Dr. Kimo Quaintance

Dr. Kimo Quaintance

Lecturer, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

“Networks vs. Hierarchies in the Digital Age: The New Paradigm of Competition”

  • One of the most important ‚battles‘ in the digital age is between the traditional power of hierarchies and the new power of networks.
  • Networks can be much more agile than hierarchies, but they struggle to make complex decisions.
  • Success in the future will depend on organizations learning how to tap into the power of networks while avoiding their weaknesses.


As the world’s tech-driven economies become more densely connected, industrial era hierarchical organizations are facing more frequent and damaging disruption from networked challengers. The only way to remain competitive in this environment is to learn how to adapt more fluidly and effectively like networks, while maintaining the strategic leadership that is a traditional strength of hierarchies. Join this interactive workshop to explore how your organization can manage the risks and act on the opportunities presented by one of the most important structural challenges of the digital age – the emerging power of networks.

That’s me
From my earliest days exploring the pre-Internet BBS network, to my research on smartphone use in remote corners of Africa, I’ve always been fascinated with what happens when digital technology connects people in new ways. We live in an incredibly exciting era, where for the first time in history, everyone in the world can be directly connected to each other from anywhere, using handheld supercomputers. We’re only just beginning to learn how this digital connectivity is transforming our lives, work, and societies. Teaching is my passion, and nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing someone make a sudden leap in the way they understand the world – that flash of insight that is the unique product of having your assumptions challenged by someone pushing your critical thinking and engaging your imagination through playful experimentation. I’ve been teaching for more than 15 years in the United States, China, and Europe, and I love the opportunity to bring my classroom experience and research to new audiences outside of academia.