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Conference Details - Agenda

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2019 MIT-Imperial Innovation Journeys Conference in London

September 25, 2019
Day 01 All


Registration and Light Breakfast


Welcome & Opening Remarks


What every startup knows and every big company forgets: The secrets to transformational innovation
When it comes to innovation, startups can often remain innovative for years, while established companies might need to create innovation initiatives to continue to stay competitive and reach their business goals. But what causes this difference, and how can these companies bridge the gap? Large organizations need to behave differently in order to foster successful innovation approaches, to understand how to take the right kinds of risks, and to create cultural change that will be successful for the next 30 years. Meanwhile, startups need to postpone acting and operating like large organizations to continue to innovate. For companies both large and small to truly disrupt and transform, innovation will require an environment with less adherence to current processes, more input from non-traditional sources, and an increased awareness about how your employees' brain-chemistry is the critical source for success.
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A job is a bag of tasks: How AI-based automation and augmentation of work will change organisations
Especially in cognitive and administrative work, a job is bag of tasks, and this changes how we should be thinking about using AI in the digital transformation now reshaping organisations.

A job is a bag of tasks. Over the last generation, the spread of networks and PC-based information systems have transformed administrative work away from the assembly line model adapted from manufacturing assembly lines. Gone are the inboxes and outboxes and trolleys that shuffled intermediate work product from one stage to the next in clerical work processes. In short, cognitive work was reengineered. The benefits were reduced hand-offs and waiting times, and it worked by leverage the plasticity of human minds to integrate tasks people could learn to do in combination. Nowadays, most jobs involving cognitive work are a bag of tasks, and the tasks themselves can be quite heterogenous.

Tools for tasks, not robots for jobs. Thus the idea that robots will automate jobs is misguided, and predictions of job losses through direct substitution of technology for labout—robots for jobs—are overwrought. Nonetheless, changes to organisations will be profound as new tools become capable of commercial deployment to automate various tasks in our bags of tasks, even if only or a few at a time.

New methods for thinking about organisation design. I’ll share results of work we are doing to analyse job descriptions and narrative accounts of work to identify tasks amenable to automation and estimate the potential impact of new technologies on the demand for labour for work that is being done now. Although this is interesting in its own right, I will then argue that the dramatic impact to come from AI-derived research is from tools that will enhance human creativity and problem solving. Examples from healthcare, legal services, heavy industry, and early stage work in law enforcement.

Discussion. For discussion, impllcations for theories of the firm, the evolution of organisational forms, and the transformation of current industry ecosystems and platforms.

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Networking Break


BT Innovation


Startup Lightning Talks
MIT Startup Exchange Companies
- ClimaCell: Micro weather, global coverage
- Top Flight Technologies: Heavy lift, long range hybrid-electric UAVs
- Zapata Computing: Algorithms for quantum computing

Imperial College London Connected Startups
- Aventus: Open blockchain ticketing
- Synbiosys: A new platform for materials research and development
- Rightly: Data control

MIT Startup Exchange actively promotes collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry. Qualified startups are those founded and/or led by MIT faculty, staff, or alumni, or are based on MIT-licensed technology. Industry participants are principally members of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP).

MIT Startup Exchange maintains a propriety database of over 1,500 MIT-connected startups with roots across MIT departments, labs and centers; it hosts a robust schedule of startup workshops and showcases, and facilitates networking and introductions between startups and corporate executives.

STEX25 is a startup accelerator within MIT Startup Exchange, featuring 25 “industry ready” startups that have proven to be exceptional with early use cases, clients, demos, or partnerships, and are poised for significant growth. STEX25 startups receive promotion, travel, and advisory support, and are prioritized for meetings with ILP’s 230 member companies.

MIT Startup Exchange and ILP are integrated programs of MIT Corporate Relations.
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Lunch with Startup Exhibit


Nudgeomics: A new paradigm for consumer healthtech
Chris will discuss his newest start-up DnaNudge. DnaNudge is developing the worlds first saliva-based, retail-operated genetic ‘self-test’ and App to personalise consumers’ shopping experience. It encourages healthy choices by scanning products based upon DNA and life-style. Chris will first review the interdisciplinary biomedical setting he created at Imperial to enable such innovations, he will then discuss some of his own Microchip based medical devices and finally discuss his push towards making health personal.


Innovating a doer’s Manifesto


Mastercard Innovation


Wrap Up



* All schedule and speakers are subject to change without notice.