Thursday, November 3, 2011

Race Against the Machine: A Conversation with Andrew McAfee

The IBM Center for Social Software (soon to become the Center for Social Business) is very pleased to welcome Andrew McAfee to our Fall 2011 Speaker Series.  Join us on November 7 at 3:30 PM for a memorable event. This talk is open to the public and free of charge. Refreshments will be served.

Register on Eventbrite  Andrew McAfee at IBM

About the Talk

Digital technologies are rapidly encroaching on skills that used to belong to humans alone. This phenomenon is broad and deep, and has profound economic implications. Many of these implications are positive; digital innovation increases productivity, reduces prices (sometimes to zero), and grows the overall economic pie. But digital innovation has also changed how the economic pie is distributed, and here the news is not good for the median worker. As technology races ahead, it can leave many people behind. Workers whose skills have been mastered by computers have less to offer the job market, and see their wages and prospects shrink. Entrepreneurial business models, new organizational structures and different institutions are needed to ensure that the average worker is not left behind by cutting-edge machines. McAfee brings together a range of statistics, examples, and arguments to show that technological progress is accelerating, and that this trend has deep consequences for skills, wages, and jobs. He makes the case that employment prospects are grim for many today not because technology has stagnated, but instead because we humans and our organizations aren't keeping up.

About Andrew McAfee
Andrew McAfee studies the ways that information technology (IT) affects businesses and business as a whole. His research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, his work also investigates how computerization affects competition itself –  the struggle among rivals for dominance and survival within an industry. 

McAfee coined the phrase “Enterprise 2.0” in a spring 2006 Sloan Management Review article to describe the use of Web 2.0 tools and approaches by businesses. He also began blogging at that time, both about Enterprise 2.0 and about his other research. McAfee is currently a principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a fellow at the Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He received his Doctorate from Harvard Business School, and completed two Master of Science and two Bachelor of Science degrees at MIT.