MIT competition addresses economic dislocation in the digital era — Irving Wladawsky-Berger

MIT Sloan Visiting Lecturer Irving Wladawsky-Berger

MIT Sloan Visiting Lecturer Irving Wladawsky-Berger

From The Wall Street Journal

Few topics are as critical, and as challenging to anticipate, than the future of jobs in the digital economy. Along with its many benefits, the digital revolution has resulted in enormous dislocations in labor markets and a sharp polarization in job opportunities over the past several decades.

Recently the Initiative on the Digital Economy, an effort at MIT started three years ago to better understand the broad changes brought about by the relentless advances of digital technologies, launched a competition inviting organizations to envision the future of work. The competition aims to identify, celebrate and award prizes to “organizations that are inventing a more sustainable, productive, and inclusive future for all by focusing on improving economic opportunity for middle- and base-level income earners.”

The competition is open to for-profit and non-profit organizations of any size, age or type, in any nation around the world. It seeks creative solutions in four major categories:

  • Skills: Prepare members of the workforce for opportunities of the future, including the necessary education to help them acquire new kills as well as improve their existing ones.
  • Matching: Help qualified unemployed or underemployed individuals gain access to meaningful, productive and engaging work by improving the matching of labor supply with demand.
  • Humans + Machines: Use technology to augment human labor so that the outcome is greater than either human or machine could achieve alone, and develop innovative offerings that improve the human capacity for effective physical or cognitive work.
  • New Models: Come up with innovative jobs, business models and operational practices that will revolutionize the labor markets, help create new economic opportunities, and enable workers to succeed in meaningful ways.

Let me briefly discuss why I think that the Inclusive Innovation Competition is such an important initiative.

Read the full post at The Wall Street Journal. 

Irving Wladawsky-Berger is a Visiting Lecturer in Information Technology at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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