|Photo courtesy of the World Economic Forum, Flickr.com
||Author: Kevin Jon Johnson,Osaka, Japan
To predict the future, study the past; hindsight develops foresight. Repetitions and remixing do happen in history. This is the advice given by Jane McGonigal, director of research at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California, the world’s oldest future forecasting organization. The social upheavals caused by the industrial revolution may best evoke the present, a second machine age.
Erik Brynjolfsson, an Icelandic American, and his colleague Andrew McAfee from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), foresee a future full of peril and promise. Like the future seen by former prophet Njáll Þorgeirsson, the future Brynjolfsson maps out appears bleak and dark – but unlike Njáll’s personal tragedy, the one Brynjolfsson and McAfee portray will touch us all.
Brynjolfsson serves as Schussel Family Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has contributed strongly to the world of IT productivity research and to work on the economics of information more generally.
Brynjolfsson earned his A.B., magna cum laude, and M.S. in Applied Mathematics and Decision Sciences at Harvard University. He received a Ph.D. in Managerial Economics from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Brynjolfsson has served on the faculties of Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. His research has been recognized with nine “best paper” awards by fellow academics, including the John D.C. Little Award for the best paper in marketing science. Brynjolfsson has founded two companies and has five US patents.