MIT Sloan conference in Colombia to focus on big data


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 20, 2016––The vast amount of data produced globally holds significant value, granting access to deeper information than ever before across all industries. Investing in tools and talent to harness this data creates a catalyst for greater productivity and profitability. To learn how cutting-edge ideas can change the way information is used for the betterment of the world, MIT’s Sloan School of Management is hosting a regional conference in Bogotá, Colombia on May 26 called, “Big Data: Shaping the Future of Latin America.”

MIT Sloan Prof. Roberto Rigobon, faculty chair of the conference, says, “Data analytics is the new source of comparative advantage. To tap into it, companies need to develop skills and managerial practices that put data at the forefront of decision making. This conference provides an opportunity to learn more about the value of big data and work together to forge our shared knowledge and connections to create sustainable and profitable initiatives that serve Latin America.” 

MIT Sloan Prof. Alex (Sandy) Pentland, who directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program and co-leads the World Economic Forum Big Data and Personal Data initiatives, notes, “MIT has strong expertise in big data across a diversity of areas from MIT Sloan and the MIT Media Lab to Engineering and Artificial Intelligence. The conference will address major questions that Latin American countries currently face, such as how big data can help improve transportation and its impact on the economy.” 

Lee Ullmann, director of the MIT Sloan Latin America Office, adds, “We selected Colombia as the location for this conference, as it is a leader in Latin America in innovation and technology and has a strong interest in big data. MIT brings great expertise to this area and is well positioned to collaborate with industry and government leaders in the region on new ideas, challenges, and opportunities.”

The event is a collaboration with Avanxo and is being held at the JW Marriott Hotel Bogotá. It will bring together leading experts in business and government for an interactive exploration of what big data is, how it can inform decisions, and its practical application within Latin America. Sessions will focus on social physics, urban mobility challenges, investor concerns, industry-university intersections, and economic measurement.

In addition to Rigobon and Pentland, speakers include:

  • -Elizabeth Bruce, Executive Director of the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
  • David Capodilupo, Executive Director of the MIT Sloan Office of International Programs
  • Simón Gaviria, General Director of the Department of National Planning, Colombia
  • Marta González, MIT Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Andrew Lo, MIT Sloan Professor of Finance

Members of the media are invited to attend the event. For more information on the conference or to register, please visit:

The conference is part of MIT Sloan’s commitment to supporting the advancement of management education and practice in Latin America. Through the MIT Sloan Latin American Office (MSLAO), the School develops and nurtures meaningful activities throughout the region, such as faculty and student visits, admissions recruiting events, and conferences. Prior forums have focused on topics including Action Learning and China’s growth and social impact, technology innovation, entrepreneurship, and energy.

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