Peter Denning

Peter Denning is a Distinguished Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.  He chairs the Computer Science Department and directs the Cebrowski Institute, an interdisciplinary research center for innovation and information superiority.  He held previous faculty positions at Princeton, Purdue, and George Mason, and he was founding director for the computer science research institute RIACS at NASA Ames.

He has led several important innovations.  He was a pioneer in the development of principles for operating systems and contributed the memory management methods used in all operating systems.  He made substantial contributions to performance evaluation when that industry was getting launched.  He co-founded CSNET, the computer science network of NSF; it grew to include 170 universities and research centers and about 50,000 users by 1986.  CSNET was the bridge between the old ARPANET and the NSFNET, which became the backbone of the modern Internet.  He led a revolution in the thinking about computing curricula.

He has been an active leader since 1967 in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the leading professional society for computing.  He was president in 1980-82.  He was also vice president, chair of three boards, and editor of the monthly magazine.  He led the ACM Digital Library project that made ACM the first professional society with its entire literature on-line.

He holds twenty-four awards.  They include three honorary degrees, three professional society fellowships, two best-paper awards, three distinguished service awards, the ACM Outstanding Contribution Award, the ACM SIGCSE Outstanding CS Educator Award, and the prestigious ACM Karl Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award.  In 2007 ACM gave him a special award for 40 years of continuous volunteer service and the NSF gave him one of two national Distinguished Education Fellow awards.

Beginning in the 1980s, when he was at NASA Ames, he became interested in the practices of management, leadership, and innovation.  During that time he started collaborating with Bob Dunham.  When he moved to George Mason in 1991 he created a design course for his student engineers so that they could learn how to design systems that aligned with the interests and practices of their clients.  The course, known as “Sense 21”, was so popular and its graduates formed an alumni group that remained active for ten years after the course was first offered.  He studied with Fernando Flores to learn language-action philosophy and its applications to leadership, and later with Richard Strozzi Heckler to learn the somatics of leadership and be certified as a Master Somatic Coach.  By the time he went to the Naval Postgraduate School in 1991, he and Bob had taken their ideas about design, management, and leadership and turned them in to the foundational practices of innovation

He has been a prolific author, publishing over 320 articles in computer science and 7 books.   The books are:

  1. Operating Systems Theory (with Ed Coffman), Prentice-Hall, 1973.  (About 20,000 copies sold until it went out of print in 1995.)
  2. Machines, Languages, and Computation (with J. Dennis and J. Qualitz), Prentice-Hall, 1978.  (About 5,000 copies sold.)
  3. Computers Under Attack: Intruders, Worms, and Viruses, Addison-Wesley, 1990.  (About 5,000 copies sold.)
  4. Beyond Calculation: The Next 50 Years of Computing (with R. Metcalfe), Copernicus Books, 1997.  (About 10,000 copies sold.)
  5. Internet Besieged (with D. Denning), Addison-Wesley, 1997.  (About 5,000 copies sold.)
  6. Talking Back to the Machine, Copernicus Books, 1999.  (About 10,000 copies sold.)
  7. The Invisible Future: The Seamless Integration of Technology in Everyday Life, McGraw-Hill, 2001.  (About 20,000 copies sold.)

Robert Dunham

Robert (Bob) Dunham is an educator, consultant, and coach to executives and management teams nationwide in leadership, communication, teamwork, and people process redesign.  He founded the Institute for Generative Leadership in 2006, the performance consulting company Enterprise Performance in 1993, and the Company of Leaders, a group dedicated to continued practice and learning in leadership, in 2000.  He has been collaborating with Peter Denning since the 1980s.  He has been developing the discipline of Generative Leadership since 1981.  This discipline is the core of the three-year Generative Leadership Program, which teaches successful practices of management and leadership.  The discipline draws from a rigorous foundation of theory and practice based on the language-action framework, the science of cognition, the science of embodied learning, and his own executive experience as a VP in three companies.  For over three decades, Bob has engaged extensively with executives, teams, and organizations, enabling them to adopt and integrate new practices into their work and culture.

Prior to founding Enterprise Performance, Bob was a Vice President at Motorola Computer Systems, as well as COO of Action Technologies and VP of Consulting for Business Design Associates (BDA), an international business process redesign firm.  Bob co-holds two patents the Action Workflow technology developed at Action Technologies.  As VP of System Development for Motorola Computer Systems, he directed teams that developed three hardware and software system product lines and delivered over one hundred and fifty software product releases to the marketplace.  Early in his career, he led the on-board software development team for the Hubble Space Telescope for several years.

He has trained hundreds of executives and managers, and has authored numerous papers on business and management.  His published articles include:

  1. The Body of Management
  2. What Makes Leadership Work?
  3. The Missing Customer (with Peter Denning)
  4. Innovation as Language Action (with Peter Denning)
  5. Back to School – The Top 14 Mistakes that Executives Make
  6. Self-Generated Competitive Innovation with the Language-Action Approach
  7. The Generative Foundations of Action in Organizations

He has written over 30 proprietary papers on leadership and management for his leadership and management development programs.  His clients through Enterprise Performance include Toshiba America, IBM, Discovery Channel, Scholastic, Adobe Systems, Fidelity National, Silicon Valley companies and many others.

His management and leadership training programs are unique combinations of communication, language-action, management practice design, and embodied learning.  His programs draw on the pioneering works of Dr Fernando Flores in language and action, and Dr Richard Strozzi-Heckler in Somatic Leadership.  He is currently delivering the Coaching Excellence in Organizations (CEO) program for Newfield Network (

Bob earned two degrees from Stanford University, was on the staff that developed the three-year Ontological Design Course, and studied Somatic Leadership for four years with Strozzi Institute.  He teaches as Executive in Residence, Adjunct Faculty, at the Presidio School of Management in San Francisco, and has taught at the University of San Francisco.