Initiative on the Digital Economy

The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) is a team of internationally recognized thought leaders and researchers who examine the way people and businesses work, interact, and will ultimately prosper in a time of rapid digital transformation. 

Technology advances quickly, yet organizations and skills tend to move at a slower pace. In the coming decades, the divide between swiftly evolving technology and the slower pace of human development will grow wider as exponential improvements in artificial intelligence, robotics, networks, analytics, and digitization affect more and more of the economy and society. 

Inventing effective organizations and institutions suited for the digital economy is the grand challenge of our time, and for MIT in particular. Our research helps companies adapt to new ways of doing business in the digital economy. It helps NGOs and other organizations understand how the digital transformation is affecting society and everyday life. It also helps people become more productive and thrive in a time of great and uncertain change. 

Activities include research, events, fellowships, and education—including the Analytics Lab, which is taught in the fall term. IDE offers opportunities to participate in its work through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), research assistantships, and postdoctoral study.

IDE is part of the MIT Sloan School of Management. Our team is led by MIT Sloan’s Sinan Aral and Andrew McAfee, two leading educators and researchers who have authored several highly respected publications detailing the interaction of digital technology and employment, including The Hype Machine; Second Machine Age; and Machine, Platform, Crowd.

For further information, contact IDE executive director David L. Verrill at 617-452-3216.