MIT Roundtable on the Digital Economy

Tuesday, December 11

7:30 am Registration and Breakfast
8:30 am Welcome and Around-the-Room Introductions
9:15 am Technology and Employment
Brief Presentation by David Autor with comments by Zoe Baird
Where will jobs come from in the coming years? In particular, as digital technologies automate more of manufacturing and the service economy - especially the work done by middle-skill workers - what new industries and organizational forms will pick up the slack? How will the rewards from value creation be distributed in the coming decade?
10:30 am Break
11:00am New Platforms and New Organizations
Brief Presentation by Juliet Gorman (Etsy) with comments by John Horton (oDesk)
What are the prospects for new distributed and crowdsourced platforms like oDesk, Crowdflower, Task Rabbit, Mechanical Turk, Samasource, Kickstarter and many others? What other types of work organization are emerging that leverage digital technologies, and what are their strengths?
12:00 noon Working Lunch: Unconference Format
1:30 pm Working Groups Report Back
2:30 pm The Invisible Economy
Brief presentation by Tim O’Reilly (O'Reilly Media) with comments by Joshua Gans (Univ. of Toronto)
How much value is created by free goods and services like Wikipedia, Google, Facebook and other digital innovations? Is this value properly accounted for in the GDP statistics? What is the economic impact of the sharing economy, including services like Airbnb and RelayRides?
3:30 pm Break
4:00 pm Policy Implications
Brief presentation by Larry Summers (Harvard) with comments by Larry Katz (Harvard)
What are the implications for research, business, the economy and policy makers? What research should we be doing? What are the grand challenges should we solve?
5:00 pm Closing Discussion: The Road from Here
Wrap up led by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
5:30 pm Adjourn
6:00pm Reception and Dinner at the MIT Faculty Club

General Information

Contact Information

For any questions about this event, please contact Justin Lockenwitz at 617-253-7054 or