Through his academic work and role as adviser to senior policymakers, government leaders, and company executives, Professor John Zysman has played a leading role in developing the trade, innovation and service strategies for central challenges in today’s global economy. John is co-founder of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE) – an international focal point for out-of-the-box thinking on the new networked economy – through which his thought-provoking work helps shape policy and strategy on trade and industry in the United States, Asia, and Europe.
His path-finding book, “Manufacturing Matters: The Myth of the Post-industrial Economy,” remains an enduring driver of economic development policy and strategy for both governments and companies. He was co-founder of the Innovation Alliance, an effort by the offices of the prime ministers of Finland and Denmark to build strategic alliances with California to consider how advanced countries should respond to emerging challenges in the global economy.
His work with Laura Tyson, formerly chairperson of the U.S. National Economic Council, on American competitiveness, “American Industry in International Competition,” had a significant impact on American trade policy and strategies for technology development. In the years of intense U.S.-Japan trade negotiations, his advice and guidance contributed to the framing of U.S. national trade strategies. When the focus shifted toward China, BRIE organized an informal, high-level working group of Chinese, Japanese, and Americans that met for several years to advise on China’s entry to the World Trade Organization.
John’s work on the growing digitization of the global services economy resulted in the creation of the How Revolutionary Was the Digital Revolution? project, with the Institute of the Finnish Economy and Dr. Olli Rehn, then at Helsinki University, and jointly funded by Nokia, the Finnish innovation agency Tekes, and the European Commission. The impact and influence of this work led to the creation of his current project, Services With Everything, with Jonathan Murray and Stu Feldman, which argues that the notion of production needs to be extended to include both manufacturing and capital-intensive services, as increasing value in the global economy is generated by the effective deployment of ICT-enabled services.
John’s work increasingly focuses on the “green growth” economy, climate change, energy systems transformation, and the challenges and opportunities facing the global economy across these emerging domains. His views – expressed in “Green Growth: From Religion to Reality” – have drawn praise from senior policymakers and business leaders. He is actively involved in an advisory capacity with senior policymakers in South Korea and Europe. He is counselor to the Danish-organized “Green Growth Economies” project, a follow-up to the Copenhagen Climate Council.
He has extensive experience in helping corporations develop and implement cross-border strategies and alliances in the high-technology sector. He supported and helped design programs for major American companies to develop corporate relations with Asian and European governments, including training programs for senior Chinese officials.
Over the years John has worked to develop links among industry, the National Laboratories, and the University of California, Berkeley. He has served on the director’s advisory board of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the industrial advisory board of Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the steering committee of the Industry University cooperative research program of the university.
He received his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.