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About Dr. Michael Sutton & FUNIFICATION



Michael J. D. Sutton PhD, CMC, FBEI, MIT is an Innovative Researcher, Knowledge Scientist, and Learning Engineer. Over the past 50 years he has distinguished himself in the business and educational fields of:

  • Game-Based Learning,
  • Serious Games, Simulations, and Immersive Learning Environments
  • Online and Distance Education,
  • Executive Coaching and Mentoring,
  • Leadership and Executive Development,
  • Entrepreneurship-Edupreneurship,
  • Management Consulting and Facilitation,
  • Data Mining and Foresight Planning,
  • Business Process Management,
  • Business Intelligence and Competitive Intelligence,
  • Knowledge Management/Mobilization,
  • Records Management and Document Management.

He has extensive experience in educating, teaching, managing, technically architecting, and leading strategic business and educational initiatives. He was a Practice Director for over fifteen years, concentrating his analysis, management, and systems thinking talent in this emerging practitioner field of Knowledge Management. Within academic Business Schools he motivated his learners to adopt an “entrepreneurial spirit” that is necessary to succeed in our complex world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA). He has coached and mentored founders of start-ups, SMEs, as well as executives and managers in Fortune 500 firms.

Michael has provided consulting direction, advice, and education for private and public sector clients:

  • Agricultural and AgriFood Canada (AGRICAN)
  • Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB)
  • Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)
  • Cabinet of the Salt Lake County Government
  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
  • Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD)
  • Canadian Institute for Science Technology and Information (CISTI)
  • Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
  • Canadian Law Information Council (CLIC)
  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
  • Canadian Sport Information Resource Centre (CSIRC)
  • Communications Security Establishment (CSE)
  • Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada (FAITC)
  • Employment and Immigration Canada (EIC)
  • Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • International Development Law Institute (IDLI)
  • International Development research Centre (IDRC)
  • International Federation for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • National Archives of Canada (NAC)
  • National Museums of Canada (NMC)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERCC)
  • Ontario Hydro
  • Organization of American States (OAS)—Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM)
  • Provincial Government of British Columbia
  • Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton (ONTARIO)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (SGC)
  • Supply and Services Canada (SSC)
  • United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, (UNDHA)
  • unesco
  • US Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • US Department of the Navy (DON).

Prior to returning to McGill to work on his doctorate in 2000, he participated in various applied research projects outside of the university environment resulting in numerous publications in academic and trade journals. His independent scholarly research culminated in the publication of his first book, Document Management for the Enterprise: Principles, Techniques, and Applications, (Wiley, 1996), which has been widely adopted by corporations and universities and recently translated into Russian.

Since graduating, he has taught as a Professor in numerous institutions of higher education, leadership institutes, continuing educational programs, and community colleges. Michael was invited to achieve his PhD in Knowledge Management from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, CANADA and graduated at the young age of 57, an exemplar of a lifelong learner. Michael since been an innovative experiential learning educator.

Michael is a recognized thought leader and sought-after author/keynote speaker in the emergent Game-Based Learning and Gamification fields. He has presented and published numerous papers in that emergent field, but most recently completed a co-authored text in September 2019 with a close colleague, Kevin Allen, entitled: EMOTIFY! The Power of the Human Element in Game-Based Learning, Serious Games and Experiential Education.


MAY 2007 - PhD / McGill University, Montreal, QC, CANADA, Information School Dissertation: Examination of the Historical Sensemaking Processes Representing the Development of Knowledge Management Curricula in Universities: Case Studies Associated with an Emergent Discipline.

MAY 1989 - BIS / University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, CANADA, [Major, Management Sciences], Thesis: Expert System Model for Assessing Change Management in the Strategic Planning Process.


  • Business Excellence Institute (Ireland), Fellow, 2019.
  • Aleas Simulations, Inc., Certified FLIGBY Consultant (Leadership Competency Assessment Simulation), 2017.
  • Zenger-Folkman, The Extraordinary Leader, 360-degree Leadership Assessment, 2014.
  • Zenger-Folkman, The Extraordinary Coach, Coaching Practice Development, 2014.
  • CoachingOurselves, Inc., Facilitator, CoachingOurselves Professional Development Tools, 2012.
  • American Society for Training and Development, [now ATD], Master Coach, 2009.
  • Association for Information and Image Management, Master of Information Technologies, 1997.
  • Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Ontario, Certified Management Consultant, 1995.
  • Ordre des Administrateur Agréés du Québec, Administrateur Agréé-“Certified Administrator”, 1995.
  • Canadian Information Processing Society, Information Systems Professional, 1990.


2014 – PRESENT :: FUNIFICATION, Apache Junction, AZ and Int’l Locations. Chief Gamification Officer-Chief Knowledge Officer

Architected and delivered face-to-face (f-2-f) and online learning experiences and workshops encompassing experiential exercises, elearning, online and analogue serious games, simulations, and immersive virtual environments that increase both workplace and academic engagement, performance, and retention.

2015 – 2021 :: Anaheim University, Anaheim, CA. Adjunct Professor, Dissertation Chair, Dissertation Coach: MBA and DBA Program.

Actively directing a DBA Candidate (Doctorate in Business Administration) as a Dissertation Chair for their doctoral journey an investigation. Leading and supporting DBA learners as a Dissertation Coach embarking upon their coursework for developing the Dissertation Proposal and Literature Review and Professor in Entrepreneurship.

2015 – 2021 :: Grand Canyon University, School of Doctoral Studies, Phoenix, AZ. Dissertation Chair, Adjunct Professor, Dissertation Committee Content Expert: DBA Program

Delivered online DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) courses-modules employing a wide spectrum of online learning strategies. Coached and mentored online DBA learners through the process of developing and receiving approval for their Prospectus, Proposal, Defence, and Dissertation.

2016 – 2016 :: Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, ID. Adjunct Professor: Undergraduate Business Program

Delivered an experiential entrepreneurship-intrapreneurship undergraduate course framework encompassing the Business Model Canvas; Design thinking; Game-based design; Gamification Canvas; Storytelling; and Visualization.

2014 – 2017 :: Universidade Estadual Paulista, Marília, São Paulo, Brazil & Salt Lake City, UT. Dissertation Co-Chair: Information Sciences, PhD Program.

Co-chaired the dissertation experience for a PhD candidate who successfully graduated after working with me in the USA and Brazil with the theme of competitive intelligence and knowledge management.

2014 – 2015 :: Prescott College, [Doctoral Sustainability Program], Prescott, AZ. Dissertation Coach

Advised-Coached PhD learner in game-based learning, gamification, game design, simulations, and immersive learning environments.

2013 – 2014 :: Salt Lake Community College, [Information Studies Program], Salt Lake City, UT. Course Designer and Instructor

Designed, developed, and delivered online Knowledge Management (KM) and Competitive Intelligence (CI) course modules: basic, intermediate, and advanced.

2013 – 2015 :: Boise State University [College of Business and Economics], Boise, ID. Adjunct Professor: Executive MBA Program.

Designed, developed, and delivered XMBA modules for instructing Business Intelligence, Data Mining, Scenario Planning (Foresight) and Competitive Intelligence. Architected a new Executive Education Business Intelligence Program offering.

2007 – 2016 Westminster College, Gore Business School, Salt Lake City, UT. Associate Professor: MBA & BBA Programs

Designed, developed, and delivered MBA and BBA courses-modules employing a wide spectrum of learning strategies. Team Advisor, Center for Entrepreneurship, Annual Opportunity Quest Business Plan Competition. Designed and delivered Executive Education modules for the Mastering Leadership Certificate Program.

2004 – 2007 :: Kent State University, Kent, OH. Assistant Professor, Coordinator of the KM Concentration: Information Architecture & Knowledge Management: MS Program

Architected the KM Curriculum and delivered classroom-based KM courses. Architected a new elearning KM Certificate curriculum for distance education learners. Developed a collaborative alliance network of over fifty senior executives throughout Ohio. Advised graduate students on their MS theses and capstone projects.

1969 – 2004 :: Various Clients and Employers, Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec, & International Locations. Partner, Teacher, Consultant, PhD Candidate, Manager, Management Consultant, and Executive - Various Enterprises, Community Colleges, Universities, Management and Systems Consulting Firms

Successfully executed a number of teaching, consulting, training, management, and executive roles in various enterprises with P&L responsibility for profitable business units, branch offices, and start-up practice centers in the management consulting, information management, information systems, and information technology sectors.

Sutton - Educator CV 2021 V4-R5

Sutton - Educator Resume 2021 V3-R6


  • Sutton, M. J., & Jorge, C. F. B. Phenomenological approach to applying reflective journaling to experiential learning. Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching, 4(Sp. Iss. 1). DOI:
  • Sutton, M.J.D, Carlos Francisco Bitencourt Jorge, C.F.B. (2020). Potential for radical change in Higher Education learning spaces after the pandemic. Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 3(1), DOI:
  • Jorge, C. F. B., Valentim, M. L. P., & Sutton, M. J. (2020). Knowledge networks as an innovation strategy in the food industrial: a case study at Danilla Foods. Informação & Sociedade: Estudos, 30(2).
  • Sutton, M.J.D., Allen, K. (2019). Emotify!: The Power of the Human Element in Game-Based Learning, Serious Games and Experiential Education. NY: EIGAMES LLC.
  • Jorge C.F.B., Sutton, M.J.D. (2017). FUNIFICATION 2.0: Knowledge mobilization model for corporate and educational game-based learning, World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 14(2/3), [Online].
  • Ahmed, A. & Sutton M.J.D. (2017). Gamification, serious games, simulations, and immersive learning environments in knowledge management initiatives, World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 14(2/3), [Online].
  • Jorge, C. F. B., Sutton, M. J. D. (2016). Games as a strategy in building knowledge management in the context of organizational intelligence. Perspective in Management and Knowledge, 6. Special Issue: Organizational Intelligence and Knowledge Management, 103-118. (Published in Portuguese)
  • Sutton, M. J. D. (2016). Compilation of Journals: Information Sources for the Topics of Game-Based Learning, Simulations, Serious Games, Gamification, Virtual Reality, and Immersive Learning. Boise, ID:
  • Sutton, M. J. D. and Hazeri, A. (2012). Using the Wiki as an Experiential Learning Tool to Engage Students in Undergraduate and Graduate University Courses. In C. Wankel and P. Blessinger (Eds.). Increasing Student Engagement and Retention using Online Learning Activities: Wikis, Blogs and Webquests. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.
  • Sutton, M.J.D., McFarland, C., Sanchez, N., and Vuyovich, J. (January 2012). Using Coaching Ourselves as a Management Development Tool in an Experiential MBA Course: A Case Study in Applying Reflection as a Learning Strategy for Enhancing Engagement, International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology, 2(1).
  • Sutton, M.J.D. (2010). Preliminary Research Context for Investigating the Use of Wikis as Knowledge Management Tools to Project Management-based Initiatives. In T.K. Srikantaiah, M.E.D. Koenig, and S. Hawarden (Eds.). Convergence of Project Management and Knowledge Management. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
  • Sutton, M. (2009). A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of KM Educational Programs. In J. P. Girard (Ed.), Building Organizational Memories: Will You Know What You Knew? Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Sutton, M.J.D. (1996). Document Management for the Enterprise: Principles, Techniques, and Applications. New York: John Wiley & Sons, (also translated into Russian).


  • Future Application of Game-Based Learning as a Platform for Reflective Learning Associated with Entrepreneurship Education in the MENA Region – Innovation within Entrepreneurship Education. The Future of Higher Education in MENA towards Achieving Agenda 2030, World Association for Sustainable Development, February 2021.
  • Phenomenological Approach to Applying Reflective Journaling to Experiential Learning— From Spiritual Reflection to Game-Based Educational Experiences, University of Essex-Kaplan University Symposium on Alternative Education—Educational Alternatives, September, 2020.
  • A Game-Based Learning Initiatives: The Emergent Role of the Transformation Agent, Turkey Gamification Summit, April 2020.
  • Dialogues on Funification Frameworks to Approach Gamification and Game-Based Learning. Shopify Corporate HQ Seminar, Aug. 2018, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Game-Based Learning–Language of the Future for Overcoming Complexity, Learning Technologies Conference, Jan-Feb. 2018, London, UK.
  • Virtual Reality for Constructing Flow and Flow-based Leadership: The FLIGBY Simulation Experience, International Business Learning Games Competition Conference, The Business Excellence Institute [Ireland], Sept. 2017, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • The FLIGBY Simulation: Virtual Reality for Building Flow and Flow-based Leadership Competencies, International Serious Play Conference, July 2017, Washington, DC.
  • Emotional Intelligence, (not Artificial Intelligence) in the Data Sciences, Indiana University Featured Departmental Seminars, Bloomington, January 2017
  • LinkedIn Bootcamp: Tool for Professional Social Media Management, Trailhead Boise, April 2016, Boise, ID.
  • Gamification: Serious Games, Simulations, and Immersive Learning Environments for Entrepreneurship Initiatives, Collabortank, April 2016, Boise, ID.
  • Could Serious Games & Simulations Motivate Stakeholder Strategy in Knowledge Management Initiatives, South African Knowledge Management Summit 2015, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.
  • Gamification in Knowledge Management Initiatives (Presentation); Serious Games – Knowledge Acquisition, Codification, and Sharing (Workshop), Knowledge Management Australia 2015 Conference, Melbourne, Australia
  • Marketplace of Ideas: Data & Information Visualization–Usability Engineering for Executives and Launched Mentoring-Coaching Community-of-Practice for SCIP Ambassador Program, Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) Annual Conference (2015), Atlanta, GA.
  • Successful Experiential Learning: Blogs and Wikis for Personal Knowledge Management, Knowledge Mobilization, and Entrepreneurship Courses. 2nd Annual Conference 2014 Higher Education Teaching & Learning (HETL), Anchorage, AK.
  • Faculty Game Facilitator & Funification Motivator, Texas A&M University, Nov. 2015, Texarkana, TX and Mohave Community College, Nov. 2014, Lake Havasu City, AZ.
  • Wikis and blogs as the core technology for increasing classroom engagement in studying Knowledge Management (KM)-Knowledge Mobilization: Two cases. 1st Annual 2013 Conference Higher Education Teaching & Learning (HETL), Orlando, FL.


  • Westminster College, Faculty & Staff Peer Award, Gore School of Business - Excellence in Scholarship, 2012.
  • Kent State University, Assoc. Provost, Faculty Affairs & Curriculum - Teaching Excellence, 2004.
  • Emerald Publishing chose Dr. Sutton’s co-authored book chapter as an Outstanding Author Contribution Award Winner at the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2013, (see publications section).
  • Academy of Management, Outstanding Conference Reviewer Award from the Organizational Behavior Division, 2010.


  • 2019, 2018, 2017: BEX [Business Excellence Institute] (Ireland), Judge for the International Business Learning Games Competition, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • 2017: International Serious Play Conference, Judge for the International Serious Play Awards, Washington, DC.
  • 2016 – 2014: Wayne Brown Institute (, Cooperative Venturing Network® Mentor, Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT
  • 2016: Idaho Technology Council/Boise State University, College of Innovation and Design, Boise, ID. Idaho Entrepreneurship Challenge Competition Judge.
  • 2016-2008: Various Entrepreneurship Start-up Firms and Incubators, Boise, ID, and Salt Lake City, UT, Coached/Mentored executives and emerging entrepreneurs of start-up enterprises who were seeking ANGEL and Venture Capital funding.
  • 2016, 2015: University of Utah - Sorenson Center for Innovation. Games4Health Competition Judge.



Architect and deliver face-to-face (F-2-F) workshops and online learning experiences encompassing experiential exercises, elearning activities, online and analogue serious games, simulations, role-playing, and immersive virtual environments that increased both workplace and academic engagement, performance, and retention.

  • VISION: Transform and engineer learning into applied, actionable knowledge through serious games, simulations, and immersive learning environments.
  • CRITICAL MISSION: Build engagement and retention within the range of generations encompassed by Baby Boomers, Gen X, Y, Z, and Millennials who find themselves hampered by boring and mediocre work spaces or university learning spaces totally devoid of cognitive, emotional, and behavioural engagement.
    • GOAL (1): Build capacity for the acquisition of “sticky knowledge” and soft skills in a fun, playful, experiential learning environment.
    • GOAL (2): Deploy invigorated learning and knowledge exchange/transfer through games and sims, directly impacting the neuro-receptors of the brain, helping to reinforce new personal behaviour patterns.
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