Carnegie Mellon University

Future of Work


Cognizant Launches Center for Future of Work at Carnegie Mellon

Cognizant Seed Funding to Enable Interdisciplinary Research and Breakthrough Ideas
on Next-Generation Organizations and Virtualized Work Approaches

TEANECK, N.J.—Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), a leading provider of consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services, and Carnegie Mellon University today announced the launch of the Center for the Future of Work, an interdisciplinary research center that has been established at Carnegie Mellon's H. John Heinz III College. Funded with an initial seed gift from Cognizant, the research will focus on technological and social systems that will enable next-generation organizations, with a focus on virtualized or distributed work environments.

The Center for the Future of Work will draw on university-wide, interdisciplinary research capabilities to study the interaction between physical and virtual work spaces that will enable major breakthroughs in the design of work processes and environments for network-enabled organizations of the future. The objective is to create a rich understanding of the interactions among present and emerging technologies, incentives that support knowledge creation and sharing in physical and virtual workplaces, and individual and group behaviors to create evidence-based guidelines for best practices and optimum workplace design.

"We are witnessing a great transformation in the way people and organizations work. Broadband, mobility, and social computing technologies have brought rich new experiences to our personal lives, and increasingly to our workplace as well. And the millennial generation has created new expectations for collaboration and personal engagement that will further enrich the work experience. Carnegie Mellon's strong history of cross-disciplinary collaborations brings together world-renowned faculty whose research interests are well aligned with the creation of work environments in the 21st century," said Francisco D'Souza, President and CEO of Cognizant and a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Mellon.

"Cognizant is an ideal corporate partner in this pursuit because of its desire to innovate and lead its industry in providing integrated solutions and next-generation work systems and environments for a highly diverse global client base. Cognizant itself embodies the collaborative and virtual organization of the future. An example is the company's Cognizant 2.0 knowledge-sharing platform, which will be made available to our research teams," said Ramayya Krishnan, Director of the Future of Work Center and Dean of Heinz College.

The center will leverage the strengths of Carnegie Mellon's iLab, which is home to campus-wide interdisciplinary research on IT-enabled societal scale phenomena. The Center will engage faculty leaders and their graduate students from a diverse array of disciplines including information systems, organization science, machine learning, human computer interaction, operations research, and computer science.

Following a call for proposals, the Center for the Future of Work has selected eight research projects that will receive immediate funding. Faculty and students from five schools — the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Institute of Technology, the School of Design at the College of Fine Arts, Heinz College, and the Tepper School of Business — will research topics such as collaboration and communication, knowledge management and knowledge transfer in distributed environments, content development through crowd sourcing, and the tools, incentives, technologies, and methodologies needed to meet the challenges and opportunities facing knowledge-based organizations.

In addition, the center also will select a small set of proposals to fund as faculty probes to try "riskier" ideas or to engage key faculty around the university. The center will make use of the global and distributed nature of Carnegie Mellon's programs as test beds for future of work ideas.

Catherine Marenghi & Ken Walters