Tech innovators open the digital economy to job seekers, financially underserved – Irving Wladawsky-Berger

MIT Sloan Visiting Lecturer Irving Wladawsky-Berger

MIT Sloan Visiting Lecturer Irving Wladawsky-Berger

From The Wall Street Journal

The future of work is a prime interest of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, started in 2013 by researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee. To help come up with answers to questions about the impact of automation on jobs and the effects of digital innovation, the group launched the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge last year, inviting organizations around the world to compete in the realm of improving the economic opportunities of middle- and base-level workers.

 More than $1 million in prizes went to winners of the 2017 competition in Boston last month in four categories: Job creation and income growth, skills development and matching, technology access, and financial inclusion. Awards were funded with support from Google.org, The Joyce Foundation, software firm ISN, and ISN President and CEO Joseph Eastin.

“The grand challenge of our era is to use digital technologies to create not only prosperity, but shared prosperity,” said Mr. Brynjolfsson in remarks at the awards event. “We created the Inclusive Innovation Challenge to recognize and reward the many amazing people and organizations that are working to accomplish this mission.” He added: “Our award winners and other entrants show us that broadly shared prosperity is possible, which makes a great antidote to pessimism and negativity.”

The competition received around 300 applications from all over the world. As I did last year, I served as a judge. I was really impressed with the innovative ideas, courage and determination of applicants as they addressed some of society’s toughest problems.

The grand prize winner and runners-up in each category are helping people all over the world, including in Myanmar, Rwanda and Afghanistan. I’d like to share some highlights because all deserve our recognition.

Read the full post in 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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