Ian Angell

Ian Angell

Information and Communication Technology Guru

Speaker Categories: E-Commerce | Information Technology | International Business | Information Technology Industry | Headliners - Technology

Travels From: -, United Kingdom.

Speaker Fee Range: $10,001 to $20,000*

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Ian Angell Bio
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Information and Communication Technology Guru

Professor Angell’s growing reputation comes as the culmination of twenty years work developing a new perspective on information systems, which stresses that the social, economic and organizational issues are more important than the technological ones: even the very best investment in new technology can be a source of commercial risk, if the societal aspects are not managed properly. This alternative position is having wide-ranging repercussions both in educational and business circles in the UK and increasingly abroad. In particular he emphasizes that even the very best software and investment in the Internet will be a total waste and the cause commercial risks if the complexity caused by societal aspects is not managed properly.


Professor Angell has a first degree in Pure Mathematics, and a doctorate in Algebraic Number Theory, although he now claims to be an “ex-mathematician”. He first came to prominence through his work in computer graphics, and apart from his academic output he has written the software and produced animation sequences for television advertisements and for science and business TV programmes. At one time the animation package he wrote with one of his students, Gareth Griffith, was the market leader in the UK. Griffith subsequently went on to write software used in Spielberg’s Jurassic Park and other major films.

Information Technology

Angell has published ten books on computer graphics, including one co-written with a then-colleague at LSE, Dimitrios Tsoubelis, entitled Advanced graphics on VGA and XGA cards using Borland C++. With Dr. Steve Smithson, he produced a well-received book that stresses the more conservative aspects of the social science perspective Information Systems Management: Opportunities and Risks. Within this broad field he has two particular and related specialities: ‘systemic risk’, and ‘the global consequences of information technology.’


Professor Angell acts as a consultant on the management, security and strategic impact of information systems, to many national and international organizations and to a number of governments and the EU. Until 2000 he was a personal advisor to the Cabinet of the Director General of UNESCO (Federico Mayor), and he has consulted for the Russian Ministry of Science on the impact of IT on employment. In January 1998 he was invited to present his ideas to the Malaysian National IT Council and had private meetings with both the Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the (now ex-) Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. He has also come to the attention of some very senior international businessmen and politicians who have invited him for private discussions about his ideas. In May 2003 he was asked to hold number of private advisory sessions with three of the sons of Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. The CEO of Warner-Lambert once wrote to him saying that, because of a presentation he had made to W-L senior executives in Orlando, the company was changing its whole approach to Internet business.


Undoubtedly it is Angell’s radical and controversial views on the global consequences of IT that has brought him such a high-profile reputation as a ‘futurologist’ in business circles and in the media. January 2000 saw the publication of his book The New Barbarian Manifesto, in which he lays out his advice on how to win in an increasingly complex, brutal and brutish world. This book is having an impact worldwide (it is already translated into Chinese and Korean), and even reached number 5 in the Amazon.com best-sellers list in Brazil! In April 2000 he undertook a media tour of the United States to promote his book, with TV and radio interviews in New York, Yonkers, Washington, Chicago, Seattle, Olympia, Dallas and Fort Worth.

Other Books

His latest book, jointly authored with his friend and colleague Dionysios Demetis, Science’s First Mistake, looks at the failure of the scientific approach when facing societal complexity – a topic all too relevant given the turmoil in today’s financial markets. Ian recognizes that Sciences’s First Mistake is not an easy read, and so he has plans to write a more accessible version, provisionally entitled Revisiting Reality. He has produced a new edition of The New Barbarian Manifesto, The Flight of the Golden Geese, that focuses on taxation. In this he has a joint author, David Lesperance, a Canadian tax lawyer based in Toronto.

The Flight of the Golden Geese

Professor Angell sets out his warning to the unsuspecting and thus unprotected High Net-worth Individuals that governments are about to “squeeze them until their pips squeak”.

Science’s First Mistake?

In this talk Professor Angell will give an overview of his latest book Science’s First Mistake: Delusions in pursuit of Theory, written jointly with his colleague Dr. Dionysios Demetis. He will point out the conceit of modernism that is grounded in the arrogance of scientific certainty. It is only human vanity that deludes us into believing that with scientific method, our intelligence would show us the truth about things: that we could be indisputable masters of all we survey.

Managing Computerized Bureaucracy

For three days in October 2007, the computerized reservations system of the MGM Mirage hotel and casino chain was “radically crashing”, making it impossible to manage their more than 15,400 hotel rooms. No guests could check in or out. When an inspector from the American Automobile Association (AAA) could not check-in at the Bellagio the hotel’s five-diamond AAA rating was put at risk: only 113 hotels of the 31,000 hotels across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean have this rating. “Heroic” staff saved the day by working more than 12 hours a day and on days off to check guests in and out manually in order to achieve some level of business continuity.

Innovation: thinking outside the box

In this talk Professor Angell describes creativity and the process of innovation, focusing on what goes into making the next “greatest thing since sliced bread”. Apart from saying what innovation is, he will also talk about what it is not! He will stress that creativity is not about a few lone thinkers on individual journeys to their own personal “light bulb” moments.

The obsessive compulsive neurotic manager

Many managers are suffering from the madness of our age: ‘obsessive compulsive neurosis.’ These ‘methodolics’ believe that the world can be made into a tidy place when approached with tidy methods, implemented by tidy minds, using the icon of tidiness, the computer. So says Professor Ian Angell, who for the past twenty years has become increasingly concerned with the way computers are perceived in business, and in society in general. He has come to agree with Pablo Picasso, “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers;” and answers are simply not enough.

Beyond Good and E-ville

Professor Angell gives his forecasts for the effect of computerization and global communication networks on both political and commercial governance. He relates this to the central position of information systems within the whole spectrum of management, to consider ‘the nature of work’ in ‘the office of the future’ and the ‘enterprise of the future’. Angell finishes by initiating a debate on the likely impact of these emergent technologies on governmental and organizational strategies. He is adamant that all the institutions of the Age of the Machine will have to mutate in the Information Age or die!
  • Science's First Mistake: Delusions in Pursuit of Theory
    Science's First Mistake: Delusions in Pursuit of Theory Purchase Book
  • New Barbarian Manifesto: How to Survive the Information Age
    New Barbarian Manifesto: How to Survive the Information Age Purchase Book
  • High Resolution Computer Graphics Using C
    High Resolution Computer Graphics Using C Purchase Book
  • Advanced Graphics on the VGA, XGA, Tiga Cards Using Borland C++
    Advanced Graphics on the VGA, XGA, Tiga Cards Using Borland C++ Purchase Book

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Recent Books

  • Science's First Mistake: Delusions in Pursuit of Theory
    Science's First Mistake: Delusions in Pursuit of Theory Purchase Book
  • New Barbarian Manifesto: How to Survive the Information Age
    New Barbarian Manifesto: How to Survive the Information Age Purchase Book


  • "A prophet of the 21st century"

    The Independent
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