Some Good Tech News: Entrepreneurs Leverage Tech for Economic Inclusion – Irving Wladawsky-Berger

MIT Sloan Visiting Lecturer Irving Wladawsky-Berger

MIT Sloan Visiting Lecturer Irving Wladawsky-Berger

From Wall Street Journal

Between the never-ending stream of news linking bad actors to social networks and studies documenting society’s growing smartphone addiction, it seems almost wrong today to think that technology can — ahem — help make the world a better place.

That’s why I am thankful for the annual Inclusive Innovative Challenge, hosted by MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy. Launched in 2016, the IIC seeks out and awards entrepreneurs that are leveraging technology advances to reinvent the future of work. That’s right. There remains, even in this news cycle, firms committed to tapping technology’s ability to connect–and not divide–people and build–and not threaten–jobs and other economic activities.

Or, as the challenge organizers put it:

“The IIC believes that Inclusive Innovation is an economic and moral imperative, and that the key question of our era isn’t what technology is going to do to our economy and society, but what we will do with technology. By identifying and promoting the powerful global community of future of work visionaries, the IIC proactively accelerates the technology-driven solutions enabling greater economic opportunity for working people around the world facing the challenge of rapidly advancing digital progress.”


Entrepreneurs from around the globe compete for awards in four categories: income growth and job creation, skills development and opportunity matching, technology access, and financial inclusion. Approximately 1,500 organizations registered to compete this year, and 500 judges reviewed their applications.

I’m a Fellow of the Initiative on the Digital Economy, and have been a first round judge for the past three years. I also attended the November 8 event, and was able to personally meet most of the grand prize and regional winners. Let me briefly summarize their accomplishments. They all deserve our recognition.

Read the full piece at Wall Street Journal.

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

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