2019 Congress Speakers

2019 CONGRESS SPEAKERS

We must proactively and thoughtfully reinvent the future of work.

L. Rafael Reif

President of MIT

The remarkable progression of technological innovation is ushering in a new era of unprecedented health, convenience, and prosperity. But the machines imbued with human and superhuman capabilities also bring a flood of collective uncertainty and anxiety about the impact on work and economies. How can we create a future of work that complements and augments human potential while contributing to shared economic prosperity?

To help us understand and meet this grand challenge, three of MIT’s most innovative, future-focused initiatives have joined forces to present the MIT AI & the Work of the Future Congress.

2019 Congress Speakers

2019 Speakers

Erik Brynjolfsson

Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE)

Erik Brynjolfsson

Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE)

Erik Brynjolfsson is the Director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy. He also serves as the Schussel Family Professor of Management at MIT Sloan, and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. At MIT, he teaches courses on the Economics of Information and the Analytics Lab. He has also taught at Harvard and Stanford.

Brynjolfsson’s research examines the effects of information technologies on business strategy, productivity and performance, digital commerce, and intangible assets. He was among the first researchers to measure productivity contributions of IT and the complementary role of organizational capital and other intangibles. His research provided the first quantification of online product variety value, often known as the “Long Tail,” and developed pricing and bundling models for information goods. Appearing in leading economics, management, and science journals, his research has been recognized with ten Best Paper awards and five patents. 

Author of several books including, with co-author Andrew McAfee, NYTimes best-seller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (2014) and Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future (forthcoming, June 2017), Brynjolfsson is an editor of SSRN’s Information System Network and has served on editorial boards of numerous academic journals. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Harvard and a PhD from MIT. His papers can be found at http://digital.mit.edu/erik.

Daniela Rus

Director, MIT CSAIL

Daniela Rus

Director, MIT CSAIL

Daniela Rus is the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. Rus’ research interests are in robotics, artificial intelligence, and data science.

The focus of her work is developing the science and engineering of autonomy, toward the long-term objective of enabling a future with machines pervasively integrated into the fabric of life, supporting people with cognitive and physical tasks. Her research addresses some of the gaps between where robots are today and the promise of pervasive robots: increasing the ability of machines to reason, learn, and adapt to complex tasks in human-centered environments, developing intuitive interfaces between robots and people, and creating the tools for designing and fabricating new robots quickly and efficiently. The applications of this work are broad and include transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, monitoring the environment, underwater exploration, smart cities, medicine, and in-home tasks such as cooking.

Rus serves as the Associate Director of MIT’s Quest for Intelligence Core, and as Director of the Toyota-CSAIL Joint Research Center, whose focus is the advancement of AI research and its applications to intelligent vehicles. She is a member of the Toyota Research Institute advisory board.

Rus is a Class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow, a fellow of ACM, AAAI and IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the recipient of the 2017 Engelberger Robotics Award from the Robotics Industries Association. She earned her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University. Rus has also worked on two collaborative projects with the Pilobolus Dance company at the intersection of Technology and Art. Seraph, a pastoral story about human-machine friendship, was choreographed in 2010 and performed in 2010-2011 in Boston and New York City. The Umbrella Project, a participatory performance exploring group behavior, was choreographed in 2012 and performed at PopTech 2012, in Cambridge, Baltimore, and Singapore.

Elisabeth B. Reynolds

Executive Director, MIT Work of the Future (WotF) Task Force

Elisabeth B. Reynolds

Executive Director, MIT Work of the Future (WotF) Task Force

Elisabeth Reynolds is the executive director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center and a lecturer in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Reynolds works on issues related to systems of innovation, regional economic development and industrial competitiveness. She is a member of the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative as well as the Northeast Clean Energy Council. Her current research focuses on the pathways that US entrepreneurial firms take in scaling production-related technologies, as well as advanced manufacturing, including the globalization of the biomanufacturing industry. Before coming to MIT for her PhD, Reynolds was the director of the City Advisory Practice at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a non-profit founded by Professor Michael Porter, focused on job and business growth in urban areas. Reynolds has an AB from Harvard in government and was a Fiske Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. She holds an MSc from the University of Montreal in economics and a PhD from MIT in urban and regional studies.

Daron Acemoglu, MIT Economics

Daron Acemoglu

Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, MIT
Daron Acemoglu, MIT Economics

Daron Acemoglu

Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, MIT

Bio coming soon!

Daron Acemoglu is Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has received a BA in economics at the University of York, 1989, M.Sc. in mathematical economics and econometrics at the London School of Economics, 1990, and Ph.D. in economics at the London School of Economics in 1992.

He is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (United States), the Science Academy (Turkey), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural T. W. Shultz Prize from the University of Chicago in 2004, and the inaugural Sherwin Rosen Award for outstanding contribution to labor economics in 2004, Distinguished Science Award from the Turkish Sciences Association in 2006, the John von Neumann Award, Rajk College, Budapest in 2007.
 
He was the recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005, awarded every two years to the best economist in the United States under the age of 40 by the American Economic Association, and the Erwin Plein Nemmers prize awarded every two years for work of lasting significance in economics. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Utrecht, Bosporus University, and the University of Athens.
 
Daron Acemoglu’s areas of research include political economy, economic development and growth, human capital theory, growth theory, innovation, search theory, network economics and learning. His recent research focuses on the political, economic and social causes of differences in economic development across societies; the factors affecting the institutional and political evolution of nations; and how technology impacts growth and distribution of resources and is itself determined by economic and social incentives. In addition to scholarly articles, Daron Acemoglu has published four books: Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (joint with James A. Robinson), which was awarded the Woodrow Wilson and the William Riker prizes, Introduction to Modern Economic Growth, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (joint with James A. Robinson), which was a New York Times bestseller in 2012; and Principles of Economics (joint with David Laibson and John List).

Radha Basu, iMerit

Radha Basu

CEO, iMerit Technology Services, and Co-Found, Anudip Foundation
Radha Basu, iMerit

Radha Basu

CEO, iMerit Technology Services, and Co-Found, Anudip Foundation

Bio coming soon!

Kathryn Finney

Kathryn Finney

CEO, digitalundivided
Kathryn Finney

Kathryn Finney

CEO, digitalundivided

Kathryn Finney is the founder/CEO of digitalundivided, a social startup that is creating a world where women own their work using entrepreneurship and innovation as a tool. A White House Champion of Change and a past member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) appointed by the Obama Administration, Since 2013, DID has impacted thousands of people and helped raise over $100 milion in investments. Her pioneering research, “#ProjectDiane”, drew widespread buzz for disrupting the dialogue around women of color and tech entrepreneurship.

The findings from #ProjectDiane put a unique spotlight on the problem of inclusion in the innovation space, leading digitalundivided to develop a “first of its kind” solution. digitalundivided’s BIG Incubator is the only space and program dedicated to the growth of high-growth tech businesses founded by Black and Latina women.

An Echoing Green Global Fellow and Eisenhower Fellow, Kathryn started digitalundivided after selling her company, TBF Group, one of the first online lifestyle media companies and working as an executive at BlogHer, Inc (sold to Sheknows), Kathryn has received numerous honors and awards including, the Grace Hopper ABIE award, Marie Claire’s 10 Women to Watch, Entrepreneurs Magazine’s “Woman to Watch”, Ebony Power 100, Black Enterprise “40 under 40” list, and was inducted into Spelman College’s “Game Changers Academy.”

Kathryn was honored by the Borough of Manhattan with the “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day”. In 2017, Kathryn received an Honorary Doctorate from Mount Holyoke College.

Alastair Fitzpayne, The Aspen Institute

Alastair Fitzpayne

Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative, The Aspen Institute
Alastair Fitzpayne, The Aspen Institute

Alastair Fitzpayne

Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative, The Aspen Institute

Alastair Fitzpayne serves as Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative. Prior to his work at the Aspen Institute, he served as Chief of Staff at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In addition to serving as Chief of Staff at HHS, Fitzpayne also held a number of senior roles at the Department of the Treasury during the Obama Administration, including Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs. He has also served on Capitol Hill, in both the Senate and the House, as an economic advisor to Sen. Evan Bayh and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, respectively. He has also worked at the Office of Management and Budget and Abt Associates, a public policy consulting firm.

Fitzpayne holds a BA from Vassar College and a MPP from the University of California-Berkeley.

David Hall

Partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Revolution LLC

David Hall

Partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Revolution LLC

David Hall is a Partner at Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and is responsible for investment sourcing, execution, and oversight for Revolution’s new and existing portfolio companies. David began his career with Revolution in 2006, serving as an investment professional for Revolution and has been working with the portfolio companies ever since. David has worked closely with and served as a Board member or observer for several of Revolution’s investments, including those in RevolutionMoney (American Express), Booker (MindBody), Vinfolio, BenchPrep, Understory, and Freightwaves.

Prior to Revolution, David was with The Washington Post Company as Director of Planning and Development. In this capacity, he managed corporate M&A and investments and launched new print and digital publications. Earlier in his career, David held positions as an executive at Akamai Technologies, Inc. and senior financial analyst for Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.

David received a B.A. in Economics from Morehouse College and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Jacob Hsu

CEO, Catalyte

Jacob Hsu

CEO, Catalyte

Bio coming soon!

Jacob is a man of two passions: his work and his family. A dedicated father of four, he works to make the world a better place for all families. This begins with reawakening the American dream that anyone from any background can succeed. His time leading Catalyte is dedicated to making this a reality and making the company a catalyst for a lifelong journey of personal, community and client improvement.

Prior to joining Catalyte, Jacob was chief executive officer at Symbio, a global IT services company. Jacob was also chief executive officer of Trilogica and chief executive officer of Epitome, and began his career in investment banking. He was selected to be a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was named as one of the world’s Top 12 CEOs by Chief Executive Magazine.

Michael Kratsios, White House

Michael Kratsios

Chief Technology Officer of the United States, The White House
Michael Kratsios, White House

Michael Kratsios

Chief Technology Officer of the United States, The White House

Bio coming soon!

Suzan LeVine, WA State

Suzan (Suzi) LeVine

Commissioner, Washington State Employment Security Department
Suzan LeVine, WA State

Suzan (Suzi) LeVine

Commissioner, Washington State Employment Security Department

Suzan “Suzi” LeVine was appointed by Governor Inslee as Commissioner for the Employment Security Department (ESD) on July 9, 2018. At a time when society is experiencing massive technological and demographic shifts, she brings relevant leadership experience and expertise from the public, private, and non-profit sectors to help people navigate their paths forward to be lifelong career ready.

She served as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein from June 2014 until January 2017. During that time, she played a key role in the signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent between Switzerland and the U.S. to collaborate on apprenticeship, partnering with 30 companies to bring and/or expand their Swiss style apprenticeship model into the U.S.
With leadership roles at Microsoft and Expedia, Suzi’s career has focused on education, technology, innovation, social responsibility and youth outreach—and twice during her career, she was a stay-at-home mom. She’s served on the Career Connect Washington Task Force, the CareerWise Colorado board, the Markle Foundation’s Rework America Task Force, and was recently appointed to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies Board of Directors, representing Region X. She and her husband, Eric, have presented across the globe about the merits of apprenticeship and reigniting new pathways to the American Dream.

Suzi graduated from Brown University with degrees in English and mechanical engineering. She and her husband have two children. They enjoy hiking, biking, traveling and playing with their dogs.

Andrew McAfee, MIT IDE

Andrew McAfee

Co-Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management
Andrew McAfee, MIT IDE

Andrew McAfee

Co-Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, and Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan School of Management

Andrew McAfee is the Co-Director of the IDE and a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

His research investigates how information technology changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, his work also focuses on how computerization affects competition, society, the economy, and the workforce. In addition to having numerous papers published, McAfee also writes a widely read blog, which is at times one of the 10,000 most popular in the world. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles, case studies and other materials for students and teachers of technology. Prior to joining MIT Sloan, McAfee was a professor at Harvard Business School. He has also served as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. McAfee received his doctorate from Harvard Business School, and completed two Master of Science and two Bachelor of Science degrees at MIT. He speaks frequently to both academic and industry audiences, and has taught in executive education programs around the world.

David Mindell, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics

David Mindell

Co-Chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future (WotF), Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, and CEO and Founder, Humatics Corporation
David Mindell, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics

David Mindell

Co-Chair, MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future (WotF), Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, and CEO and Founder, Humatics Corporation

David Mindell, an engineer and historian, is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing at MIT. An expert in human relationships with robotics and autonomous systems, he has led or participated in more than 25 oceanographic expeditions. From 2005 to 2011, he was director of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He is co-founder of Humatics Corporation, which develops technologies to transform how robots and autonomous systems work in human environments. Mindell has a BS in electrical engineering and BA in literature, both from Yale University, and a PhD in the history of technology from MIT.

Guillermo Miranda

Guillermo Miranda

Vice President & Global Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM
Guillermo Miranda

Guillermo Miranda

Vice President & Global Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM

Bio coming soon!

Paul Osterman, MIT Sloan

Paul Osterman

Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor of Human Resources and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
Paul Osterman, MIT Sloan

Paul Osterman

Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor of Human Resources and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

Paul Osterman is the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor of Human Resources and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as a member of the Department of Urban Planning at MIT.  From July 2003 to June 2007 he also served as Deputy Dean at the MIT Sloan School.

His research concerns changes in work organization within companies, career patterns and processes within firms, economic development, urban poverty, and public policy surrounding skills training and employment programs.

Osterman has been a senior administrator of job training programs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has consulted widely for government agencies, foundations, community groups, firms, and public interest organizations.

His most recent book is Who Will Care For Us: Long Term Care and the Long Term Workforce (Russell Sage,2017). Other recent books include  Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone (Russell Sage, 2011); The Truth About Middle Managers: Who They Are, How They Work, How They Matter (Harvard Business School Press, 2009); Gathering Power: The Future of Progressive Politics in America (Beacon Press, 2003),; Securing Prosperity: The American Labor Market: How It Has Changed and What to Do About It (Princeton University Press, 1999), and Working In America: A Blueprint for the New Labor Market (MIT Press, 2001).

Osterman is also the author of Employment Futures: Reorganization, Dislocation, and Public Policy; Getting Started: The Youth Labor MarketThe Mutual Gains Enterprise: Forging a Winning Partnership Among Labor, Management, and Government; and Change At Work. He is the editor of two books, Internal Labor Markets and Broken Ladders: Managerial Careers in the New Economy. In addition, he has written numerous academic journal articles and policy issue papers on topics such as labor market policy, the organization of work within firms, careers, job training programs, economic development, and anti-poverty programs.

Annette Parker

President, South Central College

Annette Parker

President, South Central College

Dr. Annette Parker is the President of South Central College, a Minnesota State community and technical college. She has been involved in manufacturing industry and workforce education for more than 35 years. She started her career at General Motors in Lansing, Michigan and moved into education first as a faculty member and administrator at Lansing Community College and later as System Director of Workforce Education for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. In this role, she also served as Executive Director and Principal Investigator of the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC), a National Science Foundation Advanced Automotive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, which was selected by the National Governors Association as the 2011 Best Practice.

Dr. Parker has served on President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) Steering Committee 2.0 and co-chaired AMP’s “Demand-Driven Workforce Development” work team. She has also sat on the Boards of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges, National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, Center for Quality People and Organizations, and Corporate Voices for Working Families, as well as the SkillsUSA Corporate Board and National Career Pathways Network Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Center for Community College Student Engagement National Advisory Board, Council for Adult and Experiencial Learning Advisory Council (Vice Chair), National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education, The Presidents’ Roundtable (Vice Convenor) and Iowa-Minnesota Campus Compact Board of Directors (Chair of MNCC and Vice Chair of IAMNCC).

Scott Prevost

Vice President of Engineering, Sensei & Search, Adobe

Scott Prevost

Vice President of Engineering, Sensei & Search, Adobe

Scott Prevost is VP of Engineering for Cloud Technology at Adobe, where he oversees development of Adobe Sensei, the company’s AI and machine learning (ML) technology powering the design and delivery of digital experiences. He has a long history of delivering AI/ML features and solutions for both consumer and enterprise products – from web-scale search to computer vision, and was a pioneer in the field of intelligent agents.

Prior to Adobe, he was vice president of product management at eBay, responsible for the global search and buying experience. Scott began working in search at Powerset, a startup specializing in semantic search, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2008. Before eBay, Scott spent several years at Microsoft managing the integration of Powerset into Bing.

He holds a BS in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon, MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science with a focus on spoken language generation from the University of Pennsylvania, and held a post-doctoral fellowship position at the MIT Media Lab, where he worked on embodied conversational agents.

Kevin Scott, Microsoft

Kevin Scott

Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft
Kevin Scott, Microsoft

Kevin Scott

Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft

Bio coming soon!

Julie Shah

Associate Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, and Lead, Interactive Robotics Group, MIT CSAIL

Julie Shah

Associate Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, and Lead, Interactive Robotics Group, MIT CSAIL

Julie Shah is an Associate Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and leads the Interactive Robotics Group of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Shah received her SB (2004) and SM (2006) from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and her PhD (2010) in Autonomous Systems from MIT. Before joining the faculty, she worked at Boeing Research and Technology on robotics applications for aerospace manufacturing. She has developed innovative methods for enabling fluid human-robot teamwork in time-critical, safety-critical domains, ranging from manufacturing to surgery to space exploration. Her group draws on expertise in artificial intelligence, human factors, and systems engineering to develop interactive robots that emulate the qualities of effective human team members to improve the efficiency of human-robot teamwork. In 2014, Shah was recognized with an NSF CAREER award for her work on “Human-aware Autonomy for Team-oriented Environments,” and by the MIT Technology Review TR35 list as one of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35. Her work on industrial human-robot collaboration was also recognized by the Technology Review as one of the 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2013, and she has received international recognition in the form of best paper awards and nominations from the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, the International Symposium on Robotics, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Zeynep Ton

Professor of the Practice, MIT Sloan School of Management

Zeynep Ton

Professor of the Practice, MIT Sloan School of Management

Zeynep Ton is a Professor of the Practice at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Zeynep is currently examining how organizations can design and manage their operations in a way that satisfies employees, customers, and investors simultaneously. Her earlier research focused on the critical role of store operations in retail supply chains. Her work has been published in a variety of journals, including Organization Science, Production and Operations Management, and the Harvard Business Review. In addition, she has written numerous cases that explore different approaches to managing retail stores and labor.

In 2014, Zeynep published her findings in a book, The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits. The book draws on 15 years of research to show that the key to offering good jobs to employees, great service to customers, and superior returns to investors is combining investment in employees with specific operational choices that increase employees’ productivity, contribution, and motivation.

After her book was released, retail leaders started reaching out to Zeynep to understand how to implement the Good Jobs Strategy in their organizations, or to describe how they were already adopting the strategy. Zeynep cofounded the nonprofit Good Jobs Institute to help them transform through assessments, workshops, and longer term partnerships.

Prior to MIT Sloan, Zeynep spent seven years as an assistant professor in the Technology and Operations Management area at Harvard Business School. She has received several awards for teaching excellence both at HBS and MIT Sloan.

Zeynep lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and four children. A native of Turkey, she first came to the US on a volleyball scholarship from the Pennsylvania State University. She received her BS in industrial and manufacturing engineering there and her DBA from the Harvard Business School.

Ardine Williams, Amazon

Ardine Williams

Vice President, Workforce Development, Amazon
Ardine Williams, Amazon

Ardine Williams

Vice President, Workforce Development, Amazon

Ardine Williams is Amazon’s Vice President of Workforce Development. Her team delivers programs including Career Choice, which has helped thousands of Amazonians retrain for careers in high-demand fields. Previously, Ms. Williams was vice president of talent acquisition for Amazon Web Services (AWS), where she scaled the recruiting capability for Amazon’s rapidly growing cloud computing business, including strengthening AWS’ pipeline of military and veteran talent. Ms. Williams has more than 30 years of leadership experience across the tech industry. She has held roles in product marketing and corporate business development, venture capital, and M&A. Before joining Amazon, she served as Intel’s vice president of HR enterprise services. She began her career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1983.

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