I’m Brian Whitworth. I was born in England but grew up in New Zealand from the age of five. After degrees in maths and psychology, I did a Master’s thesis in Neuro-psychology called Brain Systems and the Concept of Self. After that, I was getting too intellectual and so joined the NZ Army as the first specialist to complete officer cadet training. Was the senior army psychologist then cross-trained in computing and ended up in Operational Simulations (wargames).

I “retired” in 1989 with a teenage family to support but wanted a new career and so did a part-time doctorate in information systems while working full-time. I designed and wrote a Novell network program called Forum for students to post, vote and comment on what others said. It was used successfully for three years until Windows 95, email and the World Wide Web arrived, and in 1997 my thesis on Generating Group Agreement in online groups was published.

In 1999 I went to NJIT, a US university, then returned to Massey University, NZ in 2006. Publications included journals like Small Group Research, Group Decision and Negotiation, The Database for Advances in IS, Communications of the AIS, Computer, Behavior and Information Technology, Communications of the ACM and Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics. Edited the Handbook of Research on Socio-Technical Design and Social Networking Systems (2009) and wrote The Social Design of Technical Systems (2013). Retired again in 2015 to pursue my interests, including the research roadmap, sociotechnical design, the brain and technology, singing, quantum reality and riding a motorcycle.


B.Sc.(Mathematics), B.A.(Psychology), M.A.(1st Class) (Neuropsychology), Ph.D. Information Systems, Major (Retd.)

1.    Teaching Certificate in Adult Education 1
2.    Developing Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
3.    Teaching Certificate in Adult Education 2
4.    NZ Army Grade III Staff and Tactics
5.    Auditing EDP Systems
6.    Basic Training in Systems Analysis
7.    NZ Army Staff Officers Course
8.    Univac 1100 Series Systems Concepts
9.    Basic Training in COBOL
NZ Army Regular Force Officer Cadet Training


 Over the years, I have taught the following courses at a university level:

  • Business Computing
  • C Programming
  • Computers & Society
  • Computer Applications and the Information Age
  • Data Communications
  • Emerging Issues in Information Technology
  • Equipment Acquisition and Procurement
  • File Management
  • File Structures
  • Database Development
  • Database System Design and Management
  • Evaluation of Computer Applications
  • Fourth Generation Languages
  • Hardware Fundamentals
  • Human-Computer Interaction (postgraduate and undergraduate)
  • Information System Evaluation
  • Information Systems Principles
  • Information Systems Project
  • Multi-media Systems
  • Multi-User Systems
  • Network Management
  • People Management
  • Project Management
  • Programming Principles
  • Program Development
  • Rapid Application Development
  • Research Methods (postgraduate and undergraduate)
  • Social and Professional Issues in Information Technology
  • Statistics for Business
  • System Design
  • System Implementation
  • System Review and Maintenance
  • System Management and Security
  • Social Issues in Computing
  • Socio-technical System Design and Evaluation (postgraduate)


  • 1995, $NZ51,000, PI NZ Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Technology for Business Growth grant,
  • 2001, $US20,200, PI NJIT SBR Designing Groupware.
  • 2001, $2,500, PI NJI-Tower, Development of Multi-media Systems DL Course.
  • 2008, $NZ10,000. Ako Aotearoa Research Roadmap Project grant for the Research Roadmap Project.
  • 2010, $249,168. National Science Foundation grant for “OKES: An Open Knowledge Exchange System to Promote Meta-Disciplinary Collaboration Based on Socio-Technical Principles”.
  • Co-PI with Robert Friedman, National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for “OKES: An open knowledge exchange system to promote meta-disciplinary collaboration based on socio-technical principles” (award number 0968445).
  • 2011 Fourth prize of $US1,000 in The Foundational Questions Institute FQXi 2011 essay submission.