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  • London: Digital Economy Conference

    Friday, April 10, 2015
    Location: Congress Centre | 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS, UK 

    Missed the conference? Click here to watch the live stream and follow us on social media at #MITIDE.

    The Second Machine Age: A conference, led by Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91, Schussel Family Professor of Management Science, Professor of Information Technology, and the Director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Andy McAfee, ’88, ’89, LGO ’90, Co-Director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy, will facilitate a series of discussions that highlight MIT's role in both understanding and shaping our increasingly digital economy. Digital technologies are transforming business, our economy, and our society. They are driving innovation and creating unprecedented wealth. At the same time, a gap is emerging as accelerating changes in technology overtake the ability of people and organizations to keep pace. Harnessing the exponential improvements in artificial intelligence, robotics, networks, analytics, and digitization is the grand challenge for our generation and for MIT in particular.

  • 12:30 p.m.


    1:00 p.m.

    Welcome Luncheon
    David Schmittlein, John C Head III Dean, MIT Sloan School of Management

    1:15 p.m.

    Technology is Reshaping Economic Measurement – The Billion Prices Project
    Roberto Rigobon
    Traditional methods of economic measurement are not optimum to say the least. The Billion Prices Project is a project that in real-time measures daily price fluctuations of more than 5 million items sold by more than 300 online retailers in more than 70 countries. This talk will present the power of this dynamic approach in providing better measures of inflation, purchasing power parity, and economic activity.

    2:00 p.m.

    Platform Shift – How New Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry
    Marshall Van Alstyne
    This talk reveals the secret of Internet-driven platforms. Companies that can transform their traditional business models into network models will have a competitive advantage based on new insights into pricing, network effects, supply chains, and strategy. These principles show how dotcom companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Apple and Uber managed, in a relatively short time, to attract millions of clients worldwide. But they apply also to traditional product companies like Sony, shoe companies like Nike, and spice companies like McCormick. New business models help these companies extend existing transactions to new, associated products and services. Platforms beat products every time. This talk tells why.

    2:45 p.m.

    Refreshment Break

    3:15 p.m.

    Lessons from a Year in the Second Machine Age
    Andrew McAfee
    What's changed since our NY Times best-selling book The Second Machine Age came out in early 2014? What have we learned from an additional year's worth of evidence, trends, and innovation? Have the book's themes and predictions held up well? Which of them need to be revisited? In this talk, Andrew McAfee will reflect on insights gained since the book was finished.

    4:00 p.m.

    Economic Challenges of the Second Machine Age
    Erik Brynjolfsson
    The rapid technological advances and record wealth creation of the Second Machine Age have not lifted everyone’s incomes evenly. In fact, many people are worse of now than they were 20 years go. While there’s no economic law that everyone needs to benefit evenly, nor is there an economic law that the gains need to be radically uneven. The outcomes depend on our choices. I will discuss the causes and consequences of the recent technical changes in our economy, as well as some of the responses by individuals, organizations and society more broadly that can create shared prosperity.

    4:45 p.m.

    Initiative on the Digital Economy
    Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson

    5:00 p.m.

    Networking Reception

    Erik Brynjolfsson
    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD '91 is the Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, a Professor at the MIT Sloan School, Chairman of the Sloan Management Review and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His widely cited research examines a variety of aspects of information technology, strategy, productivity, marketing and employment has been recognized with 10 Best Paper prizes and five patents. He teaches a popular MBA courses on the Economics of Information and an executive program on Big Data. His talk for the opening session of TED 2013 laid out an optimistic vision for the future of economic growth.

    Professor Brynjolfsson is a director or advisor for several technology-intensive firms and lectures worldwide on technology and strategy. His books include New York Times Bestseller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a time of Brilliant Technologies, co-authored with Andrew McAfee.

    He received AB and SM degrees from Harvard and a PhD from MIT.

    You can keep up with his research via his website: http://digital.mit.edu/erik or Twitter: @erikbryn.
    Andrew McAfee
    Andrew McAfee, '88, '89, LGO '90 is a principal research scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy. He studies the ways that information technology (IT) affects business. His research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, McAfee’s work also investigates how computerization affects competition itself—the struggle among rivals for dominance and survival within an industry. He coined the phrase enterprise 2.0 and in 2009 published a book on the topic, Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools or Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 scholarly articles and case studies. McAfee has been named by the Ziff Davis technical publishing house as one of the 100 Most Influential People in IT. His recent book with Professor Erik Brynjolfsson “The Second Machine Age” is a New York Times Best Seller.
    Roberto Rigobon
    Roberto Rigobon is the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management and a Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and a visiting professor at IESA.

    Roberto is a Venezuelan economist whose areas of research are international economics, monetary economics, and development economics. Roberto focuses on the causes of balance-of-payments crises, financial crises, and the propagation of them across countries—the phenomenon that has been identified in the literature as contagion. Currently he studies properties of international pricing practices, trying to produce alternative measures of inflation. He is one of the two founding members of the Billion Prices Project, and a co-founder of PriceStats.

    Roberto joined the business school in 1997 and has won both the "Teacher of the Year" award and the "Excellence in Teaching" award at MIT three times.

    He received his PhD in economics from MIT in 1997, an MBA from IESA (Venezuela) in 1991, and his BS in Electrical Engineer from Universidad Simon Bolivar (Venezuela) in 1984.
    David Schmittlein
    David Schmittlein is the John C Head III Dean and Professor of Marketing at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His focus has been to broaden MIT Sloan’s global visibility, to work with the faculty in creating new high-quality management education programs, to develop enhanced educational opportunities for current students, and to develop and disseminate business knowledge that has impact and that will stand the test of time. He also has reached out to the many members of MIT’s alumni community to gain their valuable insights on MIT Sloan and management education.

    Prior to his appointment at MIT Sloan, Schmittlein was the Ira A. Lipman Professor and Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania from 1980 until 2007. He also served as Interim Dean during July 2007 and as Deputy Dean from 2000 to 2007, and was chair of the editorial board for Wharton School Publishing. His research assesses marketing processes and develops methods for improving marketing decisions. He is widely regarded for his work estimating the impact of a firm’s marketing actions, designing market and survey research, and creating effective communication strategies. Schmittlein has served as a consultant on these issues for numerous firms, including American Express, American Home Products, AT&T, Bausch & Lomb, Boston Scientific, Ford Motor Company, Gianni Versace S.p.A., Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Pfizer, Revlon, Siebe PLC, the Oakland Raiders, The Quaker Oats Co., and Time Warner. His work has been published in leading journals in marketing, management, economics, and statistics. In addition, he has been an area editor for Marketing Science and a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Interactive Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Letters, and Marketing Science.

    Schmittlein serves on the International Advisory Board for Groupe HEC, the Governing Board of the Indian School of Business, the International Advisory Board of Lingnan (University) College of Sun Yat-sen University, and the Advisory Board for the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University. He has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Marketing and Branding. He has been a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Economics at Tokyo University and a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Washington University’s John M. Olin School of Business. Schmittlein has received awards for his research, his editorial work, and his teaching. His observations and research have been cited often in the popular press, including Advertising Age, Business 2.0, BusinessWeek, China.com, Computerworld, Fortune, NPR’s Marketplace, People’s Daily Online, Reuters,The ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and USA Today.

    Schmittlein holds a BA in mathematics from Brown University and an MPhil and a PhD in business from Columbia University.
    Marshall Van Alstyne
    Professor Van Alstyne received a BA from Yale, and MS & PhD degrees from MIT. He is a Professor at Boston University and a Visiting Professor at MIT.

    His work concerns information economics. In designing information goods, this research concerns competitive strategy and network effects. In control over information, it concerns who has access to what information, when, and at what price. Work also balances open source principles against those that generate profits and stimulate innovation.

    Professor Van Alstyne was among the first to document productivity effects of IT and communications at the individual desktop level. His work has received an NSF Career Award, two best paper awards, and has appeared in Science, Management Science, Harvard Business Review, and the popular press.
    David Verrill
    David Verrill is the executive director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Verrill’s professional career began as a research scientist at the Center for Blood Research in Boston focusing on the MHC of genetically engineered mice. After receiving his master’s degree from MIT Sloan in 1987, he spent a decade at MIT helping industry connect with the Institute. In 1996, he joined Xerox as manager of International Sales and Business Development for the adaptive products division before it was sold. In 1998, Verrill joined third party marketing firm Winchester International Group as managing director. In 2000, Winchester helped found the Hub Angels, an early stage investment group in Boston. Verrill sits on the board of several early stage companies in the Boston area, and is chairman of the Angel Capital Association. He was educated at Bowdoin College and the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Welcome Remarks

    David Schmittlein, John C Head III Dean, MIT Sloan School of Management

    Initiative on the Digital Economy

    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD '91 & Andy McAfee '88, '89, LGO '90