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  • New York: Digital Economy Conference 2018

    The Future of Work: Capital Markets, Digital Assets, and the Disruption of Labor

    Date: Friday, April 27, 2018

    Time: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

    Location: The Times Center242 West 41st Street | New York | NY 10036

    Contact Email: mitsloanalumnirelations@mit.edu

    An evolution of disruption is upon us, impacting traditional jobs, industries, and business models. Leaders from industry, academia, and public policy join MIT Sloan and the Initiative for the Digital Economy in New York City to discuss, debate, and envision the future of capital markets, digital assets, and the disruption of labor.

    Sessions will focus on the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning on capital markets, measures of the digital economy, changes to the workforce, good jobs and the growing gig economy, and the biases of humans and machines in a connected world. 

    More speakers to be announced soon!


  • 8:30 a.m

    Registration and Continental Breakfast

    9:00 a.m.

    Welcome Remarks

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

    9:15 a.m.

    Opening Keynote: What Can Machine Learning Do? Implications for the Workforce

    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD '91, Schussel Family Professor of Management Science; Professor of Information Technology; Director, The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy

    9:45 a.m.

    Panel: The Impact of Machine Learning on the Workforce

    There have been remarkable breakthroughs in machine learning in recent years, matching or surpassing human-level performance in areas as diverse as image recognition, fraud detection, game-playing and voice recognition. However, we are still very far from matching human intelligence across the board – artificial general intelligence. This raises the question, “where does machine learning work best and where is it ineffective?” What’s more, the effects on wages and employment are more complex than the simple replacement and substitution approach that many are applying. This panel will explore the unique capabilities of humans, and how employers can better prepare their workforce for the impact of AI, ML and DL.

    MODERATOR: Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD '91

    DISCUSSANTS: Michael Chui, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute

    Hilary Mason, Vice President of Research, Cloudera; Founder and CEO, Fast Forward Labs

    10:30 a.m.


    11:00 a.m.

    Panel: Good Jobs and Gigs

    While the on demand economy has shown tremendous growth, it is still a small part of the economy. This panel will review the future of the gig economy, and explore the tactics and strategies for companies to purse a sustainable competitive strategy in which everyone wins.

    MODERATOR: Andrew McAfee, ’88, ’89, LGO ’90, Co-Director, The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management

    DISCUSSANTS: Lavea Brachman, MCP ‘93, Vice President of Programs, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Sara Horowitz, Executive Director, Freelancers Union

    10:30 a.m.


    11:45 a.m.

    Fireside Chat: An Economist’s View of Technology on Wall Street

    MODERATOR: Andrew McAfee, ’88, ’89, LGO ’90

    DISCUSSANT: Edward S. Hyman Jr, SM ’69, Chairman, Evercore ISI

    12:30 p.m.

    Networking Lunch

    1:30 p.m.

    Panel: What Does This Mean for Financial Services?

    The financial services sector is no stranger to technology, but will machines replace advisors, traders, analysts, and exchanges? This panel will explore how investors are accessing new means of managing their capital, and how traditional financial services organizations are adapting to technology disruption.

    MODERATOR: Cathinka Wahlstrom, Operating Unit Lead – Financial Services, North America, Accenture

    Adena Friedman, President and CEO, NASDAQ

    Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Bank of America

    2:15 p.m.

    Panel: The Biases of Humans and Machines 

    While technology offers an opportunity to remove bias, automated segmentation algorithms could potentially exacerbate the problem. In addition, humans are the architects and builders of these systems. This panel will explore our collective responsibility for addressing the risks of algorithmic bias.

    MODERATOR: Renée Richardson Gosline, Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management

    DISCUSSANTS: Arianna Huffington, Founder, The Huffington Post; Founder and CEO, Thrive Global

    Cathy O’Neil, Mathematician, Author of Weapons of Math Destruction, Founder of O'Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing (ORCAA)

    3:00 p.m.


    3:30 p.m.

    Fireside Chat: Intuition, Expertise, Learning, Humans and Machines

    MODERATOR: Erik Brynjolffson, PhD '91

    DISCUSSANT: Daniel Kahneman, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus, Princeton University; Nobel Laureate; Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

    4:00 p.m.

    Closing Keynote: The Truth About False News

    Sinan Aral, PhD '07, David Austin Professor of Management, Professor, Information Technology and Marketing

    4:30 p.m.

    MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge Spotlight

    Shivani Siroya, CEO of Tala

    4:45 p.m.

    Closing Remarks

    Andrew McAfee, ’88, ’89, LGO ’90

    5:00 p.m.


    More speakers to be announced soon!

    Sinan Aral, PhD '07

    Sinan Aral is the David Austin Professor of Management at MIT, where he is a Professor of IT & Marketing, Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society and where he co-leads MIT's Initiative on the Digital Economy. He was the Chief Scientist at SocialAmp, one of the first social commerce analytics companies (until its sale to Merkle in 2012) and at Humin, a social platform that the Wall Street Journal called the first "Social Operating System" (until its sale to Tinder in 2016). He is currently a founding partner at Manifest Capital and on the Advisory Board of the Alan Turing Institute, the British National Institute for Data Science, in London. Sinan was the Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Times R&D Lab in 2013 and has worked closely with Facebook, Twitter, Snap, AirBnB, Yahoo, Jet.com, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, SAP and many other leading Fortune 500 firms on realizing business value from big data analytics, social media and IT investments. Sinan's research has won numerous awards including the Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, the PopTech Science Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award and a Fulbright Scholarship. 

    In 2014, he was named one of the "World's Top 40 Business School Professors Under 40" by Businessweek and, in 2018, received the Herbert Simon Award of Rajk László College in Budapest. He is also the author of the upcoming book The Hype Machine, about how social media is disrupting our democracy, our businesses and our public health. 

    Aral is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University, holds Master's degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard University, and received his PhD from MIT. He enjoys cooking, skiing and telling jokes about his own cooking and skiing. His most recent hobby is learning from his four-year-old son. You can find him on Twitter @sinanaral.

    Lavea Brachman, MCP '93

    Lavea Brachman joined the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in August 2016 as vice president of programs.

    As a nationally recognized expert on urban policy and practice, with a focus on older industrial cities, Brachman’s knowledge will help guide the Foundation’s efforts in a variety of focus areas including: Young Adults & Working Families and Livable Communities (parks, trails and green design & entrepreneurship & economic development).

    Brachman brings more than 20 years of experience in organizational development, management, policy reform and fundraising. In her most recent endeavor, she co-founded the Greater Ohio Policy Center in Columbus, Ohio. The organization advocates for urban revitalization and sustainable growth strategies through research, policy development and community engagement.

    She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

    Erik Brynjolfsson, PhD '91

    Erik Brynjolfsson is the 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. Recognized with ten Best Paper awards and five patents, his work the first to quantify the value of online product variety, and developed pricing and bundling models for information goods.

    He holds Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Harvard University in applied mathematics and decision sciences and a PhD from MIT in Managerial Economics.

    Michael Chui

    Dr. Michael Chui is a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey's business and economics research arm. He leads research on the impact of disruptive technologies and innovation on business, the economy, and society. Michael has led McKinsey research in such areas as data & analytics, social & collaboration technologies, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, robotics & automation. Michael is a frequent speaker at major global conferences, and his research has been cited in leading publications around the world. As a McKinsey consultant, Michael served clients in the high-tech, media, and telecom industries on strategy, innovation and product development, IT, sales and marketing, M&A, and organization. He is also a member of the board of Asia Society Northern California.

    Prior to joining McKinsey, Michael was CIO of Bloomington, Indiana, and founding Executive Director of HoosierNet, Inc., a nonprofit cooperative Internet service provider that offered dial-up and broadband access to the Internet to consumers, nonprofits, governments, and businesses.  Michael was educated at Stanford and Indiana University.

    Adena Friedman

    Adena Friedman is President and CEO of Nasdaq and is a member of the Board of Directors. Friedman brings over 20 years of industry leadership and is credited with significant contributions that shaped Nasdaq’s strategic transformation to a leading global exchange and technology solutions company.

    Prior to her appointment as CEO in January 2017, Friedman served as President and COO of Nasdaq with a focus on driving growth and expansion across the company. She rejoined Nasdaq in 2014 as President to oversee the technology, information, and corporate businesses.

    From 2011-2014, she served as CFO and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group. Before Carlyle, Friedman was a key member of Nasdaq's management team, serving in a variety of roles including head of data products, head of corporate strategy, and CFO.

    Friedman earned an M.B.A. from Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University and holds a B.A. in political science from Williams College.

    Renée Richardson Gosline

    Renée Richardson Gosline is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has been named one of the World’s Top 40 Professors under 40 by Poets and Quants, an MIT “Iron Professor,” and a scholar at the MIT Center for Digital Business.

    Her main interest is in how status-based bias and technology affect self-perceptions and behavior.  Her research projects include: the positive impact of imitation on brand strength, the effect of social media storytelling on persuasion, the role of status dynamics in health and performance, and the use of wearable technology to aid willpower.  In order to address these issues rigorously, she employs experimental methodology, both in the field and laboratory.

    Prior to academia, she was a marketing practitioner at LVMH Moet Hennessy and Leo Burnett.

    Gosline received her undergraduate and graduate training at Harvard University, including a Doctorate from the Harvard Business School.

    Sara Horowitz

    Sara Horowitz is the founder emeritus of Freelancers Union, and an innovator for tomorrow’s workforce.

    Horowitz has been widely recognized for her entrepreneurial efforts to build a support system for independent workers, including creating and running a social-purpose insurance company to serve Freelancers Union members.

    In 2011, she was recognized as one of Forbes’ Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs and as one of Businessweek’s Top 25 Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs. Crain’s New York named her one of “25 People to Watch” in 2010, and she was recognized as one of 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow at the 2002 World Economic Forum. Esquire magazine named her one of the Fifty Best and Brightest in 2002. Ms. Horowitz received a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 1999.

    Before founding Freelancers Union, Horowitz was a private-practice labor attorney and union organizer with 1199, the National Health and Human Service Employees Union.

    She earned a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a law degree cum laude from the SUNY Buffalo Law School, and a BS from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

    Arianna Huffington

    Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of 15 books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.

    She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.

    Huffington serves on numerous boards, including Uber and The Center for Public Integrity.

    Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, both became instant international bestsellers.

    She is a mother, sister, flat shoe advocate, and sleep evangelist.

    Edward S. Hyman, SM ’69

    Ed Hyman is Chairman of Evercore ISI and Vice Chairman of Evercore. He heads Evercore ISI's Economic Research Team. For the past 42 years Ed has been ranked by the Institutional Investor poll of investors for Economics, and ranked # 1 for 37 years.

    Prior to joining Evercore ISI, Ed was the Chairman and Founder of ISI Group, LLC. (broker dealer) and ISI Inc. (funds management). ISI Group had 280 employees around the world with headquarters in New York and offices located in Boston, Fairhope, Houston, London, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington DC. ISI's broker dealer clients are institutional investors in the U.S. and abroad.

    Prior to forming both of these companies in 1991, Ed was Vice Chairman and a member of the Board of C.J. Lawrence Inc., which he joined in 1972. He was an economic consultant at Data Resources, Inc. from 1969 to 1971. He has previously served as a board member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Capital Trust (NYSE: CT), Said Holdings Limited, 10 Gracie Square, Saint David's School, Collegiate School's Finance Committee, and The Economic Club of New York.

    Ed is a board member of China Institute and is a member of the Advisory Committee for The New York Public Library's Financial Services Leadership Forum. He also serves on the Finance Committee of Bowdoin College and is a member of the Economic Club of New York. He earned a BS in Engineering from the University of Texas in 1967 and received his MBA from MIT in 1969.

    Andrew McAfee, ’88, ’89, LGO ’90
    Andrew 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. He speaks frequently to both academic and industry audiences, and has taught in executive education programs around the world.
    Brian Moynihan

    Brian Moynihan leads a team of more than 200,000 employees dedicated to making financial lives better for people, companies of every size, and institutional investors across the United States and around the world.

    Bank of America is recognized as a top employer by Working Mother magazine and G.I. Jobs magazine. The company also received the U.S. Department of Defense Freedom Award for support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Moynihan participates in several organizations that focus on economic and market trends, including the World Economic Forum International Business Council, The Clearing House, the Financial Services Forum and the Financial Services Roundtable (chair of both), the Business Roundtable, and the Bi-Partisan Policy Center CEO Council on Health and Innovation. He is also a member of the Federal Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank.

    Moynihan leads the company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council and is a member of the museum council for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Moynihan is also a member of the Brown University Corporation's Board of Fellows and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Board.

    Cathy O'Neil
    Cathy O'Neil earned a PhD in math from Harvard, was a postdoc at the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She then switched over to the private sector, working as a quant for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She left finance in 2011 and started working as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene, building models that predicted people's purchases and clicks. She wrote Doing Data Science in 2013 and launched the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia in 2014. She is a regular contributor to Bloomberg View and wrote the book Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. She recently founded ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company.
    David Schmittlein

    David Schmittlein joined the MIT Sloan School of Management as John C Head III Dean in October 2007. His focus, since arriving on campus, has been to broaden MIT Sloan’s global visibility, work with the faculty to create new high-quality management education programs, develop enhanced educational opportunities for current students, and develop and disseminate business knowledge that has impact and will stand the test of time. He has also reached out to the many members of MIT’s alumni community to gain their valuable insights into MIT Sloan and management education.  

    Prior to his appointment at MIT Sloan, Dean Schmittlein served on the faculty at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania from 1980 until 2007. While at Wharton, he was the Ira A. Lipman Professor and Professor of Marketing. He also served as interim dean during July 2007 and as deputy dean from 2000 to 2007. In addition, he was chair of the editorial board for Wharton School Publishing.  

    Dean Schmittlein earned a PhD and an MPhil in business from Columbia University and a BA in mathematics (magna cum laude) from Brown University. 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.

    Shivani Siroya
    Shivani Siroya is the founder and CEO of Tala, a mobile technology and data science company committed to expanding financial access, choice, and control for underserved people. Tala’s smartphone app provides instant credit scoring, lending, and other personalized financial services in emerging markets. Prior to founding Tala, Siroya held a variety of positions in global health, microfinance, and investment banking, including with the United Nations Population Fund, Health Net, Citigroup and UBS. Shivani is an Aspen Institute Finance Leader Fellow, a WEF Young Global Leader, Senior TED Fellow and Ashoka Fellow. She is also on the board of Stellar.org. Siroya holds an M.P.H from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.