Cloud intelligence


Isaac Mao
Director, Social Brain Foundation
Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School


Isaac Mao is a Chinese blogger, entrepreneur and social media researcher. He is Director of the Social Brain Foundation, and Vice President of the United Capital Investment Group. He is also a Fellow with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Isaac is as an advisor to Global Voices Online and to several Web 2.0 businesses and organisations.

As one of the earliest bloggers in the Chinese community, Isaac is co-founder of (China's first grassroots publishing site). The team created the Social Brain Foundation (SBF) to promote social media and free culture in China. SBF supports a pool of open initiatives in China including the Chinese Blogger Conference, Creative Commons, Wikipedia, OpenID, Open Education, Digital Nomads, Memedia, and the Tor Project (of which Isaac is a board member).


More and more information now saturates our lives. This information may be leveraged for different purposes: for entertainment, for deriving solutions to important problems, etc. However, it is becoming a challenge to find the time and the capability to make the best use of it.

We need a new kind of intelligence. We are already observing the explosive growth of Social Web communities and "digital nomadism", via social networks and social clusters. An idea can rapidly propagate and be disseminated through reputation networks. Previously-marginalised communities can now get all the attention they deserve, and traditional media has had to adapt in order to fit with these new paradigms.

People are not just customising their online social identities: they are intensifying the linkages between online knowledge and their existence. In the cloud of connections, each of us becomes a social nerve cell. Collective knowledge far exceeds what a single search engine can catalogue and archive. Intelligence spreads out globally, incessantly, and cloud computing can create new connections via new ideas. In this talk, we will explore this new social ecology: our shared intelligence and our collective future in the cloud.

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