Blog

Raising the Bar in 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017
David Verrill

The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy had a phenomenal year in 2016.

Our research is providing critical insights to our stakeholders, and winning academic acclaim along the way. Our events and executive education courses have brought thousands of practitioners, academics, and public policy experts together on a neutral playing field to solve major issues that we all face - like the future of work. The inaugural year of the Inclusive Innovation Challenge was a huge success, with $1 million awarded to organizations that are shining a light on how a larger economic pie can indeed be shared more equitably.

Thanks to the extremely generous support of individuals, foundations, and corporations, the voice of the IDE is being heard loud and clear across the globe. We are leading the discussion on the digital economy.

This growth reinforces the IDE’s globally recognized role as a leading resource on the digital economy. Our ability to bring the right people together and to ask the right questions is unparalleled. We have set the bar very high on achieving our goals so far and hope to meet and exceed these accomplishments going into the New Year.

Here is a recap of our feats in 2016 and where we’re heading in 2017:

  1. Research: More than 35 research projects are under way. We are looking forward to the much-anticipated new book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee expected to reach bookstores in the end of June. “Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing the Digital Revolution,” points to the new capabilities required for any organization to be successful in the second machine age. Pre-orders will be available in early 2017 through amazon.com.
  2. Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) launch. We launched our first annual IIC by awarding $1 million to organizations that use technology to create shared prosperity in the digital age.  We attracted 243 applicants from 35 countries.  In September, we celebrated the 24 winners, convening an audience of over 1,000 people to highlight and examine global Inclusive Innovation during for a day-long event.  In 2017, the IDE will launch the second Inclusive Innovation Challenge with updated award categories, refined metrics, and an expanded panel of expert judges.
  3. Events: The IDE held 18 events during the past year. In total, our events were attended by 2,043 people, nearly tripling the total number of IDE event attendees.
  4. Expertise: Nobel Laureate Michael Spence joined the IDE Advisory Board.  He joins fellow Nobel Laureate Bob Solow, and other thought leaders-- including Eric Schmidt, Marc Benioff, Reid Hoffman, Carl Bass, and James Manyika.
  5. Education: The MIT Sloan Analytics Lab, provided project-based work (most projects proposed by our stakeholders) so that for Masters-level students could tackle real-world, data-rich projects. We also launched the first of several digitally delivered executive education courses. Platform Revolution: Making Networked Markets Work for You, with more than 500 participants.
  6. Communications: The IDE experienced a significant increase in press coverage and global reach in 2016, and we have communicated our message and publicized our efforts to stakeholders and external audiences in broader ways than ever.
  • We launched our new web site highlighting the academic work of the IDE as well as featuring our principals, events, and news content. With a new logo and uniform graphics, we are branding the IDE as a cohesive, identifiable research entity that stands out in the field.
  • Social media optimization, including a new IDE/IIC Medium publication. In just under a year, we are among the top 10% of Medium publications in terms of readers and writers on the platform.
  • Twitter. @MIT_IDE following jumped by 1,126 followers, and our press mentions in major print, online, and broadcast media show a 120% jump over last year. This includes coverage in China, U.K., France, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Africa and Japan.

View the full Annual Report. Thank you for your support and participation.