Jacob Taylor is a fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development. He is a core secretariat member of the 17 Rooms initiative, a new approach to catalyzing action for the Sustainable Development Goals. His research focuses on mechanisms for advancing collaboration and collective intelligence for global-scale sustainable development challenges across disciplines, sectors, and geographies. 

Jacob is a cognitive anthropologist by training with a research background in collective intelligence and social cohesion in human systems and high-performing teams. Within the 17 Rooms initiative, he is responsible for codification of insights and innovations across both the global flagship process and the bottom-up 17 Rooms-X community of practice. Before joining Brookings, he conducted applied research in several contexts, including most recently as a research fellow at the Asian Bureau of Economic Research at the Australian National University, and as a consulting scientist to a DARPA research program for developing technology for team intelligence and performance.  

Jacob has a regional research focus on China, having spent several years studying, working, and conducting ethnographic research in Beijing with the local Chinese sports community. He himself has a background in professional team sport, representing his native country of Australia in Rugby 7s, 2009-2013. He received a B.A. (Honors) from the University of Sydney and an M.Sc. in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology and D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in anthropology from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. 


Asian Bureau of Economic Research, Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, visiting research fellow 

  • Current Positions

    • Visiting Research Fellow, Asian Bureau of Economic Research, Australian National University
  • Past Positions

    • Senior Project Manager, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings (2020-2022)
    • Program Coordinator, Asian Bureau of Economic Research, Australian National University (2019-2020)
    • Consulting Scientist to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program Artificial Social Intelligence for Successful Teams (ASIST), Aptima, Inc. (2019-2020)
  • Education

    • D.Phil. in Anthropology, University of Oxford (2019)
    • M.Sc. in Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology, University of oxford (2014)
    • B.A.(Hons), The University of Sydney (2010)
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