Devin Cook, Executive Producer of the MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition
Two years ago, in their groundbreaking book The Second Machine Age, Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, and Andrew McAfee, Co-director, of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, described digital technology’s transformative effect on business, the economy, and society. With productivity, wealth, and profits at historic highs, digital innovation has created unprecedented bounty for a great number of people. However, not all people have shared equally in this prosperity. In economic terms, overall GDP is growing but median incomes since 1999 have actually fallen. While technology has created greater wealth for society and for innovators at an unprecedented pace, changes in our economy are actually leaving many people — especially middle- and base-level earners — worse off.
This is the great economic paradox of our time, yet at the Initiative on the Digital Economy, we know this disparity will not define our future. Rather we are technology optimists, and we believe that the future of work can be better for all. However, we cannot ensure that people will enjoy prosperous working lives, if we just stand by and watch these trends unfold. Thus to celebrate, support, and inspire solutions to this challenge, the MIT IDE launched the Inclusive Innovation Competition (IIC). We will award a total of $1 million in prizes to the world’s most inventive organizations that are enabling more people to fully experience the prosperity of the Second Machine Age.
Lee Ullmann, Director of the MIT Sloan Latin America Office Office of International Programs
Big data is a popular buzz word these days. Companies are told they should harness the vast amount of data produced globally and it will lead to greater profitability and productivity. By using big data, they can reap benefits like producing better products and customization options. That’s all well and good, but it’s contingent on managers understanding how to use and analyze the data. How many can really do that across all industries?
A McKinsey Quarterly report in 2015 found that very few legacy companies have achieved “big impact” through big data. In the study, participants were asked what degree of revenue or cost improvement they had seen through use of big data. The answer was less than 1 percent for the majority of the respondents.
A big problem with big data is that, although everyone talks about it, most people don’t really know what to do to ensure that investing in it is a win-win proposition. To shed light on this issue, MIT Sloan is bringing its deep expertise to a May 26 conference in Bogotá, Colombia called, “Big Data: Shaping the Future of Latin America.” The presenters include faculty from across the MIT campus as well as the Department of National Planning in Colombia. With examples from their own research, they will share new and innovative ways to use big data to achieve specific goals.
If you are like a lot of people, your New Year’s Resolution list includes one or more ventures that you’ve been stalling on. Likely you’ve postponed working on this item due to some lack of clarity or perhaps you fear that you haven’t the proper passion for the topic or sector or a compelling vision to start a business. Indeed, how many times have you heard this advice given to people thinking of starting a company: “You’ve got to be passionate about it. You gotta love what you do.” But guess what?
The acceleration of technology has led to remarkable benefits for business and the economy – but what about people earning middle- and base-level incomes?
Join MIT Sloan Experts’ (@mitsloanexperts) #FutureofWork Twitter chat with Erik Brynjolfsson (@erikbryn), director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, as he discusses how digital innovations can create a more inclusive, productive and sustainable future for all. Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly), founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, will host the chat and ask Erik questions that will help guide the conversation.
The chat will take place on Wednesday, April 13, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
How do you get involved? It’s simple! If you have a question or a response to one of Tim O’Reilly’s questions, just include “#FutureofWork” in your tweet.
The #FutureofWork Twitter chat will promote registration for the MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition, open from March 1 – June 1, 2016, which celebrates organizations that create economic opportunity in the digital era.
What will it take to get more young women interested in pursuing an MBA? At a time when the dearth of women leaders in corporate America, government, and beyond dominates the national dialogue, it’s a pertinent question.
Women have outnumbered men on college campuses since the 1980s. They’re a majority in most masters degree programs and they comprise roughly half of all law and medical school students.
Nevertheless, business schools are starting to make progress. This year’s incoming class at MIT Sloan, for instance, has a greater percentage of women than ever before. Of the 402 students in the MBA class of 2017, 41% are female. Our peer schools have recently posted similar numbers.