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  • San Francisco: Digital Economy Conference

    Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future
    Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2017
    Time: 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Location: The Village
    969 Market Street | San Francisco | CA 94103
    Contact Email: mitsloanalumnirelations@mit.edu

    A revolution is underway. Smarter machines, powerful platforms, and connected crowds are reshaping the digital economy. We live in an era of growing complexity, but also one of vast opportunity for leaders seeking to harness technology for good.

  • Read More About the Conference
    Following on Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s book, The Second Machine Age, and the work of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, this conference will focus on what they are calling “the second phase of the second machine age.” A phase has a greater sense of urgency, as technologies are demonstrating that they can do much more than just the type of work we have thought of as routine. The last time new technologies had such a huge impact on the business world was about a century ago, when electricity took over from steam power and transformed manufacturing. Many successful incumbent companies did not survive this transition. Today, companies need to rethink the balance between minds and machines, between products and platforms, and between the core and the crowed. The second element of each pair has become much more capable and powerful within the past few years.

    This conference which will also launch Erik and Andrew’s third book, Harnessing our Digital Future: Machine, Platform, Crowd, will feature research and insights from MIT faculty and industry leaders who are driving change in the digital economy.

    Please join us and learn how we can bend the arc of the digital revolution toward productivity, prosperity, and growth.

    In partnership with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) and the MIT Sloan Club of Northern California.
  • 12:00 p.m.

    Registration & Networking Lunch

    1:00 p.m.

    Welcome Remarks
    Robert Millard, SB '73, Chairman of the MIT Corporation
    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91, Schussel Family Professor of Management Science; Professor of Information Technology; Director, The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

    1:15 p.m.

    Opening Keynote: Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future
    Andrew McAfee, SB ’88, SB ’89, LGO ’90, Co-Director, The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management

    We live in strange times. A machine plays the strategy game Go better than any human; upstarts like Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts; ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs. We must rethink the integration of minds and machines, of products and platforms, and of the core and the crowd. In all three cases, the balance now favors the second element of the pair, with massive implications for how we run our companies and live our lives.
    Machine, platform and crowd are three huge technology-enabled trends that are reshaping the business world. With that in mind, the next three fireside chats will explore each in detail.

    1:45 p.m.

    Mind & Machine Fireside Chat: The rapidly increasing and expanding capabilities of machines are reaching further into nearly every business. This presentation and panel discussion will explore the growing capabilities of machines, and their implications.

    Moderator: Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91
    Discussants: Carl Bass, Former President and CEO, Autodesk, Inc.
    Vinod Khosla, Managing Director, Khosla Ventures

    2:30 p.m.

    Refreshment Break

    3:00 p.m.

    Products & Platform Fireside Chat: The appearance recently of large and influential young companies bear little resemblance to the established incumbents in their industries, yet are deeply disrupting them. These upstarts are platforms, and despite the fact that they create only “indescribably thin layers” they have characteristics that make them fearsome competitors.

    Moderator: Andrew McAfee, SB ’88, SB ’89, LGO ’90
    Discussant: Patrick Collison, '10, Co-Founder and CEO, Stripe
    Jody Greenstone Miller, Co-Founder and CEO, Business Talent Group

    3:45 p.m.

    Core & Crowd Fireside Chat: And the third trend is the emergence of the crowd, our term for the startlingly large amount of human knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm distributed all over the world and now available online.

    Moderator: Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91
    Discussants: Leah Busque, Founder and Executive Chairwoman, TaskRabbit
    Anthony Goldbloom, Co-Founder and CEO, Kaggle

    4:30 p.m.

    Inclusive Innovation Challenge
    David Verrill, SM '87, Executive Diretor, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy
    Devin Cook, MBA ’15, Executive Producer, Inclusive Innovation Challenge
    Prayag Narula, CEO, LeadGenius (IIC 2016 Winner)

    The MIT IDE Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) awards over one million dollars in prizes to Inclusive Innovators - organizations that are solving a grand challenge of our time - to envision and reinvent the future of work. Past IIC prize winners will join us to share their innovations and the progress they are making.

    5:00 p.m.

    Closing Keynote: AI and the Future of Work
    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91

    5:30 p.m.

    Closing Remarks
    Robert Millard, SB '73

    Followed by Cocktail Reception

    Carl Bass

    Carl BassCarl Bass Carl Bass is the Former President and CEO of Autodesk, Inc., currently a member of the Autodesk board of directors and serving as an advisor to the company. During his 24 year tenure at Autodesk, he has held a series of executive positions including president and chief executive officer, chief technology officer and chief operations officer. Bass co-founded Ithaca Software, which was acquired by Autodesk in 1993. Bass also serves on the boards of directors of HP Inc., Zendesk Inc. and Planet; on the board of trustees of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Art Center College of Design, and California College of the Arts; and on the advisory boards of Cornell Computing and Information Science, UC Berkeley School of Information, and UC Berkeley College of Engineering.

    He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cornell University. Bass spends his spare time building things—from chairs and tables to boats, and most recently, an electric go-kart.

    View Full Bio
    Leah Busque

    Leah BusqueLeah Busque, a pioneer of the sharing economy. Busque launched TaskRabbit in 2008 as a way to help people connect and get more done, every day. Since that time, she has been named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” raised $50 million in venture funding, and expanded the company internationally. Prior to founding TaskRabbit, Busque earned a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Sweet Briar College and worked as a Software Engineer at IBM. She currently lives in San Mateo with her husband, daughter, and cuddly black lab, Emerson.

    View Full Bio
    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD '91

    Erik BrynjolfssonErik Brynjolfsson is Director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy. He also serves as Schussel Family Professor of Management at MIT Sloan, and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. At MIT, he teaches courses on the Economics of Information and the Analytics Lab. He has also taught at Harvard and Stanford.

    Brynjolfsson's research examines the effects of information technologies on business strategy, productivity and performance, digital commerce, and intangible assets. He was among the first researchers to measure productivity contributions of IT and the complementary role of organizational capital and other intangibles. His research provided the first quantification of online product variety value, often known as the “Long Tail,” and developed pricing and bundling models for information goods. Appearing in leading economics, management, and science journals, his research has been recognized with ten Best Paper awards and five patents.

    Author of several books including, with co-author Andrew McAfee, NYTimes best-seller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (2014) and Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future (forthcoming, June 2017), Brynjolfsson is an editor of SSRN’s Information System Network and has served on editorial boards of numerous academic journals. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Harvard and a PhD from MIT.

    His papers can be found at http://digital.mit.edu/erik.

    View Full Bio
    Patrick Collison, '10

    Patrick CollisonPatrick Collison Patrick Collison is the CEO and co-founder of Stripe, the technology company that expands internet commerce by making it easy to process transactions from anywhere.

    After experiencing firsthand how difficult it was to set up an online business, Collison and his brother John started Stripe in the fall of 2010. Their goal was to make accepting payments on the internet simpler and more inclusive. Today, the 600-person (and growing) Stripe-team processes billions of dollars a year for hundreds of thousands of companies, from Fortune 500’s to upstarts.

    Stripe’s vision is to create a world in which an entrepreneur’s success is no longer determined by geography or personal means, but on the promise of their idea. Stripe most recently launched Atlas, a toolkit for starting a global internet business from virtually anywhere in the world. In March last year Collison joined President Obama in Havana to open Atlas to Cuban entrepreneurs, and was soon after named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.

    Prior to Stripe, Collison co-founded Auctomatic, which Live Current Media acquired for $5 million in March 2008. Originally from Limerick, Ireland, he now lives in San Francisco, California, where Stripe is based.

    Devin Cook, MBA '15

    Devin CookDevin Cook is the Executive Producer of the Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC), an international program that celebrates organizations addressing a grand challenge of our time—to create shared prosperity by reinventing the future of work. Launched at MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy under Cook’s leadership, the IIC awards $1 million to Inclusive Innovators that create economic opportunity for the many and not just the few in the digital age.

    Cook’s expertise lies in accelerating entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ecosystems for economic growth. As a Fulbright Scholar in India, Cook examined entrepreneurship as a driver of economic development among textile artisans. She holds an MBA from MIT, where she engaged in research and theory development with leading innovation and entrepreneurship faculty and trained in design thinking. With practical experience working at multiple start-ups, as well as leading international projects and seminars for Fortune 100 clients, Cook brings a deep understanding of how solutions that address the world’s biggest challenges can be scaled up to achieve maximum positive impact.

    Cook is a Jurist for the INDEX: Award, the world’s largest design prize. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Apparel Business from the University of Delaware and a BA from Middlebury College.

    Anthony Goldbloom

    Anthony GoldbloomAnthony Goldbloom is the founder and CEO of Kaggle, a Silicon Valley start-up which has used predictive modeling competitions to solve problems for NASA, Wikipedia, Ford and Deloitte. Kaggle has improved the state of the art across a range of fields, including mapping dark matter and HIV/AIDS research. Kaggle has received considerable media attention since it first launched in February 2010, particularly following news that it had received $11.25 million in Series A funding from a round led by Khosla Ventures and Index Ventures. Goldbloom has been cited by Forbes Magazine as one of the 30 Under 30 in Technology, profiled by Fast Company as part of its ‘Who’s Next?’ series and by the Sydney Morning Herald. Goldbloom has been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Independent and has appeared on the Science Show Catalyst.

    Goldbloom was born in Melbourne, Australia, and holds a first-class honours degree in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Melbourne. A trained economist, Goldbloom began his career working in the economic modeling unit of Australia’s Department of Treasury and later spent time in the Research department at the Reserve Bank of Australia. He conceived of the idea behind Kaggle while working as an intern at The Economist in London, where he was asked to write an article on the emerging area of “big data”.

    Goldbloom lives with his wife in San Francisco, California, where Kaggle is now headquartered.

    Vinod Khosla

    Vinod KhoslaVinod Khosla is an entrepreneur, investor and technologist. He is the founder of Khosla Ventures, a firm focused on assisting entrepreneurs to build impactful new energy and technology companies. Khosla grew up dreaming of being an entrepreneur, despite being from an Indian army household with no business or technology connections. Since the age of 16, when he first heard about the founding of Intel, he dreamt of starting his own technology company.

    After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, Khosla failed to start a soymilk company to service the many people in India who did not have refrigerators. Instead, he came to the U.S. to further his academic studies and received a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Eventually, his startup dreams led him to Silicon Valley, where he received a master’s degree in business administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

    Upon graduation, Khosla co-founded Daisy Systems, the first significant computer-aided design system for electrical engineers. The company went on to achieve significant revenue, profits and an IPO. Then, driven by the frustration of having to design the computer hardware on which the Daisy software needed to be built, Khosla started the standards-based Sun Microsystems in 1982 to build workstations for software developers. As the founding CEO of Sun, he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors. Sun Microsystems was funded by Khosla’s longtime friend and board member John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB).

    In 1986, Khosla joined KPCB as a general partner. While there, he played a crucial role in taking on Intel’s monopoly by building and growing semiconductor company, Nexgen, which eventually was acquired by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Nexgen/AMD was the only microprocessor to have significant success against Intel. Thereafter, Khosla helped incubate the idea and business plan for Juniper Networks to take on Cisco System’s dominance of the router market. He also was involved in the formulation of the early advertising-based search strategy for Excite. In addition to his many other contributions at KPCB, he helped transform the moribund telecommunications business and its archaic SONET implementations with Cerent Corporation, which was acquired by Cisco Systems in 1999 for $7.2 billion.

    In 2004, driven by the need for flexibility to accommodate four teenaged children, the desire to be more experimental and to fund sometimes imprudent “science experiments,” Khosla formed Khosla Ventures to focus on both for-profit and social impact investments. His goals remain the same: work and learn from fun and knowledgeable entrepreneurs, build impactful companies by leveraging innovation and spend time with a partnership that makes a difference. Khosla has a passion for nascent technologies that have beneficial effects and economic impact on society. While he only serves on the boards of a few select companies, he works closely with most KV companies as they face transitions or key decisions.

    Khosla’s greatest passion is being a mentor to entrepreneurs building technologybased businesses. He is driven by the desire to make a positive impact through scaling new energy sources, achieving petroleum independence and promoting a pragmatic approach to the environment. He also is passionate about social entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on microfinance as a poverty alleviation tool. He is a supporter of many microfinance organizations in India and Africa. He also has been experimenting with innovations in education and global housing.

    Khosla holds a bachelor of technology degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

    Andrew McAfee, '88, '89, LGO '90

    Andy McAfeeAndrew McAfee is the Co-Director of the IDE and a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    His research investigates how information technology changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, his work also focuses on how computerization affects competition, society, the economy, and the workforce. In addition to having numerous papers published, Professor McAfee also writes a widely read blog, which is at times one of the 10,000 most popular in the world. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles, case studies and other materials for students and teachers of technology. Prior to joining MIT Sloan, McAfee was a professor at Harvard Business School. He has also served as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.

    McAfee received his doctorate from Harvard Business School, and completed two Master of Science and two Bachelor of Science degrees at MIT.

    View Full Bio
    Robert B. Millard, SB '73

    Bob MillardRobert B. Millard was elected Chairman of the MIT Corporation, the Institute’s board of trustees, in June 2014. He joined the MIT Corporation as a Term Member in 2003 and was elected a Life Member in 2013. During that time, he served on the Executive Committee and the Investment Management Company Board, including four years as Chair. He served as a member of the Visiting Committees for Physics, Architecture, Chemistry and Linguistics and Philosophy. In addition, Millard has served on the Corporation Development Committee, the Advisory Council for the Council for the Arts and was a director of the MIT Club of New York. In 2011, Millard received the Bronze Beaver Award, the MIT Alumni Association’s highest honor for distinguished service.

    Millard joined Kuhn Loeb & Co. in 1976, and became a managing director of Lehman Brothers Inc. in 1983. He built and led the risk arbitrage/proprietary investing business. He was the co-founder and former chairman of L-3 Communications Inc, a major defense communications company and is now its lead director. He also presently serves as a director of Evercore Partners and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

    He graduated from MIT in 1973 and Harvard Business School in 1976.

    Jody Greenstone Miller

    Jody MillerJody Greenstone Miller is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Business Talent Group (BTG), the leading global marketplace for top independent consultants and executives interested in project-based work. BTG was recently named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious list of the 5000 fastest-growing companies in America and to the Forbes list of America’s 100 “Most Promising Companies.” Fortune Magazine named Miller one of its ten “Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs” in September 2015. She was also named by EY as one of twelve “Entrepreneurial Winning Women” in North America.

    Miller has served in senior roles in business, government, media, law, and the non-profit world. Prior to founding BTG, from 2000 to 2007, Miller was a venture partner focusing on media and education with Maveron, the Seattlebased venture capital firm. She was previously executive vice president and later acting president and COO of Americast, the digital television and interactive services partnership of The Walt Disney Company and regional telephone companies. Miller also served in the White House as Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton, where she was Deputy to David Gergen, Counselor to the President.

    Miller also helped to launch a successful documentary television division for Time- Life Television early in her career and established a Lehman Brothers investment banking office in South Carolina. A lawyer by training, Miller was selected as a White House Fellow and served in the Department of the Treasury under President George H. W. Bush and served as Legal Counsel to South Carolina Governor Richard Riley. Miller began her career as a lawyer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York.

    Miller serves on the board of directors of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ) and served on the board of TRW (NYSE) for 10 years until their acquisition by ZF in May 2015. Miller serves on the advisory board of the Drucker Institute, and on the board of Peer Health Exchange, Inc. She is also a co-founder and board member of the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage and Unplanned Pregnancy.

    Miller holds a BA from the University of Michigan with highest distinction and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was Order of the Coif and winner of the Lile Moot Court competition. Miller resides in Los Angeles with her husband and has a teenage daughter.

    Prayag Narula

    Prayag NarulaPrayag Narula is the co-founder and CEO of LeadGenius, a leading marketing and sales automation company and social enterprise based out of Berkeley, CA. LeadGenius’ mission is to combine AI and Machine Learning with Human Intelligence while providing meaningful jobs to communities around world.

    LeadGenius is used by top marketers in fortune 500 and public companies and is backed by some of the most prestigious VCs in Silicon Valley.

    Narula co-founded LeadGenius as a graduate student at UC Berkeley where he was studying Human Computer Interaction. Before UC Berkeley, Narula was working as a research scientist at Helsinki University in Finland. He has authored over a dozen research papers in the field of Computer Systems, Machine Learning and Human Computer Interaction.

    Kristina G. Schaefer

    Kris SchaeferKristina G. Schaefer is the Senior Associate Dean of External Relations and International Programs. In this role, she oversees fundraising efforts involving private support from private individuals, corporations, and foundations. She also provides administrative leadership for MIT Sloan’s international programs. She serves as a key liaison to central MIT Resource Development and the MIT Alumni Association.

    Prior to joining MIT Sloan in 2011, Kristina was the vice president for advancement at Simmons College and served as a key member of the Simmons President’s Council.

    She holds a BA in Music from Allegheny College.

    David Verrill, SM '87

    David VerrillDavid Verrill is executive director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy. Verrill has worked and consulted at MIT for more than 25 years. Prior to his work at MIT, he was a research scientist at the Center for Blood Research in Boston.

    Verrill has also worked at Xerox Adaptive Products, where he was manager of International Sales and Business Development. He has also helped start two companies, including Winchester International Group and the Hub Investment Group, which continues to invest in startup companies in the New England region. He sits on the board of Viral Gains, and is Chairman Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association where he heads the ACA Public Policy Committee.

    Verrill holds degrees from Bowdoin College and the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he received a master of science in management.

    Welcome Remarks

    Robert B. Millard, SB ‘73

    Conference Introduction

    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ‘91

    Opening Keynote

    Andrew McAfee, SB ’88, SB ’89, LGO ’90
    View PDF Presentation

    Mind & Machine Fireside Chat

    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91; Carl Bass Former President and CEO, Autodesk, Inc.; Vinod Khosla Managing Director, Khosla Ventures

    Products & Platforms Fireside Chat

    Andrew McAfee, SB ’88, SB ’89, LGO ’90; Patrick Collison, ’10 Co-Founder and CEO, Stripe; Jody Greenstone Miller Co-Founder and CEO, Business Talent Group

    Core & Crowd Fireside Chat

    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91; Leah Busque Founder and Executive Chairwoman, TaskRabbit; Anthony Goldbloom Co-Founder and CEO, Kaggle

    Inclusive Innovation Challenge

    David Verrill, SM ’87; Devin Cook, MBA ’15; Prayag Narula CEO, LeadGenius (IIC 2016 Winner)

    Closing Keynote

    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD ’91
    View PDF Presentation