Clayton M. Christensen, Leading Thinker on Innovation, to Present Keynote at SC10

New Orleans, LA – September 21, 2010 - Clayton M. Christensen, the world’s foremost authority on disruptive innovation, advisor to numerous companies and countries, and professor at the Harvard Business School, will deliver the keynote address at SC10, the international conference of high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis which will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana from November 13–19, 2010.

Christensen’s address, titled, “How to Create New Growth Businesses in a Risk-Minimizing Environment” will open the technical program portion of the conference at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Nov.16.

Christensen first outlined his disruptive innovation framework in 1997 in his acclaimed book The Innovator’s Dilemma, which won the Global Business Book Award for best business book of the year. Disruptive innovation describes how innovative products and services take root in simple applications at the bottom of a market and rapidly move “up market” to displace established competitors. 

“The HPC community is no stranger to disruptive technologies, but at this point in time, HPC faces a level of disruption like nothing we have ever faced before,” said Barry Hess, general chair of SC10 and deputy CIO at Sandia National Laboratories. “As we move forward to a world of sustained petaFLOPS and begin the decade-long transition to exascale, Disruptive Innovation and Disruptive Technologies will become commonplace terms for all of us.  Prof. Christensen is the recognized thought leader on Disruptive Innovation and how to use original ideas and products to solve society’s problems.  There are many lessons to be learned for all of us in the HPC ecosystem.  He will be a timely and thought provoking speaker for the SC audience, which includes many of the technology sector’s most innovative thinkers.”

Christensen has recently applied the disruptive innovation framework to complicated social problems, including education and healthcare. In the book Disruptive Class (2008), he examines the root causes of why schools struggle. In The Innovator’s Prescription (2009), he analyzes strategies to improve healthcare and make it more affordable.

“Clayton Christensen is the ideal Keynote Speaker at this year’s SC Conference in New Orleans. HPC is experiencing a Phase Change, the first in almost two decades, as it seeks new paradigms to frame its emerging enabling technologies for continued performance growth,” said Thomas Sterling, the Arnaud and Edwards Professor of Computer Science at Louisiana State University. “Professor Christensen has articulated the challenges to industry and user communities even as they are driven by new opportunities, and his work provides critical guidance to those balancing the resulting tensions that could determine the ultimate future directions of high technology fields undergoing revolution. His judgments are sobering, and the lessons he teaches may prove essential for achieving commercially viable Exascale performance before the end of this decade.”

“It goes without saying that Clayton Christensen is recognized as a world-class scholar in international business scenes,” said Satoshi Matsuoka, a professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology Global Scientific Information and Computing Center. “His books are considered must-reads by all Japanese business people, as technological innovation is what principally drives the country as one of the world’s leading economy. As supercomputing is experiencing the dawn of the drive towards the Exascale era, many of his principles would likely be necessary to achieve the necessary disruptive technology breakthroughs that the HPC community will be challenged to produce in the upcoming years.”

Christensen is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, and earned a degree with highest honors from Brigham Young University in 1975. He received a M. Phil. in applied econometrics and the economics of less-developed countries from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He received an MBA with high distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1979.

 In 2008, Christensen launched Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank, to further examine and apply his innovation frameworks to social issues. He is an advisor to the government of Singapore and serves as a board member at India’s Tata Consulting Services, Franklin Covey, W.R. Hambrecht, and Vanu.

About SC10

SC10, sponsored by IEEE Computer Society and ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) offers a complete technical education program and exhibition to showcase the many ways high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis lead to advances in scientific discovery, research, education and commerce. This premier international conference includes a globally attended technical program, workshops, tutorials, a world class exhibit area, demonstrations and opportunities for hands-on learning. For more information on SC10, please visit:

Lauren Rotman