John Sack is one of the founders of HighWire Press and focuses on market assessment, client relations, technology innovation, and the kind of thought leadership and industry-forward thinking that has defined HighWire's mission since 1995.
In addition to leading and inspiring the HighWire staff, his role is to determine where the technology and publishing industries are going, how one of those might leverage the other, and how HighWire can best support its customers - publishers, editors - and its customers' customers - the libraries, students, researchers, and clinicians they serve. While this frequently involves working with new technology, as often it involves working with publishers on new ideas, opportunities, or problems they wish to address.
John considers himself a "futurist" or "trend-spotter" in that he tries to watch what is happening in consumer and scholarly services and identify patterns that are just beginning to emerge. These new patterns, once articulated, can give publishers and editors a chance to think about how they might prepare for changes, or take advantage of them. He's been talking about "Publisher 2.0" for a while now, to determine if there is a coherent vision for how the all-digital workflows of end-users will change what we do in communicating with them.
John's career at Stanford goes back quite a long time. In previous positions at Stanford, he was responsible for information technology, including academic databases such as library catalogs, and administrative systems like student records, purchasing systems, etc. He's been fortunate enough to have been working with some of the HighWire staff for 30 years in their roles at various organizations in Silicon Valley.
John earned his M.A. in English from Stanford University, and a B.A. in English and Philosophy, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Virginia, where he was also Phi Beta Kappa, and an Echols Scholar.
John serves on the board of the North American Chapter of the ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Scholarly Publishers). He has been a board member of the Stanford Federal Credit Union and the User Alliance for Open Systems, as well as a member of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), EDUCOM, CAUSE, Internet Society, ACM, Uniforum, Computer-Human Interface (CHI), AMA, and SIM.
John is a regular invited speaker at numerous industry events, including annual meetings of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, the Charleston Library Conference, the National Academy of Science, SSP's "IN"conference, as well as MC, moderator and host of the thrice-annual HighWire Publishers' meeting. He has published several professional papers on open systems and architecture, among other topics.
John's primary hobby is photography, which he enjoys practicing doing volunteer work with community groups who provide services for those who don't have adequate food, shelter or medical care. He is also a board member and volunteer with his church, which has a focus on social-justice and community-service projects. And like many people at HighWire, John has a dog, Kupono.