A thousand years of history and contemporary evidence make one thing clear: progress depends on the choices we make about technology. New ways of organizing production and communication can either serve the narrow interests of an elite or become the foundation for widespread prosperity.
The wealth generated by technological improvements in agriculture during the European Middle Ages was captured by the nobility and used to build grand cathedrals, while peasants remained on the edge of starvation. The first 100 years of industrialization in England delivered stagnant incomes for working people. And throughout the world today, digital technologies and artificial intelligence undermine jobs and democracy through excessive automation, massive data collection and intrusive surveillance.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In Power and Progress, authors Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson demonstrate the path of technology was once—and may again—be brought under control. Cutting-edge technological advances can become empowering and democratizing tools, but not if all major decisions remain in the hands of a few hubristic tech leaders. With their bold reinterpretation of economics and history, Acemoglu and Johnson fundamentally change how we see the world, providing the vision needed to redirect innovation so it again benefits most people.
About the Speaker
Daron Acemoglu is an Institute Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT and is also affiliated with the National Bureau Economic Research and the Center for Economic Policy Research. He is the author or co-author of six books, including Power and Progress.
Prof. Acemoglu’s book (with James A. Robinson) Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy received the Association of American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence, the William Riker Prize for Best Book Published in Political Economy and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for Best Book Published on Government, Politics or International Affairs. His 2012 book, Why Nations Fail, also received several awards and was a New York Times bestseller.
Prof. Acemoglu was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 2005, given every two years to the best economist in the United States under the age of 40 by the American Economic Association, the Erwin Plein Nemmers prize awarded every two years for work of lasting significance in economics in 2013 and the 2016 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge award in economics.
This program is free, but advance registration is required. Registered guests will receive the link prior to the program. The first 100 guests will receive a FREE electronic copy of the book, courtesy of the Fordham Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis.
Having trouble syncing to your Google Calendar? Details