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MIT and the Digital Economy – The Second Machine Age (London, UK)

MIT and the Digital Economy – The Second Machine Age




Official Conference Event Page


theCUBE will travel to London, UK to cover MIT’s role in both understanding and shaping our increasingly digital economy. The agenda will feature IDE content from Erik Brynjolfsson (Employment, Wage Equality and Skills of the Future), Andy McAfee (New Digital Business Models), Roberto Rigobon (Reshaping Economic Measurement), and Marshall Van Alstyne (Platform Strategies). This event is open to the MIT community and IDE stakeholders.

Thanks to our sponsor!



Dave Vellante




Hasan Bakhshi


Hasan Bakhsi stopped by theCUBE and spoke with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman about public policy and innovation, the problems of “protecting the past from the future”, the network effect in the video game world and platforms versus products. He also gave a detailed overview of gaming in the UK, combinatorial technologies and the productivity gap with technology adoption. Finally, Hasan explained his vision for the UK innovation economy.

Erik Brynjolfsson & Andy McAfee
Professors at MIT, Lecturers and Authors


Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee visited Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman on theCUBE. They talked about Montessori in the digital age, computer skills versus human skills, undifferentiated heavy lifting, and other aspects about technology in learning and the workplace. Lastly, they discussed where privacy laws are with the internet.

Steve Chambers
Wikibon UK


Steve Chambers visited with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman on theCUBE to discuss Europe’s ability to capitalize on the second machine age and the median income with the “productivity piece”. He shared his thoughts on platform dominance and the exciting future of technology.

Peter Day
Host, BBC World Service News


Peter Day visited with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman on theCUBE to discuss what Europeans think about machines taking over their jobs and what’s happening in media today. He shared insight into absolute poverty versus relative poverty and whether the rich are getting richer, how the economy has changed, explained what emergent behavior is and detailed whether artificial intelligence is here.

Jean-Jacques Degroof


Jean-Jacques Degroof stopped by theCUBE and spoke with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman about the qualitative changes in the digital economy, how education has to change to prepare young people for the job market and some of the challenges in dealing with the European industry. He shared what’s happening to turn R&D into commercially viable products, as well as how many universities in Europe are greedy.

Andy McAfee
Co-founder of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy & Co-author of The Second Machine Age


Andy McAfee presented his keynote address and spoke about the love of labor fallacy, dangers of public perception of Silicon Valley, and growing concerns of artificial intelligence. He highlighted the paradox of knowing more than we can tell by using the example of the game GO and how surprised he is by how quickly technology changes. Andy shared some of the uncomfortable truths coming out of MIT’s Media Lab and opened up the floor to a question and answer session.

Andy McAfee & Erik Brynjolfsson
Professors at MIT, Lecturers and Authors


Andy McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson stopped by theCUBE again to chat with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman about the success of The Second Machine Age. They provided insight into data science careers, how people are working with technology, the digital economy and urbanization, and Wazers in the new machine age. Erik and Andy also gave an overview of the competitiveness in the digital economy, constraints to taking advantage of innovation, proposals from The Second Machine Age and thoughts on their next book.

Aliza Blachman O’Keeffe
Independent Advisor, Joy Capital LLP


Aliza Blachman O’Keeffe joined Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman on theCUBE and explained the purpose of the MIT Alumni Board, how to manage the international scope of the initiative, and the international focus on management education. She shared how 50% of alumni have started their own companies, the value in attending alumni events and how she’s hopeful that alumni feel strongly connected to the school.

Roberto Rigobon
Professor at MIT, Sloan School of Management


Roberto Rigobon joined Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman on theCUBE to talk about The Billion Prices Project, accuracy of data in developed countries, and how information from the project has been well received. He detailed the growth of the project and what the 1000 Big Mac’s Project is all about.

David Schmittlein
Professor at MIT, Sloan School of Management


David Schmittlein stopped by theCUBE and chatted with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman about The Second Machine Age, themes of the Sloan School of Management and the global alumni network. He detailed London’s strong commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, how MOOCs is adding to the experience of online education, and accommodating the future of digital business. In closing, he shared insight into changing the landscape of management education.

Marshall Van Alstyne
Professor, Boston University


Marshall Van Alstyne sat down with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman on theCUBE and discussed the difference of a platform and a product. He also provided insight into network effects and how they change a business model, how to quantify them and how they translate into money. Marshall also detailed how network effects work with open source contributions, whether it’s a winner take all economy and how teaching is changing.

David Verrill


David Verrill stopped by theCUBE with Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman and chatted about how The Second Machine Age takes an optimistic approach and following the approach of being in the right place at the right time. He detailed why education is a global issue, researched-based curriculum, MOOCs and the development and distribution of content, fostering innovation in the startup community and the growth of angel investors. In closing, he talks about how disciplined entrepreneurship can be learned.

What is IDE?

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.

MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) London 2015 – SiliconANGLE Event Page
MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) London 2015 – YouTube Playlist

Related Content


theCUBE at prior MIT Events

MIT – Chief Data Officer – Information Quality Symposium (CDOIQ) – 2014
MIT – Media Lab – Exploration in Cyberspace International Relations (ECIR) – 2014
MIT – Chief Data Officer – Information Quality Symposium (CDOIQ) – 2013

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