems for Wang Labs, Citibank and the Diplomat Arabic word processor for Computron. He began his Wall Street career as a principal at Sanford Bernstein, and is credited with being the first to cover Sun Microsystems (SUNW) in 1986. He continued at Alex Brown and Sons, where he was a partner and he formed the New Media banking practice which managed the initial public offering for America Online (AOL) in 1992. Stahlman’s work in computer architecture led him to coin the term “network computing,” which Sun Microsystems adopted for their corporate motto “The Network is the Computer.”

In the 1990s, Stahlman co-founded the world’s largest Internet group, the New York New Media Association (NYNMA), and is credited with the term “Silicon Alley.” His Why IBM Failed article for Harvard Business Review led to an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and a consulting assignment at IBM that pushed the company towards its leadership in the services business. More recently, Stahlman helped organize an East-West “Dialogue of Civilizations” conference at the United Nations, and guest-edited a Special Centennial issue of the literary journal Renascence, devoted to Marshall McLuhan. He is a prolific writer whose reports have generated over $50M for his firms and 10-20x investment returns for his clients. He was on the first Institutional Investor magazine All American Team for Microcomputers, has appeared often on CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg TV, was profiled by Forbes as “The Futurist,” has written for Wired and Information Week, and was a contributing editor at Strategy + Business. His godfather was Norbert Wiener, and he considers CSDL to be a continuation of his father’s participation in Wiener’s “Genius Project.”

  • Howard Morgan -- Board Member (New York)

Howard PIC

Howard Morgan, PhD, is a board member of CSDL and co-founder/ partner in First Round Capital (retired), a seed stage venture capital firm. He has more than 30 years of experience with more than two hundred high-tech entrepreneurial ventures. He serves on the boards of Idealab, Kentik, Memsql, Augury and other companies. Howard was a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell and Caltech. He a Trustee of Cold Spring Harbor Labs and Math For America and is a respected author. He received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1997. His doctorate is in operations research from Cornell University (1968) and his B.S. from the CCNY (1965).


  • Phil Midland -- VP Strategy (Washington DC and Beijing China)

Phil PICPhil Midland is the Center's co-founder and its Vice-President of Strategy. He is also President, Strategic Renaissance 21 (SR 21) and IHS International (IHSI). Mr. Midland served 23 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as Captain. During his naval career, he held significant positions as Executive Assistant to the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic/Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Command, Chief of Staff for Intelligence of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, and as U.S. Naval Attaché to the People's Republic of China. Since 1998, Mr. Midland has worked directly with the legendary Andrew Marshall, Director Net Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense. His advisory to the Office of Net Assessment continues regarding the evolving and re-establishment of the dignity and global reach of the East, particularly China and Japan.

Mr. Midland received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin (Madison); a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University (SAIS); and held a Federal Executive Fellowship in International Affairs at Harvard University, during which he conducted direct research on U.S.-China-Japan defense under Professor Samuel Huntington.

  • Jeffery Martineau -- VP Development (Los Angeles)

Jeff PICJeffrey A. Martineau is the Center’s Vice President for Development and the founder of JAM Strategies. He is a recognized expert in K-12 and higher education. Mr. Martineau spent eight years with the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE), the only recognized international accreditor concerned with liberal education, serving as the Academy’s President. For a dozen years, he has worked with many schools, state and private universities in the US and in 26 countries. Mr. Martineau conducted his doctoral studies in Constitutional Law, Political Philosophy and Diplomacy at the Claremont Graduate University. He has a Masters degree in International Relations from Cal State Los Angeles as well as a Baccalaureate in Political Science from Cal Poly. He has taught courses in Constitutional and International Law, International Relations and Political Philosophy at several colleges and universities, including American and Georgetown Universities, Claremont McKenna College, Princeton, the University of California and Pasadena City College.

  • Fred Davis -- VP Technology (San Francisco)

Fred PICFred Davis is the Center's Vice President of Technology. Fred is a mentor at Geekdom and has a long string of publishing and technology successes. Fred was on the founding teams of a number of startups including Wired, CNET and Ask Jeeves. Prior to that Fred was a top executive at Ziff-Davis Publishing where he served as editor of PC Magazine, PC Week, MacUser, and A+, as well as running and leading the industry-leading product testing laboratories at those publications. Fred has been named one of the most influential people in the industry by several publications in both the U. S. and Japan, and is listed in Who’s Who in America. He has been widely quoted in publications such as Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, and the Atlantic Monthly, and has appeared on many radio and television programs, including NPR’s All Things Considered, CBS Evening News, and ABC News.



  • Peter Berkman (New York)

Peter PICPeter Berkman formed the digital music group Anamanaguchi in 2006, programming music using the strictly-limited sound banks of Nintendo sound chips, and voice synthesis software. The band's 2013 LP Endless Fantasy debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, bringing them to tour across Europe, Asia, and North America at major music festivals such as Ultra Korea, Lollapalooza, and many others. Anamanaguchi composed the award-winning soundtrack to the 2010 video game Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and most recently performed on tour alongside virtual music sensation Hatsune Miku in support of their collaborative single: “Miku”. Anamanaguchi’s music has won the praise of The New Yorker, VICE, NPR, FADER, and more. Peter studied Music Technology at New York University. Peter’s current research is focused on medieval grammar, metaphysics, and the encyclopedic curriculum of the trivium. He has studied Martin of Dacia, Thomas of Erfurt, and the surrounding controversies of “modist” grammars in 13th century Europe. He is a scholar of media professor Marshall McLuhan. In 2018, Peter lectured at the Aquinas Leadership International World Congress on Artificial Intelligence. He was also an Instructor for the CSDL’s Life and Death Seminar, centered around Aristotle’s On The Soul and Memory and Recollection (Sachs, 2001).

  • Santanu Das (New York)

Santanu PICSantanu Das, PhD, is a telecommunications and semiconductor executive and inventor. He is founder and Chairman of the Board of DomaniSystems, Inc. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Data-Core Systems and zDoof Inc as well as an Advisor of Roambee Corporationand Biorasis ,Inc. Dr. Das was a founder of TranSwitch Corporation, a semiconductor company which was incorporated in 1988 and Dr. Das served as President and CEO from its inception till December 2009. Prior to TranSwitch Corporation, he held various positions, including President of Spectrum Digital Corporation as well as the Director, Applied Technology Division of ITT Corporation' s Advanced Technology Center. Dr. Das received his B.S. and M.S. in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India and his Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Electrical Engineering from Washington University, St. Louis. He also served an eight-year term, from June 2001 to June 2009, as a Member of the Board of Trustees of Washington University. He is a frequent speaker at industry forums. and has authored and/or co-authored 25 papers on computing and communications in different journals, magazines, and conference proceedings. Dr. Das has been granted 28 patents in his field.

  • George Dyson (Bellingham, WA)

George PICGeorge Dyson is a historian of technology whose subjects have included the development (and redevelopment) of the Aleut kayak (Baidarka, 1986), the evolution of artificial intelligence (Darwin Among the Machines, 1997), and a path not taken into space (Project Orion, 2002). His recent Turing’s Cathedral (2012) illuminates the transition from numbers that mean things to numbers that do things in the aftermath of World War II.



  • Dave Farber (Tokyo)

Dave PICDavid J. Farber, DSc, is the co-director of the Cyber Civilization Research Center (CCRC) at Keio University.  He is a Distinguished Career Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology and a retired computer scientist. He was the Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunication Systems at the University of Pennsylvania where he held appointments as Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School of Business. In January 17, 2000, he was appointed to be Chief Technologist at the US Federal Communications Commission. His industrial experience includes Bell Telephone Laboratories, the RAND Corporation, Xerox Data Systems and numerous industrial advisory boards. Prof. Farber is a Trustee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and was a Board member of the Internet Society (ISOC).

  • Milo Jones (Poland)

Milo PICMilo Jones, PhD, is a Visiting Professor at IE Business School in Madrid, where he teaches Geopolitics and a variety of Intelligence-related courses to Masters and Executive Education students. He is the co-author of Constructing Cassandra: Reframing Intelligence Failure at the CIA, 1947-2001, published in 2013 by Stanford University Press. After graduating from Northwestern University, Milo served as an officer in the US Marine Corps. Upon leaving the Corps, Milo worked for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in New York then did an MBA at London Business School. After several years working for Accenture in London, Milo did a PhD in International Relations at the Brussels campus of the UK’s University of Kent. Milo is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. His research interests include geopolitics, economics and culture under digital conditions.

  • Brian Kemple (Boston)

Dave PICBrian Kemple, Ph.D., is a graduate of the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, TX. He writes on metaphysics, epistemology, phenomenology, and semiotics. His doctoral dissertation--written under John Deely--Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition: The Philosophy of Being as First Known (Brill, 2017) updates the understanding of Thomas Aquinas' theory of knowledge, demonstrating its applicability to the difficulties of today. He is also the author of Peirce and Heidegger: The Intersection of Phenomenology and Semiotics (Mouton de Gruyter, forthcoming), which shows the overlap between Heideggerian phenomenology and Peircean semiotics, showing how they may collectively improve our understanding of human life. Dr. Kemple currently runs Continuum Philosophical Insight, a philsophical and educational service.

  • Jason LaBouyer (Moscow)

Jason PICJason LaBouyer graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley. During his undergraduate experience, Jason undertook coursework and research focusing on the political economy of development. After college, Jason completed two terms of Peace Corps service, first in Bulgaria and then in China. Jason holds a masters degree in Chinese politics from Tsinghua University. His research focus includes Eastern European development, Chinese Marxism, China's "operating system" and North Korean politics. Jason is functionally fluent in Bulgarian and Chinese.


  • Thomas Lipscomb (New York)

Tom PICThomas H. Lipscomb is a media executive/CEO; publisher of numerous bestsellers; editor; writer. He was the founder of Times Books at the New York Times Company. As a serial entrepreneur he was the founder and CEO of two high tech public companies (based upon his patents in digital rights management). Tom founded The Center for the Digital Future, now the Annenberg Center at USC. Former visiting professor and lecturer at numerous universities. He is the author of articles in dozens of publications from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, to Harpers and the Readers Digest. Tom is a prize-winning playwright and is currently writing a nonfiction book on what Rebecca West has called “the greatest mystery of the Second World War.”

  • Andrew Marshall (Washington, DC)

Andy PICAndrew Marshall (1921-2019) was a renowned geopolitical strategist who retired as the Director of the Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment in 2015, which he founded in 1973. He received his Master's degree in economics from the University of Chicago in 1949, following which he joined the early RAND Corporation where he worked with Albert Wohlsetter, Herman Kahn and James Schlesinger among others. Foreign Policy magazine named Marshall one of its 2012 Top 100 Global Thinkers, "for thinking way, way outside the Pentagon box." His recently published article, “Perspective -- The Flaring of Intellectual Outliers: An Organizational Interpretation of the Generation of Novelty in the RAND Corporation” was an important influence on the formation of the CSDL.

  • Eric McLuhan (Toronto)

Eric PICEric McLuhan (1942-2018), PhD, was a world-renowned author and lecturer. He worked for fifteen years with Marshall McLuhan, and they co-authored numerous articles and books, including Laws of Media: The New Science (1988); Media and Formal Cause (2011); Theories of Communication (2012). He taught and lectured at universities in Canada and the USA, at the Vatican on several occasions, as well as the United Nations. His publications include a study of perception called The Sensus Communis, Synesthesia, and the Soul. Eric wrote his University of Dallas dissertation on arguably the greatest Menippean satire of all time, Finnegans Wake by James Joyce (published as The Role of Thunder in Finnegans Wake).

  • Andrew McLuhan (Toronto)

Andrew PICAndrew McLuhan worked with his father Eric McLuhan for a decade, assisting him in traveling to lectures around Europe, North and South America. Married with two young boys, and an upholsterer by trade, Andrew engages in McLuhan studies part time, with a focus on preserving and carrying forward the work of his father Eric and grandfather Marshall McLuhan. A major research project was the inventory and evaluation of the library of Marshall McLuhan, and he has lectured on that and other topics, as well as leading workshops in introductory McLuhan studies. Andrew is founder and director of the McLuhan Institute, which is dedicated to the conserving and continuing the work of Marshall and Eric McLuhan in the study of technology and culture.

  • Deborah Newman (New York)

Debbie PICDeborah Newman, Esq., is a copyright and digital media attorney/consultant whose practice is focused on cutting-edge issues in copyright reform and music licensing. A long-time veteran of the music industry, she spent 20 years at Columbia/CBS Records, which later became Sony Music.  During that time, she helped create a leadership position for the company in the music television and home video business.  As the industry shifted to digital, she became VP Marketing at the early online music company N2K/Music Boulevard (which went public in 1997) and the Sony/Universal owned music subscription service Pressplay.  Ms. Newman has consulted to many startups regarding their intellectual property requirements.  She is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the New York State Bar Association and the U.S. Copyright Society. Ms. Newman earned her J.D. from New York Law School and is admitted to practice in the State of New York. She has a B.A. from Brandeis University.

  • Carlota Perez (London, UK)

Carlota PICCarlota Perez, PhD, is Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and an expert on technology and socio-economic development. She has also held positions as Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Financial Analysis & Policy (CFAP) at Cambridge University and is an Honorary Professor at SPRU, University of Sussex. Carlota was the founding Director of Technology in the Ministry of Industry in Venezuela, and under her directorship that country's first venture capital agency was established. As an international consultant, she has worked for various multilateral organizations, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNESCO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank. She has also been consultant for major corporations (IBM, Ericsson, Telefónica, Cisco, etc). Her Technological Revolution and Financial Capital (2002) is the landmark study of Techno-Economic Paradigm shifts. In 2012 she was awarded the Silver Kondratieff Medal the International N. D. Kondratieff Foundation.

  • James Poulos (Los Angeles)

James PICJames Poulos, J.D./DPhil, is a social theorist and strategist at the intersection of governance, technology, and culture. James earned a B.A. with honors in political science from Duke University, a J.D. from the University of Southern California and a DPhil from Georgetown. He has delivered remarks at colleges and universities across the country and at organizations including The Atlantic Council, The Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture, and The Manhattan Institute. The author of The Art of Being Free (2017) and a contributing editor at National Affairs and American Affairs, he has covered the politics of the human for over a decade at publications from Foreign Policy to Vice, drawing praise in The AtlanticThe New York Times, New York, Vox, and The Washington Post, among many others. He is a principal at Contra, a communications collaborative in Washington, D.C.

  • Adam Pugen (Toronto)

Adam PICAdam Pugen is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. His doctoral research concerns notions of embodied symbolism as developed in existential phenomenology and media ecology, and explores the experiential structures behind digital media through investigating the links between semiotics, sensory interplay, and mathematical logic.  Some of his research has been published in the journal Systema under the title “Experimental Poiesis as Systems Thinking: McLuhan’s Tetrad and the Comprehension of Complexity.”


  • Yang Qiao (New York)

Yang PICYang Qiao is pursuing an MS degree in Data Science at Columbia University. She used to work as a research assistant at Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, a consultant at a New York financial services company, and an assistant analyst at Rabobank. She earned a BA with honors in Mathematics and Economics from New York University, and a BA in International Economics from Beijing Institute of Technology. She competed and ranked the 4th in 2014 Missouri MAA Collegiate Mathematics Competition. Prior to that she participated as a youth scholar in the Beijing Cultural Forum on Capital Intangible Cultural Heritage Preservation. Yang is also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery at NYU and has also studied philosophy, psychology, and literature at Westminster College in its Honors Program. She enjoys a combination of arts and science, east and west.

  • Brett Robinson (South Bend)

Brett PICBrett Robinson, PhD, is the Director of Communications & Advancement for the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. He has a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Georgia. He has held various communications roles at for-profit and nonprofit institutions, including Textron and the RAND Corporation. Robinson taught media studies courses at Saint Vincent College before returning to Notre Dame where he also teaches in the Department of Theology and the Mendoza College of Business. He is the author of Appletopia: Media Technology and the Religious Imagination of Steve Jobs and his essays and commentary on technology and culture have been featured on CNN, Aleteia, Wired Magazine and the LA Times.

  • Doc Searls (New York)

Doc PICDoc Searls is a journalist, columnist, widely read blogger and veteran businessman. He is the author The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge (2012), and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual (2000, 2010). He is also Senior Editor of Linux Journal, a fellow at the Center for Information Technology & Society at UC Santa Barbara, and the founder and director of ProjectVRM at the Berkman Center for Internet Society at Harvard University since 2006, which he served as a fellow from 2006-2010. He also co-founded and served as creative director at Hodskins Simone & Searls, one of Silicon Valley’s leading ad agencies in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

  • Mitsuhiro Takemura (Berlin and Tokyo)

Hiro PICMitsuhiro Takemura is a scholar of media aesthetics and Director of QON (Quality of Network) in Berlin. His professional experiences include Associate Professor of Kyoto University of Art and Design, Information Design; Founding Director of Research Center for Media Aesthetics of Kyoto University of Art and Design; Associate Professor, Institute of Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at The University of Tokyo (Media Environment Studies); and Professor, Sapporo City University (School of Media Design). His research includes the prize-winning book “The Future of Memory, Cultural Economy of Digital Archives” (published by University of Tokyo Press).


  • Roman Yampolskiy (Lexington, KY)

Roman PICRoman V. Yampolskiy, PhD, is a Tenured Associate Professor in the department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville. He is the founding and current director of the Cyber Security Lab and an author of many books including Artificial Superintelligence: a Futuristic Approach. Yampolskiy is a Senior member of IEEE and AGI; Member of Kentucky Academy of Science, and Research Advisor for MIRI and Associate of GCRI. Dr. Yampolskiy’s main areas of interest are AI Safety and Cybersecurity. Dr. Yampolskiy is an author of over 100 publications including multiple journal articles and books. Dr. Yampolskiy has been an invited speaker at 60+ events including Swedish National Academy of Science, Supreme Court of Korea, Princeton University and many others.

  • Rik Willard (New York)

Rik PICRik Willard is the Founder and Managing Partner of Agentic Group, a federated network of over 45 companies throughout the world, focused on the decentralized Internet. The company is headquartered in New York City, with additional representation in London, Paris and Zurich. Rik began his digital career during the dotcom boom in New York's Silicon Alley, as CEO of MediaMerge, which produced digital solutions for global clients. He is a long-time Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, and a Corporate Roundtable member of the World  Conference of Mayors, which focuses on local leadership in emerging markets.


  • Ning Wang (Phoenix, AZ)

Ning PICNing Wang, PhD, is Senior Fellow at Ronald Coase Institute (USA) and International Director of the Ronald Coase Center for the Study of the Economy at Zhejiang University, China. He is editor-in-chief of Man and the Economy: the Journal of the Coase Society. He was educated at Peking University and the University of Chicago. He has taught at the University of Chicago and Arizona State University. Along with Prof. Coase, he co-authored How China Became Capitalist (2013), as well as the manifesto “Saving Economics from the Economists” (published by Harvard Business Review in 2012). He has held visiting research fellowship in Italy (2014) and Japan (2015). Earlier, he published Cultural Psychology: Culture and Mind (in Chinese, 1993). His primary research interests include Coasian economics and China’s transition to a market economy and open society.

  • McKensie Wark (New York)

Quark PICMcKensie Wark, PhD, is Professor of Culture and Media at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. He is the author of many books and articles, including A Hacker Manifesto (2004) and Gamer Theory (2007) and, most recently, Molecular Red (2015). Dr. Wark received his Masters from University of Technology (Sydney) and his PhD in Communications from Murdoch University.




Mark Stahlman

The Center for the Study of Digital Life (CSDL) is a not-for-profit strategic research group dedicated to understanding the effects of digital technologies on civilizations -- both East and West.

-Mark Stahlman