Thomas Flanagan

Courses: CSD 532: Science of Dialogic Design
Degrees: Ph.D in Biology/Neurobiology
Office Hours:  Available through video conferencing by arrangement
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Dr. Thomas Flanagan holds a PhD in Biology / Neurobiology (1982) form Wesleyan University, a Master in Management of Technology (MBA) (1995) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master in Invertebrate Physiology (1975) from University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor in Marine Biology (1973) from the same university. Tom Flanagan is president of the Institute for 21st Century Agoras. He is also founder and director of the SouthCoast Community Collaborative Design Studio in Southeastern Massachusetts. He is a board member and officer of the corporation of the Barrington Public Library, and has served on the Barrington School Board, the New Bedford Economic Development Council, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Alumni Council, and the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution and Public Collaboration. Tom's recent management work has focused on university-industry-government linkages related to sustainable, technology-based regional economic development. His current design mission is to bring democratic design practices that have been validated in many organizations into broad civic use throughout the greater New Bedford area.

His major research interest focuses in designing and managing projects and programs in self-organizing learning systems. His project management work has migrated from the academic research laboratory, through the biomedical R&D industry, and into the non-profit sector. Dr Flanagan focuses his efforts on innovative sociotechnologies that support complex human systems. Applications extend from futures forecasting within organizations to alignment for integrated management across different types of organizations (industry, academic, government, and civic communities). Within the field of systems science, he published on theory and technique that combine engineering design with cognitive neuroscience for framing collective understandings that enable collaborative enterprises.

Selected Publications

  • Body Wisdom in Dialogue (TR Flanagan and KC Bausch) Ongoing Emergence Press, Riverdale GA, 2012
  • A Democratic Approach to Sustainable Futures: a workbook for the study of the global problematic (TR Flanagan and KC Bausch) Ongoing Emergence Press, Riverdale GA, 201
  • Prologue, TR Flanagan in Body Wisdom: Interplay of Body and Ego (KC Bausch), Ongoing Emergence Press, Riverdale GA, 2010
  • The Talking Point: Creating an Environment for Exploring Complex Meaning, (TR Flanagan and AN Christakis), Information Age Publishing, Inc., Charlotte, NC, 2010
  • K. Weigand, Flanagan, TR, Dye, KMC, and Jones, PH. (2013). Collaborative Foresight in Long-Horizon Planning: Contrasting dialogic and rational planning traditions in R&D strategy. Technological Forecasting & Social Change (in press).