The COVID pandemic has only accelerated changes that were already in progress in the way we work, how we work and where we work. It has emphasized other aspects of our lives that depend on making a livelihood, such as where we live, how we balance work/ family/ personal priorities; what career paths will look like; how we collaborate with peers; whose work must be done in person vs done remotely, and who has access to the technologies that enable remote work; health and safety in the workplace; urban planning and even the redesign of our living spaces. There are also implications for business, which will have to accommodate these changes, and also new opportunities emerging that will change their strategic planning and growth.
In this webinar we will engage experts to share their insight from their research, their views on the trends that are now clearly emerging, and their advice on preparing for the future of work, of the workforce, and of the organizations of the future.
This webinar will be followed by an ILP Members only webinar on May 4.
Manager, Corporate Relations
MIT Industrial Liaison Program
Dr. Kenneth A. Goldman joined the MIT Industrial Liaison Program in 1988, managing a diverse portfolio of mostly European memberships, and concentrating in telecommunications and high technology. Before then he worked at Project Athena, MIT's experiment in distributed educational computing, where he organized and managed the visitor and demonstration facility.
Dr. Goldman has special responsibility for relations with the MIT Media Laboratory, the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, and the Department of Political Science.
Until recently he was manager of the Communications, Information Technology and Financial Services Industry group of Corporate Relations. He speaks fluent Italian, Russian and Serbocroatian, and some French and Spanish. He has studied many other languages. He has travelled extensively throughout both Eastern and Western Europe and lived in Belgrade for several years.
After completing a doctoral degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures, applying information technology to analyze Serbocroatian oral epic, Dr. Goldman worked for several years in the Division of Research at the Harvard Business School, in the Program for Industry and Company Analysis. Following that he worked for Compulex, Inc. of Lowell, MA, which produced multilingual word processing systems, where he was hired as manager of documentation and training, and then assumed responsibility for customer support, product design and product management. He then worked in a number of positions in the software industry before coming to Project Athena.
Ronald A Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship
Professor of Global Economics and Management
MIT Sloan School of Management
Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he is also head of the Global Economics and Management group and chair of the Sloan Fellows MBA Program Committee. He cofounded and currently leads the popular Global Entrepreneurship Lab (GLAB) course – over the past 16 years, MBA students in GLAB have worked on more than 500 projects with start-up companies around the world.
He also works closely with Joi Ito, head of MIT’s Media Lab, on the Digital Currency Initiative (DCI). Specifically, Johnson supervises research projects related to blockchain technology, and teaches a course (with Michael Casey and Brian Forde) on this fast developing business sector. Johnson is not an investor in bitcoin or any bitcoin-related startups, but he works closely with MIT students and others who want to build better companies.
Johnson is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., a cofounder of BaselineScenario.com, and a member since inception of the FDIC’s Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee. In July 2014, Johnson joined the Financial Research Advisory Committee of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR); he chairs the recently formed Global Vulnerabilities Working Group.
Johnson has been a member of the private sector Systemic Risk Council since it was founded by Sheila Bair in 2012; this group is now chaired by Sir Paul Tucker. From April 2009 to April 2015, he was a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers. In March 2016, Johnson was the third Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Central Bank of Barbados.
“For his articulate and outspoken support for public policies to end too-big-to-fail”, Johnson was named a Main Street Hero by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) in 2013. In April 2015, the Washington Examiner placed Johnson at #11 on their list of New Voices for 2015. In November 2015, Johnson joined the advisory council of Intelligence2 Debates.
Over the past seven years, Johnson has published more than 300 high impact pieces in the New York Times, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Republic, BusinessWeek, The Huffington Post, The Financial Times, and Project Syndicate.
“The Quiet Coup” received over a million views when it appeared in The Atlantic in early 2009. His book 13 Bankers: the Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown (with James Kwak), was an immediate bestseller and has become one of the mostly highly regarded books on the financial crisis. Their follow-up book on U.S. fiscal policy, White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters for You, won praise across the political spectrum. Johnson’s academic research on economic development, corporate finance, and political economy is widely cited.
From March 2007 through the end of August 2008, Johnson was the International Monetary Fund's Economic Counsellor (chief economist) and Director of its Research Department. He also helped to found and run the NBER Africa Project; four volumes are forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.
Johnson holds a B.A. in economics and politics from the University of Oxford, an M.A. in economics from the University of Manchester, and a Ph.D. in economics from MIT.
In the decades that followed World War II, the U.S. led the world in innovation, creating entirely new sectors such as jet aircraft, life‐saving drugs and vaccines, microelectronics, satellites, and digital computers. Widespread innovation boosted productivity. Household income increased faster than ever before, while inequality declined. Since the 1970s, however, U.S. productivity growth has slowed while the well‐paying jobs that we do have in the U.S. are now concentrated disproportionately in a small number of superstar cities. People in the rest of the country increasingly – and correctly – feel that they are being left behind. What went wrong? Policymakers forgot one of the most important lessons of the post‐1945 period.
Thomas Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, a professor of work and employment research, and the co-director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Kochan focuses on the need to update America’s work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home, and in their communities. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor-management relations are needed to address America’s critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is Shaping the Future of Work (2016). Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management, as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations, from the University of Wisconsin.
This talk reviews the long term growth in income inequality that preceded the events of the past year and then discusses how the COVID crisis along with rising calls for racial justice and gender equity have accelerated the need to address America’s deep economic and social divisions. I call for business, labor, education, and government leaders to work together to build a new social contract governing work. The talk serves as a call to action to shape a future of work that works for all Americans.
Nathan Wilmers is the Sarofim Family Career Development Professor and an Assistant Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a member of the Institute for Work and Employment Research and affiliated with the Economic Sociology program. For the most up-to-date information on his research, please see his personal website at www.nathanwilmers.com.
Wilmers researches wage and earnings inequality, economic sociology, and the sociology of labor. In his empirical research, he studies how wage stagnation and rising earnings inequality result from weakening labor market institutions, changing market power, and job restructuring. More broadly, he is interested in bringing insights from economic sociology to the study of labor markets and the wage structure. His research has been published in the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and Social Forces.
Wilmers holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in sociology from Harvard University.
Why has upward mobility declined so much in the last 50 years? How can we make an economy that works for everyone? This talk identifies the key sources of pay inequality and addresses the role played by employers.
Erin L. Kelly is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Co-Director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research. Erin conducts research in firms and other organizations to identify and evaluate changes in workplace policies and management practices that may improve workers’ wellbeing and advance equity while supporting strong organizational performance. Her book Overload: How Goods Jobs Went Bad and What to Do About It (Princeton University Press, 2020, co-authored with Phyllis Moen) is based on a major experiment in a Fortune 500 firm and received the Max Weber Award from the American Sociological Association in 2021. Erin studies, teaches, and speaks on work redesign and wellbeing, the future of work, and organizational practices to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.
What comes next for remote work and related work arrangements, after the COVID-19 pandemic drove many white-collar and professional workers home? Erin Kelly identifies key insights and implications from her research and other studies. This talk incorporates lessons from her recent book Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What We Can Do About it (2020, Princeton University Press, co-authored with Phyllis Moen) and updates guidance for the period after COVID-19, when remote and hybrid strategies are expected by many but need to be managed well.
Sanjay Sarma is the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He is the first Dean of Digital Learning at MIT. He co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. He serves on the boards of GS1, EPCglobal and several startup companies including Senaya and ESSESS.
Dr. Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Sarma also worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California. He has authored over 75 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation and CAD, and is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz Award and Informationweek's Innovators and Influencers Award. He advises several national governments and global companies.
Even before the pandemic, the rapid pace of technological advances was exposing a gap in America’s education system: workforce education. Labor economists have long talked about the ongoing erosion of middle class jobs, and the increases at the high and low ends of the wage spectrum. COVID, meanwhile, has hurt low-wage earners on several fronts including health and employment, and job mobility is becoming challenging. Workforce education is an important tool in addressing these issues, especially after the pandemic. We present describe new modalities that will help transform workforce education including online learning, new learning technologies, and blended in-person classrooms. We also describe policies and institutional initiatives that can help learners before, during and in between employment.
Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Director, Microphotonics Center
MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Lionel Kimerling is the Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and the Director of the MIT Microphotonics Center. After a PhD at MIT, he served as Captain in the USAF. He was Head, Materials Physics Research at AT&T Bell Laboratories when he joined the faculty of MIT as Professor. He has authored more than 550 technical articles, and he holds more than 75 patents in the fields of integrated photonics and semiconductor processing. At AT&T, he led the corporate-wide Silicon Materials R,D&M Technology Forum. At MIT, Kimerling was Director of the Materials Processing Center for 15 years, establishing it as the industry portal for faculty across all materials-related disciplines. The MIT Microphotonics Center brings together faculty from eight departments in the Schools of Engineering, Science, Business, and Humanities for large industry-sponsored research programs and the Communication Technology Roadmap (CTR). More than 300 industrial, academic, and government organizations have contributed to Roadmap releases, which are now merged under the Integrated Photonics System Roadmap, International (IPSR-I). Kimerling’s research teams have enabled long-lived telecommunications lasers; developed semiconductor inspection and root cause diagnostic methods such as DLTS, SEM-EBIC and RF-PCD; and pioneered silicon microphotonics.
Kimerling was President, TMS; Chairman, Editorial Board of the Journal of Electronic Materials; and he has served on the Advisory Board, National Center for Photovoltaics, DOE and the National Materials Advisory Board, NRC. Kimerling is the recipient of the ECS Electronics Division award, the TMS John Bardeen Award, the MIT Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising, and the Humboldt Senior Scientist Research Award. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, AAAS, TMS, MRS and the U Tokyo School of Engineering.
The 2020-2030 decade presents a significant opportunity to establish leadership in manufacturing semiconductor chips and the associated supply chain elements for subsystems and systems. Communication, computation, imaging and sensing systems are undergoing a major technology transition to distributed architectures that gather and process information and actuate responses. Application performance has scaled with aggregate improvements in “the 3 Ps”, performance, power and programming, at a rate of 1000x every 10 years.
Populating the workforce with enthusiastic value generators is the most critical element in the advanced manufacturing supply chain, because manufacturing has been outsourced for two generations of workers. 'Establishing leadership' means harnessing the intellectual fervor, work intensity and commercial innovation baked into the character of the workforce and focusing it on well-defined, strategic goals. This presentation will highlight work products and best practices developed by MIT’s Initiative for Knowledge and Innovation in Manufacturing (IKIM) for national, regional and company specific workforce development.
The AIM Academy project at MIT is the headquarters for the education, workforce development and technology roadmap for AIM Photonics Institute, one of the national Advanced Manufacturing Institutes. It is one of the most active programs within IKIM. Integrated Photonics is a transformative manufacturing technology, but the path to adoption and diffusion into the supply chain is fragmented. Three skill development areas consistently appear as a primary concern: technician-level test and data analysis, engineer-level design into standard foundry processes, and teaming to achieve system optimization. A hierarchy of delivery modes are required to effectively reach K-12 through industry executives; and the IKIM portfolio features TED-Ed videos, on-line courses, in-person academies, bootcamps, and prototyping labs.
iQ3Connect: Enabling remote collaboration beyond the flat screen
Ali Merchant is the co-founder and CEO of iQ3Connect. He has worked and published in the aerospace industry in the area of numerical simulation and design optimization of gas turbines. Design methods and tools he has developed are used for gas turbine design in universities and industry. He brings 15 years of experience and knowledge of CAD, CAE, and multi-disciplinary product design to the iQ3Connect team. Ali holds a Masters and Ph.D. from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Coding Dojo: Transforming lives through programming literacy
Richard Wang is the CEO of the national technology education company Coding Dojo, a Venture Partner with NextGen Venture Partners, and serves as a Committee Member for various Future of Work and education focused leadership councils. As a leading education and technology executive, Richard is committed to creating economic mobility for underserved communities and increasing opportunities for individuals to reskill or upskill so they can participate in the digital economy. At the age of 13, he was the first member of his family to immigrate from China to the United States. He taught himself English after witnessing firsthand how English literacy could create economic mobility for individuals in China. Richard similarly believes programming literacy could offer the same economic lift for those in the U.S. and strives to create opportunities to help others transform their lives.
SplitSage: Increase Effectiveness. Improve Safety. Enhance Performance
Joshua Sarmir is the CEO of SplitSage. He studied finance and computer science at Boston College and has cofounded multiple companies and has helped Fortune 500 companies and government agencies tackle significant challenges over his 20+ year career. When presented with a problem, he sees opportunity. As a former executive of Raytheon, he helped commercialize research to help protect the safety of our military and bring innovation to companies like Apple. Today he brings the opportunity to leverage groundbreaking science from MIT to improve effectiveness and increase safety to our work environments.