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In-depth blockchain research at Harvard

Assistant professor Juho Lindman is invited as a visiting scholar to the SCANCOR-Weatherhead Partnership at Harvard University during spring 2019. Juhos time in Boston will be a period for research and writing on his special interest blockchain.

– My plan is to combine gathering of new interview data for research and to develop alliances between Harvard, University of Gothenburg and the Blockchain Lab I am directing in Gothenburg. I also plan to conduct field research in order to investigate new collaborations, says Juho.

He is not sure which communities or firms he will focus on but stating that he will try to keep an open mind. His Harvard research project is titled Public Blockchain Governance and is a logic next step building on his earlier research on open source software governance and online community research.

– My initial plan also includes visits to Scancor in Palo Alto using my existing connections to collect data on blockchain-related industries and further stay in Palo Alto for research collaboration.

Previous experience of Scancor
Juho Lindman is a Scancor alumni after having served as a Scancor Scholar in Palo Alto for two summers in 2012 and 2015. These earlier visits have been forming experiences for him as a researcher enabling his post-doctoral career and securing his tenure-track appointment.

Since being an alumni, an international research environment is familiar to him, although it will differ from Gothenburg in many ways.
– I have not been to Harvard yet, however I would say it is more international, more traditional and, obviously, more famous.

Before moving to Boston, Juho will attend several international conferences, for example ICIS and IFIP82 in San Franscisco, as well as HICSS in Hawaii, which during the latter he will be joined by several colleagues from the informatics division in Gothenburg.

Informatics division to establish further links to Boston
Johan Magnusson, Head of the Division, who is also participating at HICSS, is pleased for Juhos opportunity.

– I hope this exchange leads to deepened research cooperation for Juho, but also for the whole informatics division. Already now, we are investigating in how to establish more links to the nearby universities and research environments in the Boston area.

– For example, Lidija Polutnik, professor at Babson College, and visiting professor at Department of Applied IT, is already an important contact for us in getting to know potential cooperative partners. So exchange and cooperation are highly important factors for successful international research, says Johan Magnusson who became familiar to Lidija Polutnik during her visits to Gothenburg.

At HICSS, Juho will present the paper Towards an Internet of Things society: Perspectives from government agencies in Sweden which is based on a project report for MSB, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, and co-created with Dept. of Applied IT postdoc. Ted Saarikko (the report can be found here). He also has a minitrack and a workshop at HICSS on Blockchain technology.

Johan Magnusson will present his paper How the West was Lost: Chief Information Officers and the Battle of Jurisdictional Control.

The SCANCOR-Weatherhead Partnership explores the role of corporations—and other formal organizations—in the creation of international, social, environmental, economic, and political conventions and norms. The project is based on a visiting scholar’s program at the Weatherhead Center that welcomes faculty who use the tools of organizational science to work on international topics.
The project partners the Weatherhead Center with the Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research (SCANCOR)—a membership-supported nonprofit organization funded by leading universities and business schools from Scandinavia.