About the Author: Michael Madison

I teach at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. You can read more about me and my work here. 

I teach and write about intellectual property law, innovation and creation, and “knowledge commons.”

I do a lot of research on governance and institutions, especially knowledge, information, and data sharing – so-called “knowledge commons.”

I’m a huge fan of soccer (sometimes “football”), as a former player, coach, referee, etc.; I’m a student and practitioner of the leadership arts; and I’m an engaged critic of processes of (re)urbanization of places such as Pittsburgh.

I have been posting here at madisonian.net on and off since 2004, much of that time with the assistance of a number of law professor colleagues.  As the website re-emerges (late 2016 and 2017) from its most recent hibernation, the material appearing here will be eclectic. Some has to do with “governance,” the label that I’ve given the site in early 2020. “Governance” is a catch-all word that captures my general interest in collaborative problem-solving in systems, ecologies, and institutions. Governance is implemented among groups via law, rules, customs, norms, and practices. How, when, and why does governance work well? Poorly? 

Much of the specifics are drawn from law, legal systems, legal institutions, and legal education itself, which both produce governance (that is, institutions and actors and links among them) and consist of governance. That content relates to my interest in the role of law in the future of modern culture and society, which is documented in more detail at “Future Law Works.”

From 2003 to 2011, I published Pittsblog, about regional economic development and the post-industrial re-emergence of one particularly interesting city and region: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Chris Briem turned up at Pittsblog from time to time, though he had his hands full (and still does) with his own site, Null Space.  Pittsburgh-themed posts will appear here from time to time. Pittsburgh is partly interesting in itself; Pittsburgh is also interesting as a case study of urban and regional planning, development, and change in the 20th and 21st centuries. Urbanism is governance, too, meaning that it’s collaborative problem-solving among multiple, overlapping, and sometimes disagreeing groups of people.

My take on Pittsburgh is informed by the fact that I’ve lived in Western Pennsylvania for 20 years, but I was raised (literally) and grew up (professionally) in what is now called Silicon Valley. My family home is in Menlo Park; for several years I practiced law in what passes for downtown Palo Alto. The cognitive disconnect between SV-oriented law, business, and culture, on the one hand, and Pittsburgh-themed law, business, and culture, on the other hand, were and are striking to me.

The tag “GFOP” is an inside nod to the hosts of the Men in Blazers podcast, whose followers have adopted the label “Great Friend of the Pod” to identify themselves to one another and to the world.

Find me on Twitter at @profmadison.