• Exploring the Digital Revolution
    The Initiative on the Digital Economy is a major effort addressing one of the most critical issues of our time: the impact of digital technology on business, the economy, and society. Launched by MIT Sloan in 2013, the Initiative includes faculty from across MIT.
  • The Company of the Future
    Andrew McAfee speaks at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium about how companies are approaching the digital economy in different ways. Free for IDE supporters and open to the public.
 
Exploring the Digital Revolution1The Company of the Future2  
 
Second Machine Age Book
The Second Machine Age

A new book by IDE leaders Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee explores the dramatic impact of the rapid advance of technology on work, progress, and the economy and draws on their years of research, as well as current data about the economy and society, to identify a path towards shared prosperity.

 "Brynjolfsson and McAfee are right: we are on the cusp of a dramatically different world brought on by technology."  
 -Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz 


 "How we build, use, and live with our digital creations will define our success as a civilization in the twenty-first century. Will our new technologies lift us all up or leave more and more of us behind?" 
 -Garry Kasparov, thirteenth World Chess Champion 

PIONEERING RESEARCH


Analyzing Our Digital World

The Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) is a major effort focused on the impact of digital technology on businesses, the economy, and society. Drawing on MIT Sloan’s strengths in technology and innovation, its internationally recognized faculty, and more than a decade of research and partnership with MIT Sloan’s Center for Digital Business, the IDE is analyzing the broad sociological changes brought about by the advance and spread of digital technology.

While digital technologies are rapidly transforming both business practices and societies and are integral to the innovation- driven economies of the future, they are also the core driver of the great economic paradox of our time. On one hand, productivity, wealth, and profits are each at record highs; on the other hand, the median worker in America is poorer than in 1997, and fewer people have jobs. Rapid advances in technology are creating unprecedented benefits and efficiencies, but there is no economic law that says everyone, or even a majority of people, will share in these gains.

Technology is advancing quickly, but organizations and skills advance slowly. What’s more, the gap between swiftly evolving technology and the slower pace of human development will grow rapidly in the coming decades, as exponential improvements in artificial intelligence, robotics, networks, analytics, and digitization affect more and more of the economy and society. Inventing effective organizations and institutions for the digital economy is the grand challenge for our time, and for MIT in particular.

UPCOMING EVENTS


Sep. 10

2014 The Second Machine Age Conference (Co-hosted with the MIT Industrial Liaison Program)

Based on the conclusions of the best-selling book by MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the Second Machine Age Conference will showcase research and technologies leading the transportation of industry and enterprise in the digital era. for more information, please visit http://ilp.mit.edu/2014/machine.
Oct. 10

The Conference on Digital Experimentation @ MIT

The ability to rapidly deploy micro-level randomized experiments at population scale is, in our view, one of the most significant innovations in modern social science. As more and more social interactions, behaviors, decisions, opinions and transactions are digitized and mediated by online platforms, we can quickly answer nuanced causal questions about the role of social behavior in population-level outcomes such as health, voting, political mobilization, consumer demand, information sharing, product rating and opinion aggregation. This conference is for an academic audience. 

For more information, please contact Susan Young at susany@mit.edu.


LEADERSHIP




New Thinking for a New Era

Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, and Sinan Aral lead the IDE, working together with a team of researchers to bring decades of ground-breaking scholarship on technology and the economy to bear on the challenges of today’s digital revolution.