By harnessing the power of our collective intelligence, can humans as a species work together to implement thoughtful solutions in an age of connectivity? In a world riddled with big problems, leading social scientist Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland has heartening news. His research is discovering the power and pitfalls of social sharing on our decision-making. Pentland’s field, “Social Physics” is a new way of understanding human behavior based on analysis of Big Data. By leveraging huge amounts of available consumer information and tracking idea flow, research can now make better predictions about human behavior and learn how to make minor shifts to generate massive change.
Alex `Sandy’ Pentland directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, co-leads the World Economic Forum Big Data and Personal Data initiatives, and is a founding member of the Advisory Boards for Nissan, Motorola Mobility, Telefonica, and a variety of start-up firms. In 2012 Forbes named Sandy one of the ‘seven most powerful data scientists in the world’.