Learn More About Debora Spar
Today’s business leaders are trying to adapt to rapid changes in technology, society and the workplace, particularly since the pandemic took hold. Harvard Business School professor and New York Times bestselling author Debora Spar is helping them navigate successfully and prepare for what’s coming – both domestically and abroad.
With research at the intersection of business, technology and social structures, Spar advises leaders on what to expect from the human + technology equation going forward so they can better compete in a world increasingly governed by artificial intelligence.
“Robots will continue to profoundly transform not just entire economies, but our sense of human purpose at work and outside of work,” says Spar, whose book “Work Mate Marry Love: How Machines Shape Our Human Destiny” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, August 2020) focuses on issues related to gender, technology and social structures. “We are approaching a period where the role of humans as producers is really going to be up for grabs. We now have machines doing most of the things that have characterized our identity.”
More recently, Spar has been highlighting how COVID-19 is fundamentally reshaping our understanding of the workplace. As the pandemic accelerates various trends that have been under the radar until now, she says we are returning to a pre-Industrial Revolution landscape. Work and home life are merging, new technologies are changing how we live, dress codes are waning in importance, and parents are becoming equally involved with domestic activities.
“The boundaries between our lives at work and our lives at home are gone,” says Spar. “And even when we go back to the old world, we’re going to keep large parts of this one.”
A dynamic and engaging storyteller, Spar draws on her deep knowledge of history when examining parallels between society’s past and where it’s going. Having written and spoken on everything from the pernicious effects of market monopolies to infertility as big business, Spar has been making accurate predictions about our technological future for more than three decades. Her bold views on women’s issues, female power and why women can’t have it all serve to further expand her role.
Possessing an unmatched ability to see what’s ahead through a rearview mirror, Debora Spar is a unique kind of futurist and an invaluable advisor to business leaders across the world.
Debora Spar is the author of seven books, including “Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection“ (2014) and “The Baby Business: How Money, Science, and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception” (2006). She is the former President of Barnard College, where she led initiatives to highlight women’s leadership and advancement, including the creation of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the development of Barnard’s Global Symposium series. Before joining Barnard, she spent 17 years on the Harvard Business School faculty primarily researching how political forces and regulations shape and constrain market behavior.
Spar currently serves as director of Thermo Fisher Scientific and Value Retail LLC, and as a trustee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is a former director at Goldman Sachs, and the former President and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She earned her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and her B.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Debora Spar is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.