Derrick de Kerckhove

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Director of the »McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology« and Professor in the Department of French at the University of Toronto. Holder of the Papamarkou Chair in Education and Technology at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Received his Ph.D in French Language and Literature from the University of Toronto in 1975 and a Doctorat du 3e cycle in Sociology of Art from the University of Tours (France) in 1979. He was an associate of the Centre for Culture and Technology from 1972 to 1980 and worked with Marshall McLuhan for over ten years as translator, assistant and co-author. As a prominent consultant for media policy, art and culture he has been working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC, the French government and the World Economic Forum. He has been a member of the »Club of Rome« since 1995.

He edited Understanding 1984 (UNESCO, 1984) and co-edited with Amilcare Iannucci, McLuhan e la metamorfosi dell'uomo (Bulzoni, 1984) two collections of essays on McLuhan, culture, technology and biology. He also co-edited with Charles Lumsden The Alphabet and the Brain (Springer Verlag, 1988), a book which scientifically assesses the impact of the Western alphabet on the physiology and the psychology of human cognition. Another publication, La civilisation vidéo-chrétienne appeared in France in December, 1990 and in Italy the following year (Feltrinelli, 1991). Brainframes: Technology, Mind and Business (Bosch & Keuning, 1991) addresses the differences between the effects of television, computers and hypermedia on corporate culture, business practices and economic markets. The Skin of Culture (Somerville Press, 1995) is a collection of essays on the new electronic reality which stayed on Canadian best-sellers lists for several months. It was translated into a dozen languages including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Polish and Slovenian. Connected Intelligence (Somerville, 1997) introduced his research on new media and cognition. His latest book, The Architecture of Intelligence, was first issued in Dutch in December 2000, and in English (June 2001), Italian and German in September 2001. It was later translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese. He collaborated with Mark Federman on McLuhan for Managers: New Tools for New Thinking, published in September 2003. de Kerckhove is also contracted to work on a book about the history of stage performance from early Greek theatre to modern Opera, in collaboration with Francesco Monico.

He has contributed to the architecture of Hypersession, a collaborative software now being developed by Emitting Media and used for various educational situations. As a consultant in media, cultural interests, and related policies, de Kerckhove has participated in the preparation and brainstorming sessions for the plans for: the Ontario Pavilion at Expo '92 in Seville, the Canada in Space exhibit, and the Toronto Broadcast Centre for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). He was involved in plans for a major exhibit on Canada and Modernism at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in Paris for 2004 and was a member of the cultural committee of Toronto's bid for the Olympics in 2008. He was a member of several government task forces on developing a telecommunications policy for Ontario, designing a cultural policy for the francophone community in Ontario, and also appeared before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Public Hearing Committee on the Information Highway. A World Economic Forum Fellow, de Kerckhove is also an active member of the Vivendi Institut de prospective where he is in charge of investigating the future technological and business development of the new technologies.

The main focus of his research is the relationship between Media, perception and understanding. In the centre of his current questions is the role of connectivity provoked by the new network media and their influence on knowledge, decision making and social interdependency.