DT&L: Review This First

Stillman’s Mission

… is to enrich each student’s life through an ethics-centered education focusing on transforming concepts into business practice.

Welcome to Disruption, Technology & Law

Welcome to DT&L. This is the first part of our course syllabus. We will meet remotely weekly (MW, 3:30p – 4:45p). All of the materials required this semester are described here or linked from these pages. I will update the syllabus if I add something to the course or if something unexpected intervenes … like a hurricane, blizzard or more quarantines. Actually, it is quite likely that I will update the syllabus given the nature of the subject we are covering. In fact, I have yet to offer this course and not adjust for some development involving our subject matter that demands attention. It is your responsibility to remain current on the course deliverables and schedule by reviewing the entire syllabus regularly for updates. This course is an elective for those students who are pursuing the Minor in Legal Studies and/or a certificate in Information Technology Management.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” (Wayne Gretzky)

This course will help prepare you to execute Gretzky’s perspective in your personal and professional life. It examines several of the many issues and challenges propelled by technology driven disruption. It is clear that the established order in business, and society more generally, faces unprecedented change as a result. Since the legal and regulatory environment, broadly defined, is often among the most significant influencer of outcomes in this space we will examine the implications of these disruptive technologies on the law as well. The pace and significance of the change we will examine raise profound questions of ethics that will be at the core of many of our discussions. In the spirit of disruption we have, in past semesters, taken a hybrid (or blended) approach to this learning environment that we will be creating, modifying and consuming over the next several months. This semester we will work remotely to create our learning environment so we will be disrupting what we expect will be a “normal” course experience.

We will also integrate a variety of digital tools and platforms into our work. We will work primarily in the digital platforms that will support the DT&L team including Slack, Teams (for video meetings) and Blackboard (more on those here). I will use Bb for some shared functions, e.g., grade book, but our use of that platform will be fairly limited.

You should review the entire syllabus, i.e., deliverables, schedule, calendar and other materials, included in this site carefully. You will find answers to most of your questions when you review the rest of the information included on this site. If you have any questions after you’ve reviewed the site and this syllabus, you can DM me in Slack to contact me.

One last thought for now … the nature of this experience will, of necessity, require you to think differently about where you have been, where you are going and how you experience learning. It is important that we not only get our arms around the subject matter but we must also develop strategies for dealing with an unprecedented era of remarkable, and rapid, change. I expect that we will develop a significantly different, more collaborative environment … one that anticipates that we will actively engage in all of its opportunities.

What Should You Expect?

“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” (Winston Churchill)

This course attempts to help you address the second part of Winston’s quote. The impact of the development and integration of digital tools is driving a level of change at every level of society, often in ways that are unnoticeable unless you are and aware enough to be paying attention. The combinatorial effect of the trends driven by this digital revolution is remarkable, overwhelming and likely unstoppable. We will not try to “predict” the future here. We will learn to identify technologies and the trends facilitated by them so as to better anticipate and forecast future scenarios.

The challenge presented here is not dependent on your ability to memorize facts and regurgitate them in an exam or write a ten page term paper, all assignments where you have already demonstrated success. This course will push you out of whatever comfort zone(s) you have developed over time, immerse you subject matter that will be largely unfamiliar and challenge you to think differently about the future and your place in it.

We will cover an evolving subject matter using technology platforms that may (at least some of them) be unfamiliar. That said, the subject matter of the course is interesting, stimulating and very timely. We will investigate several emerging and disruptive technologies and the legal and regulatory challenges presented by them. We will use a variety of digital platforms to interact with each other and the course materials. I will actively engage you through the use of the Socratic Method, both in class and during our discussions outside class. You will have a better sense of my class sessions after you read my perspective on Teaching and Learning.

Before We Meet

We will meet for the first time on Monday, August 24th at 3:30p. Since we will now meet remotely via Teams, please see your Outlook or Teams calendar for links to our Teams class meetings.

Before we meet please click Before We Begin to complete some housekeeping items that include introducing yourself to your classmates, agreeing to the learning contract and updating your O365 profile. Also please review the protocol we will follow for all of our remote meetings.

You will be joining the DT&L Slack workspace that includes all of the work product produced since 2015. All of the students who have completed DT&L in previous semesters continue to have access to this workspace. Take a look around after you join the team.

Click here to signup for Slack and complete your Slack profile. You must use your SHU email (firstname.lastname@student.shu.edu) to complete the signup process. Your Slack workspace address is dtl315.slack.com. Please use your full name, e.g., @firstname.lastname, as your screen name when you join the course team and create your Slack profile. Do not use your SHU short name or some variation thereof.

You can access Slack from any browser (mobile or desktop) but the browser version does not include all of the features of the desktop apps.. Please download and install the Slack apps to your Mac, PC and mobile devices (iOS and Android versions are available) before we meet for our first class. You will need to keep your Slack access live on all of your devices so that we can fully integrate the platform into our learning environment.

Complete your Slack signup immediately since all of our course communication will be via Slack and I will not use email for our course communication in the future.

Click here to join our Teams workspace. It is important that you complete your signup immediately since all of our video meetings will be via Teams.

Communications, Slack & Teams

We will use Slack as our communications and collaboration platform so Slack is the platform you should use when engaging with DT&L issues. If you need to discuss something we can meet during my office hours (see your Outlook Calendar for the office hours link), you can DM me in Slack to schedule a meeting if you are not available during my office hours.

You must also connect your Outlook and Teams accounts to our Slack workspace in order to integrate the three platforms. This integration will facilitate communication (Slack), scheduling (Outlook Calendar) and video meetings (Microsoft Teams Calls). Visit the Apps folder at the top of the sidebar in Slack, click on the Outlook Calendar and Microsoft Teams Calls apps and complete the connection process.

If you completed the deliverables described above you found here then you are already part of our Slack workspace.

If you have questions, please post them in the appropriate channel in Slack. Someone on the team will point you to the answer.

Learning Objectives

The course will examine the commercial, legal, ethical, cultural and public policy implications of disruptive technologies and digital transformation. You will

  1. understand the role of the futurist in forecasting the future, while both recognizing and interpreting trends that will influence the future,
  2. learn how to use the processes of strategic forecasting to understand potential vs. anticipated futures,
  3. be able to develop a vision of preferred futures that will provide an action framework intended to influence the its achievement,
  4. use scenario planning in both personal and professional situations to identify opportunities,
  5. distinguish disruptive innovation and digital transformation and investigate their implications and differences,
  6. analyze Jobs To Be Done theory and apply it in both personal and professional situations,
  7. understand the role of aggregation theory and its effect on the application of antitrust law in a digital economy,
  8. examine the disruptive role of the interplay of the internet of things, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence,
  9. evaluate the ramifications of disruptive innovation and digital transformation on the future of work.

Required Texts

Please purchase these books as soon as possible.
I decided to add them to the course after the ordering deadlines so, unfortunately, you will not find them in the SHU bookstore. They are available from Amazon (click links) and will be delivered immediately if you choose the Kindle version or in two days for a print version if you have an Amazon Prime account. If you are interested in a Prime student membership yet, you can sign up here.

Additional Materials

The subject matter of this course is regularly evolving. I will undoubtedly add materials as we progress through the semester. I will post links to those materials in advance in the course schedule. Please check the syllabus regularly for updates.

Technology

You are already familiar with my expectations about the use of technology in my courses. Your participation in this course will require you to engage with a number of different digital platforms. Our primary communication platforms will be Slack and perhaps others. You will prepare your writing assignments using digital platforms that will allow you to incorporate multimedia that will enhance your text based content. You will use resources as varied as a search engine (GoogleDuckDuckGo or Bing) and also the resources available from our own Walsh Library.

You are responsible for “figuring it out” when it comes to the “how to” aspects of a project. If you don’t know how to do something … use one of the search engines above to “figure it out!”

Many of my students have told me that “figuring it out” was both an unexpected and beneficial experience and a critical learning outcome.

Course Policies

It is your responsibility to become familiar with my Course Policies including in class performance; attendance, preparation & participation; assignments; course communication; assessment and plagiarism. Please review them carefully.

As in the law … ignorance (of the Course Policies) is not an excuse.

Contact Me

Professor John H. Shannon

  • Office: 651 Jubilee Hall or Teams
  • Communications: Teams DM (preferred) or email at john DOT shannon AT shu DOT edu
  • Office Hours: Mon & Wed, 12:30p – 1:30p; Tue, 9:30a – 10:30a; also by appt, all office hours and other meetings will be held via Teams since it is impossible to observe social distancing rules in a small space

We can schedule an alternative meeting time if you are not available during my office hours. As you know, our course communications platform is Teams. Please DM me in Teams with some days/times when you are available and we can schedule a video conference in Teams.

I can be reached via any number of platforms … Teams (preferred), email, voice or video. As a general rule, I am available if I am online. You can DM me in Teams or, if you are already enrolled in one of my courses, post a question to the Course Questions channel in our Slack workspace. I will try to reply to any communications as soon as possible but certainly no more than 24 hours after receipt. If you prefer a video conference (and who doesn’t?) please DM me with some convenient days/times and we’ll set it up.

My office hours are subject to change pretty much every semester so please check your course syllabus for my current office hours (see above). I have, in the past, generally scheduled at least one hour a week using Teams video to accommodate those who have a conflict with my scheduled office hours. Since we are conducting all office hours and other meetings via Teams and if you are unavailable to meet during my scheduled office hours, you can schedule an appointment for a video conference via Teams. I prefer video conferences because they give me more options when answering your questions.

That said, I do try to carve out some space for thoughtful consideration of life. The practical impact of that desire is to keep evenings and weekends clear for family, friends and other forms of social interaction. If you going to ping me late on a Friday then I will get back to you on Monday unless it is an emergency … a REAL emergency.

When communicating with me please include the following information: your name, the question or issue to be resolved, your course/section and any other necessary information.

DT&L: Deliverables

You are responsible for completing the following deliverables this semester.

Engagement

Success in this course will require you to do more than simply appear in class twice a week and answer an occasional question. I expect that all of my students will be prepared to actively participate in our in class discussions since that is a key way to take as much away from the course as possible. Please review the Engagement Rubric in the Engagement page of the Course Policies section of this site.

Remember, conversation ” … is a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people …” and generally, ” … written exchanges are usually not referred to as conversations.” The good news is that Slack will allow us to engage in either synchronous or asynchronous written exchanges that will stand in for synchronous conversations.

Gretzky Evaluation

Complete this deliverable by posting your plan to the #gretzky channel in Slack.

Your first deliverable will be the preparation of a personal SWOT analysis evaluating your preparation and readiness as you begin this course. Your analysis should address, but not be limited to, these questions:

  • why you are taking this course?
  • what do you expect to take a way from this experience?
  • how would you describe your overall comfort level with the use of technology?
  • how would you describe your overall awareness/understanding of digital innovation?
  • what are the specific steps/actions you must take that you believe are necessary for success in this course.

The end-in-mind of this effort is for you to think through not only the current state of your preparation but also the path/process that you choose to address the challenges and opportunities for growth and learning that this experience presents. It is intended, also, as your definition of the template you will utilize throughout your personal and professional life in undertaking challenging situation, issue and other major confrontations. Your submission should address these issues in a maximum of 750 words. Remember that you are using a digital platform to complete this deliverable so be sure to review my advice on writing on digital platforms. Never post a Word or Google doc.

DT&L Project

You will complete this deliverable using your team channel in Slack.

A significant portion of your work in this course will be as part of a small team. Your work on that team will focus on the development of an analysis and forecast that examines the impact of disruptive technology and digital transformation from several perspectives including, but not limited to, a particular industry, business model and more generally the societal implications of the disruption. You will also consider the areas of law that are, or might be, implicated as the disruption evolves. Of course, I expect that you will address the ethical issues that arise as a result of the impact of disruption.

Each team will develop their project using Slack. Each team must use their Slack channel for all brainstorming, communication, file sharing, etc. related to DT&L Project. Each team will be responsible for the preparation and posting of progress and content updates to their channel in Slack in accordance with the schedule. Slack will provide full transparency as the project development process progresses. In other words, everyone involved in the course with access to our Slack workspace will have the opportunity to review and comment on the progress of each team’s project.

Your team will choose a technology, e.g., CRISPR, autonomous vehicles or artificial intelligence, and will focus your project on the analysis described above. Your project will include, but not be limited to, the following sections:

Phase 1 | Preliminary Evaluation
  • identify the technology you will investigate and the reason you have chosen it; and
  • the stakeholders, industries and markets that are in play; and
  • any areas adjacent to your technology that you anticipate examining,
  • in a maximum of 500 words
Phase 2 | Interim Reports
  • Project progress assessments submitted bi-monthly outlining the status of the progression of your work.
Phase 3 | Final Report

Should include, but not be limited to:

  • An executive summary describing, in a maximum of 1,000 words, the nature and scope of your project including a description of the technology being evaluated, the developing trends related to that technology, the stakeholders, industries and markets impacted, the opportunities for innovation that have, or might, arise and a timeline describing its evolution, and
  • Identification, description and justification of weak signals related to your technology (Signals, Introduction, Ch 1, 4, 5, 8), and
  • A fringe sketch developed for the the project that identifies your assumptions vs. your knowledge (Signals, Ch 4, 5, 8), and
  • A report on your CIPHER evaluation (Signals, Ch 1, 5, 6, 7, 10), and
  • Identification, description and justification of your scenarios (probable, plausible and possible) and the supporting trends including their timing/trajectory(Signals, Ch 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10), and
  • A strategy for leveraging your learnings related to your personal and professional goals (Range), and
  • Source list that includes hyperlinks to all sources.
Phase 4 | Project Discussion
  • All teams will prepare for, and participate in, an integrated discussion of their project.

Assessment will be based on the requirements described in Writing and Research and Writing on a Digital Platform. I will also evaluate your contributions to your team, level of engagement, the clarity of your writing, spelling and grammar, appearance and satisfaction of form requirements, articulation of all potential issues presented and the quality and depth of analysis.

Gretzky Plan

Complete this deliverable by posting your plan to the #gretzky channel in Slack.

Your last deliverable before the end of the course will be an assessment of the Gretzky Evaluation that you developed at course launch. Please reflect on the substance of your Gretzky Evaluation and describe how your pre-launch perspective on the course, your learning during the course and the outcomes you described earlier have developed favorable, or unfavorable, outcomes. This is not an exercise about whether you have achieved the grade you anticipated. It should be a reflection on how your personal and professional goals have been impacted by the choices you have made in planning and execution, both in what was achieved and how your Gretzky Evaluation helped forecast your success.

Your Gretzky Plan is essentially the executive summary of a personal plan describing your approach to preparing for the future. Your plan should use the FAIR Framework℠, Range, the FTI methodology (discussed throughout the course) as adjusted for personal use as necessary, as a guide.

Your assessment, in a maximum of 1,500 words should be posted to the #gretzky channel in Slack. Remember that you are using a digital platform to complete this deliverable so be sure to review my advice on writing on digital platforms. Never post a Word or Google doc.

Grading

The following weights will be assigned to each component of your final grade:

  • Engagement (20%)
  • Gretzky Evaluation (10%)
  • DT&L Project
    • P1 | Preliminary Evaluation (10%)
    • P2 | Interim Reports (15%)
    • P3 | Final Report (25%)
    • P4 | Project Discussion (10%)
  • Gretzky Plan (10%)

DT&L: Schedule

Before Week 1

You will complete this deliverable by visiting the Before We Begin page of ShannonWeb.

Week 1, Classes 1 & 2 | What’s This DT&L Thing About?

Discuss During Class
  • Introduction to DT&L (Monday)
  • DT&L Project
  • Team Organization
  • Project Focus
  • DT&L alumni visit (Wednesday)

Week 2, Class 3 & 4 | How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

Learning Objectives
  • Understand the role and purpose of a futurist
  • Classify probable, plausible and possible trends and futures
  • Identify and summarize key 2020 trends
Review Before Class
Discuss During Class
  • FTI Framework
  • Role of futurists and forecasting
  • Review current events
Deliverable(s)

Week 3, Class 5 | A Pandemic Drives Acceleration

Monday: Labor Day – No Class
Learning Objectives
  • Analyze the impact of the pandemic on developing trends
  • Determine the influence of the pandemic as an accelerator
  • Understand the impact of the pandemic on trends
Review Before Class
Discuss During Class
  • FTI Methodologies
  • Pandemic as an Accelerator
  • Coping With Uncertainty

Week 4, Classes 6 & 7 | Dots… What Dots? & Creativity & Ideas

Learning Objectives
  • Investigate the impact of the fringe on trends and futures
  • Identify problems that are ready for new solutions
  • Identify potential new solutions to problems
  • Identify and determine what is the future of “x”
  • Develop a fringe map
  • Apply CIPHER to “What for X” perspective
Review Before Class (Monday)
Discuss During Class (Monday)
  • How did we get here? The significance of 2007
  • Review current events
Review Before Class (Wednesday)
Discuss During Class (Wednesday)
Deliverable(s)
  • P1: Preliminary Evaluation Due Saturday No Later Than 6:48p EDT

Week 5, Classes 8 & 9 | The Importance of Storytelling

Learning Objectives
  • Understand trend trajectory and timing
  • Explain the importance of storytelling
Review Before Class
Discuss During Class
  • Scenario Planning
  • Monitoring Trends

Week 6, Classes 10 & 11 | Scenarios for All Sorts of Stuff

Learning Objectives
  • Explain the significance of scenario planning
  • Identify key lenses, critical issues, key drivers, primary motivators and develop implications
  • Analyze trend likelihood and impact
Review Before Class
Discuss During Class
  • Scenario Planning
  • Understand “If This, Then That”

Week 7, Classes 12 & 13 | Disruptive Innovation & Jobs To Be Done

Learning Objectives
  • Understand disruptive innovation
  • Distinguish the three types of innovation
  • Understand JTBD
  • Distinguish functional, social, and emotional jobs to be done
Prepare In Anticipation Of Discussion
  • Range, Introduction, Chapters 1 & 2
Review Before Class (Monday)
Discuss During Class (Monday)
  • Disruptive Innovation
  • Review current events
Review Before Class (Wednesday)
Discuss During Class (Wednesday)
  • Applying JBTD
  • Review current events

Week 8, Classes 14 & 15 | Digital Transformation (Dx) & The Future

Learning Objectives
  • Understand digital transformation
  • Distinguish between disruptive innovation and Dx
  • Explain the stages of Dx
Prepare In Anticipation Of Discussion
Review Before Class
Discuss During Class
  • Dx
  • Review current events
Deliverable(s)
  • P2: Interim Report Due Saturday No Later Than 6:48p EDT

Week 9, Classes 16 & 17 | Aggregation Theory & Antitrust

Learning Objectives
  • Explain Aggregation Theory
  • Understand the implications of aggregation in a knowledge economy
  • Explain the difference between an economy of scarcity and one of abundance
  • Evaluate whether antitrust law is appropriate for the challenges presented by a knowledge economy
Prepare In Anticipation Of Discussion
Review Before Class
Discuss During Class
  • Aggregation Theory
  • Review current events

Week 10, Classes 18 & 19 | IoT & Big Data 

Learning Objectives
  • Explain the Internet of Things
  • Explain Big Data
  • Understand the relationship between IoT and Big Data
Prepare In Anticipation Of Discussion
Review Before Class (Monday)
Discuss During Class (Monday)
  • IoT
  • Review current events
Review Before Class (Wednesday)
Discuss During Class (Wednesday)
  • Big Data
  • Implications of Zuck’s speech
  • Review current events

Week 11, Classes 20 & 21 | Cloud Computing & Artificial Intelligence

Learning Objectives
  • Explain the Cloud Computing
  • Explain Artificial Intelligence
  • Understand the relationship between IoT, Big Data, Cloud Computing and AI
Prepare In Anticipation Of Discussion
Review Before Class (Monday)
Discuss During Class (Monday)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Review current events
Review Before Class (Wednesday)
Discuss During Class (Wednesday)
  • AI in all it’s glory!
  • Review current events

Week 12, Classes 22 & 23 | The Future of Work

Learning Objectives
  • Describe the implications presented by FoW
  • Explain the impact of accelerators on FoW
  • Analyze the work force implications of FoW
Prepare In Anticipation Of Discussion
  • Range, Chapters 11 & 12, Conclusion
Review Before Class
Discuss During Class
  • Future of work
  • Benefits of being a generalist
  • Review current events
Deliverable(s)
  • P2: Interim Report Due Saturday No Later Than 6:48p ET

Week 13, Classes 24 & 25 | Perspective

Review Before Class
  • Prepare for Perspective Discussions
Discuss During Class
Deliverable(s)

Week 14, Class 26  | Gretzky Plan Discussions

Wednesday (11/26): Thanksgiving Break – No Class

Review Before Class (Monday)
Discuss During Class (Monday)
  • Project discussions
Deliverable(s)

Week 15, Classes 27 & 28  | DT&L Project Summaries / Course Wrap

Review Before Class
  • Review DT&L Projects in preparation for discussion of summaries
Discuss During Class
  • DT&L Project Summary discussions
  • Course Wrap