Dr. Michael Bennett serves as DPI’s Director of Student Experiential Learning Programs. In this capacity, he is responsible for directing and overseeing DPI’s growing portfolio of formal academic and informal learning programs, and leading a team that implements and manages them. Dr. Bennett is also focused on developing and maintaining relationships with Chicago-based employers in which many of those programs are realized.
Dr. Bennett has extensive experience in curriculum development, with a particular emphasis on innovation policy, art law, anticipatory governance, and future scenarios, Afrofuturism, intellectual property law and policy, and science and technology policy. He is a regular keynote speaker across these domains.
He has been a professor and philosopher of technology for 15 years, having taught and conducted research in engineering, business management, public policy, law and social science units at the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Vassar College, and Northeastern University. From 2015 until 2021 he worked as a Research Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and in the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University. In these roles his pedagogic research and consultations furthered the agendas of several federal and state agencies, NGOs, and Fortune 500 companies.
Dr. Bennett has practiced law for more than two decades. His practice focuses primarily on intellectual property acquisition, valuation and transactions. He is also an expert in right of publicity laws, particularly as regards public/political figures, athletes and the deceased. He regularly provides expert commentary on legal controversies and has been featured in The New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, The Financial Times, USA Today, The Guardian, Le Figaro, as well as on various NPR affiliates and BBC Radio.
From 2018 until 2021, he served as Arts and Culture Commissioner for the city of Tempe, Arizona, assisting real estate developers in their efforts to comply with the city’s public art acquisition ordinance. Since 2013 he has been the President of The Society for the Studies of New and Emerging Technologies, an international organization focused on the societal and ethical implications of technological development. He also sits on the board of Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology.
Dr. Bennett holds physics and mathematics degrees from Florida A&M University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer.