The retail industry has been in the process of rapid change caused by advances and adoption of digital technology. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of practices like social distancing, the changing face of retail is poised to accelerate even more dramatically in the next few years. These changes will cover the entire spectrum of retail activities ranging from omni-channel consumer experience to agile supply chains. Join us, as MIT’s leading experts in retail explore the critical issues and possible new scenarios of The New Retail.
David Simchi-Levi is a Professor of Engineering Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Co-Director of Leaders for Global Operations. His research currently focuses on developing and implementing robust and efficient techniques for logistics and manufacturing systems. He has published widely in professional journals on both practical and theoretical aspects of logistics and supply chain management.
Dr. Simchi-Levi has been the principal investigator for more than five million dollars in funded academic research. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Operations Research, the flagship journal of INFORMS, the former Editor-in-Chief of Naval Research Logistics and a member of the board for several scientific journals including Management Science, Networks, Transportation Science and Telecommunication Systems, and a former Area Editor of Transportation for Operations Research. His Ph.D. students have accepted positions in leading academic institutes including Berkeley, Columbia U., U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, U. of Michigan, Purdue U., Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech.
Dr. Simchi-Levi is co-author (with Julien Bramel) of The Logic of Logistics, published by Springer in 1997 (1st Edition) and in 2004 (2nd Edition) (with Xin Chen and Julien Bramel). His second book, Designing and Managing the Supply Chain (with P. Kaminsky and E. Simchi-Levi) was published by McGraw-Hill in August 1999 (1st edition), 2002 (2nd edition) and 2007 (3rd edition). It received the Book-of-the-Year award and the Outstanding IIE Publication award given in 2000 by the Institute of Industrial Engineers. The book also received the Outstanding First Edition of the Year award given in 2000 by McGraw-Hill. It was selected by Business 2.0. December 2001 issue, as the best source for slashing time and cost and increasing productivity in the supply chain. It has been translated to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. His 3rd book (with P. Kaminsky and E. Simchi-Levi), Managing the Supply Chain: The Definitive Guide for the Supply Chain Professional, was published by McGraw-Hill in December 2003. The book serves as a reference for consultants and managers involved in any one of the processes that make up the supply chain.
He is the founder and chairman of LogicTools (www.logic-tools.com), a company that provides Decision Support Systems and professional services for supply chain planning. These systems have been used widely to reduce cost and improve service level in large-scale logistics systems. Clients include Caterpillar, ConAgra, Kraft Foods, Mercer Management, Ryder, SC Johnson, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, and Walgreens to name a few.
Professor Simchi-Levi has consulted and collaborated extensively with private and public organizations. He is one of the developers of a Decision Support System for school bus routing used by New York City Board of Education to route and schedule school buses throughout the five boroughs in New York City. The system won the first place prize in the 1994 Win World Competition for the Public Sector.
This presentation will focus on the evolving applications of digitization, analytics and automation for end-to-end supply chain transformation in the retail sector which has witnessed some of the fastest digital growth.
Alex "Sandy" Pentland directs MIT's Connection Science initiative and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program and is a founding member of advisory boards for the World Economic Forum, AT&T, Telefonica, United Nations, and Nissan. He previously helped create and direct MIT's Media Laboratory, the Media Lab Asia laboratories at the Indian Institutes of Technology, and Strong Hospital's Center for Future Health.
Forbes magazine declared Pentland "one of the seven most powerful data scientists in the world," along with the founders of Google and the CTO of the United States. Pentland is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in big data analytics, computational social science, organizational engineering, and wearable computing. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, the World Economic Forum, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features including "Nova" and "Scientific American Frontiers." His most recent books are Social Physics, and Trust :: Data.
Interesting experiences include winning the DARPA 40th Anniversary of the Internet Grand Challenge, dining with British Royalty and the President of India, staging fashion shows in Paris, Tokyo, and New York, and developing a method for counting beavers from space.
Concerns about data privacy, national localization, and security are driving dramatic change in the digital systems that support commerce and government. These new systems are distributed, all-digital, natively encrypted, continuously auditable, and feature automatic legal enforcement. Examples are the UBIN systems being fielded by Temasek and Singapore Monetary Authority, the Swiss Trust Chain fielded by SwissPost and SwissComm (which we helped design), and the Chinese national "smart city" system. Along with these commercial systems are financial systems that such as Fidelity's Akoya (which helped design), Intuit and EY's internal tax reconciliation systems, and the national digital currencies being test deployed or seriously considered by most OPEC nations. I will focus on
Andres Sevtsuk is an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where he also leads the City Form Lab. He is the author of the recent book Street Commerce: The Hidden Structure of Retail Location Patterns and Vibrant Sidewalks by Penn Pres (2020). His work bridges urban design with spatial analysis and urban technology. Andres is also the author of the Urban Network Analysis toolbox, used by researchers and practitioners around the world to model pedestrian flows along city streets and to study coordinated land use and transportation development along networks.
Street commerce has gained prominence in urban areas, where demographic shifts such as increasing numbers of single people and childless "empty nesters," along with technological innovations enabling greater flexibility of work locations and hours, have changed how people shop and dine out. Contemporary city dwellers are demanding smaller-scale stores located in public spaces that are accessible on foot or by public transit. At the same time, the emergence of online retail undermines both the dominance and viability of big-box discount businesses and drives brick and mortar stores to focus as much on the experience of shopping as on the goods and services sold. The COVID19 pandemic has further exacerbated the problems retailers already faced, but also opened up new opportunities. In light of such trends, street commerce will play an important role in twenty-first-century cities, particularly in producing far-reaching benefits for the environment and local communities.
Although street commerce is deeply intertwined with myriad contemporary urban visions and planning goals—walkability, quality of life, inclusion, equity, and economic resilience—it has rarely been the focus of systematic research and informed practice. Drawing on economic theory, urban design principles, regulatory policies, and merchant organization models, Andres Sevtsuk conceptualizes key problems and offers innovative solutions. Prof. Sevtsuk’s work on street commerce provides a range of examples from around the world to detail how different cities and communities have bolstered and reinvigorated their street commerce. According to Sevtsuk, successful street commerce can only be achieved when the private sector, urban policy makers, planners, and the public are equipped with the relevant knowledge and tools to plan and regulate it.