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Colin M. Maclay (@cmac) currently serves as Executive Director for the Annenberg Innovation Lab and Professor of Communication at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Maclay has long been motivated to understand how radical changes in communications capacity, information generation and processing affect otherwise immutable organizations and institutions, recognizing that humans and organizations are more complex than technology. Ultimately, his work asks what mix of forces will help these emerging technologies and practices to work for – not against – people and society broadly. He revel in connecting diverse people and ideas, and helping them to explore and guide the interaction of technology and society.

Maclay’s research is exploratory and participatory, taking diverse forms, leveraging novel collaborations, and seeking to generate qualitative and quantitative data. Insights reveal trends and needs, suggest experiments and research, and inform strategies and tactics. Recent work explores digitization and the challenges of digital transformation in public media, music, education and Nigerian film. Ongoing interests include civic media and public entrepreneurship, online free expression and privacy, policy and technology infrastructures and emerging institutions and multi-stakeholder governance. Previous work includes research and policy development around national technology strategy, democracy and civic engagement, learning, rural access, and entrepreneurship – as they intersect with new technologies.

Previously, he was the founding director of the Digital Initiative at the Harvard Business School, an effort to understand and shape the digital transformation of business and society through a dynamic mix of collaborative research, teaching and engagement with the practice. He also spent a decade helping to build, scale and make sustainable Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, including its transition to a university-wide center and significant growth of its team and resources. He helped found the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder effort to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy online. He has advised and served on the boards of numerous private and civil society organizations. Maclay holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin, MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD from Northeastern University.

Projects & Tools

Harvard Open Access Project

The Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP) fosters the growth of open access to research, within Harvard and beyond.

Berkman Online Lecture and Discussion (BOLD) Series

We offer computer-mediated seminars through our interactive Berkman Online Lecture and Discussion (BOLD) series. Topics have included intellectual property and privacy on the…


Copyright for Librarians

The Berkman Center partnered with eIFL to deliver a distance learning program on copyright for librarians. The resulting curriculum, made available on March 24, 2010, can be used…

Global Network Initiative

In partnership with the Center for Democracy and Technology and Business for Social Responsibility, in addition to leading human rights groups, academic institutions, socially…


Global Networked Readiness for Education (GNRE)

This project is the first global study offering multi-country analysis and data on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) used in schools in eleven participating countries.

International Technologies Group

The Information Technologies Group is a global thought leader in the area of ICTs and development. We endeavor to translate cutting edge thinking about how ICTs can improve…

Media Re:public

Media Re:public is a research project that examines the current and potential impact of participatory news media.


Jun 15, 2010

Working Towards a Deeper Understanding of Digital Safety for Children and Young People in Developing Nations

An Exploratory Study by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, in Collaboration with UNICEF

This paper's main objectives are: to raise awareness about issues related to digital safety for youth in developing nations; to provide a tentative map of these issues and give…

Jan 2, 2005

Global Networked Readiness for Education

Preliminary findings from a Pilot Project to Evaluate the Impact of Computers and the Internet on Learning in Eleven Developing Countries.

Nov 1, 2003

Andean Readiness for the Networked World, Introduction and Regional Overview

Information and communications technologies (ICT) can be a valuable resource for helping the Andean region meet its core challenges of creating more economic opportunity, better…


Jan 11, 2011

Peacebuilding in the Information Age: Sifting Hype from Reality

The Berkman Center is pleased to join the ICT4Peace Foundation and Georgia Tech in announcing a new collection of essays, "Peacebuilding in the Information Age: Sifting Hype from…

May 21, 2008

US Senate hearing on "Global Internet Freedom: Corporate Responsibility and the Rule of Law "

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law heard testimony on "Global Internet Freedom: Corporate Responsibility and the Rule of…


Internet and Society: Technologies and Politics of Control - Spring 2009

This course examines current legal, political, social, and technical struggles for control of the global Internet—and the content and relationships it conveys.

Internet and Society: Technologies and Politics of Control - Spring 2008

This course examines current legal, political, social, and technical struggles for control of the global Internet—and the content and relationships it conveys.

Digital Democracy - Fall 2003

Over the past 15 years, digital information and communication networks have spread rapidly across the globe, bringing with them hopes for, and claims of, fundamental change in the…


Oct 22, 2013 @ 12:30 PM

The New Nollywood

Aimee Corrigan, Nollywood Workshops/Berkman Center & Colin Maclay, Berkman Center

As Nigeria’s most popular entertainment platform, Nollywood is positioned as an extraordinary vehicle for engaging content. Nollywood filmmakers are confronting their society’s…

Jul 11, 2011 @ 5:00 PM

Cultivating New voices, Approaches, and Audiences for national -- and international -- reporting

in an era of global interconnectedness and shrinking news budgets

The Berkman Center will host a conversation about the challenges of reporting international stories to US and Global audiences. In an age of shrinking news budgets, American…

Jul 19, 2010 @ 9:00 AM

ICT and Civic Engagement in Nigeria: the 2011 Presidential Election and Beyond

This symposium in Abuja, Nigeria will stimulate discussion of, engagement with, and reflection upon the role and uses of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in…

Mar 25, 2008 @ 7:30 PM

Digital Dilemmas: A Multi-stakeholder Response to Internet Censorship and Surveillance

NYU Law Information Law Institute Colloquium, co-sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School

Participants discussed the role that corporations should play in response to government-mandated Internet censorship and surveillance.

Jul 16, 2007 @ 12:00 AM

The Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP)

The Summer Doctoral Programme (SDP) is a joint effort of the Berkman Center and the Oxford Internet Institute, which provides top doctoral students from around the world with the…

Dec 4, 2003 @ 12:30 PM

ICT and Education in Panama

Colin Maclay, Managing Director of the Berkman Center

Berkman Luncheon Series: 12/4/03 - Colin Maclay on ICT and Education in Panama