With each major crisis, be it war, pandemic, or major new technology, there has been a need to reinvent the relationships between individuals, businesses, and governments. Today's pandemic, joined with the tsunami of data, crypto and AI technologies, is such a crisis. Consequently the critical question for today is: what sort institutions should we be creating both to help us past this crisis and to make us less vulnerable to the next crisis? This book lays out a vision of what we should build, covering not only how to reforge our societies' social contract but also how institutions, systems, infrastructure, and law should change in support of this new order. We invite your comments and suggestions on both the ideas and the presentation, preferably by June 1, 2020 when we will move to make the book more widely available.
"[After the crisis], local resilience will be prized over global efficiency"
—Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England, The Economist, April 16, 2020
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The Human Perspective: New Types of Engagement
Resilient Systems: Making Society Work Better
Data and AI, A New Ecology
Conclusion: Legal Algorithms
Draft DOI: 10.21428/ba67f642.0499afe0
“Each chapter of Building the New Economy tackles an urgent and important societal question from how to build effective health surveillance without a national healthcare system to how to protect people’s right to control their own data while exploiting its economic value to how to enjoy the economic benefits of asset-backed securitization while reducing fraud. In response to each problem, the book offers a big idea for how to solve it, accompanied by concrete, specific and compelling strategies that seamlessly weave together cutting-edge technology with policy proposals to offer a clear blueprint and powerful prescription for building a more resilient economy and more innovative institutions. This boundary-pushing preview of the future we could have is a must read for policymakers, thought leaders and all of us wishing to reimagine and build a better society on the other side of the pandemic.”
—Beth Noveck, Chief Innovation Officer NJ, Director NYU GovLab, former Deputy CTO United States
“If anything is clear, it is that we must rethink how we think about data and privacy and the public good. These essays together offer depth and a path forward. Required reading for a sane future.”
—Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School
“Beating the pandemic is a tough challenge, but also an opportunity to retool for the bigger disruptions of digitization and AI. Building the New Economy brings together the best thinking on exactly how to do that, with perfect combination of rigor and relevance.”
—Erik Brynjolfsson, Co-Author, The Second Machine Age, Director Stanford University Human-Centered AI, founder MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy
“This book documents credible engagement of technologists and economists for public interest and a technological system under human control, serving common purposes of humanity, decentralisation of power and self-determination through empowerment. Its great strength is that it assembles practical tools and methods of technology and organisation to get from theory to practice. Articulating such tools and methods with concepts of decentrally concentrated and sovereign decision making on laws and institutions through representative democracy and its deliberative needs is one of the great challenges of our time.”
—Paul Nemitz, Principal Adviser, European Commission, Brussels
“We know what does not work; we know trust in institutions is at an all-time low. Instead of piling on further criticism, Pentland & Co. provide a bottom up means of rebuilding institutions and trust in data, health care, banking, and a host of other systems. These are the essential bridges and bricks to rebuild a new economy.”
—Juan Enriquez, Managing Director of Excel Venture Management; Founding Director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School; former Development Minister of Mexico City
“An assembly of some of the brightest minds in engineering and data science, Building the New Economy bravely tackles not only what the economy needs of technology in our crisis riddled age, but also what technology demands of financial ecosystems in order for it to make our lives more efficient, fairer and safer. Bearing down on distributed systems, the authors identify how more decentralized, adaptive and agile systems can lead to deep changes without exacerbating social inequalities or triggering the forfeiture of privacy and personal data. An ingenious collection of essays, the book provides a fresh new perspective on some of the most cutting-edge technologies of our time.”
—Professor Chris Brummer, Faculty Director of the Institute of International Economic Law, Georgetown University
”Prominent historians understand that temporary major shocks have permanent impacts on society. Income tax began as a temporary UK fundraising to defeat Napoleon. The US Federal Reserve was founded to overcome the effects of the 1907 New York Stock Market crash stopped single handedly by JP Morgan. The UK National Health Service came into being to stop treatment inequalities exposed by the Second World War. This creative book is a well written start to understanding the possible positive effects the Corona virus pandemic could have on global society. It. should be read by policy makers everywhere.
—Professor M A H Dempster, University of Cambridge & Cambridge Systems Associates Limited, Founding Co-Editor-in-Chief, Quantitative Finance
“The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to accelerate the journey toward an increasingly digital future, one in which data and AI will be central to just about every interaction. In "Building the New Economy," MIT professor Alex "Sandy" Pentland and his research collaborators lay out their vision for the post-pandemic economy and society, including the new types of human engagements will now be necessary; the urgent need for a more resilient, better working society; and a new data and AI ecology that better supports the rights of billions of individuals data owners. The book not only articulates its "big idea" vision, but carefully explains how our various institutions and policies need to change to support this emerging, brave new world.”
—Irving Wladawsky-Berger, led Linux and Web for IBM, and has been a strategic adviser to Citigroup, HBO and Mastercard and is a regular contributor to WSJ CIO Journal.
“This collection presents a refreshingly original view into a future that might already be here -- a future in which data and algorithms transform our economic infrastructure. The authors explain how information technology is changing money, health care, and commerce, and they challenge us to think about how these developments can reshape society. These ideas are important to a broad audience, and the authors present them in a highly accessible style.”
—Paul Glasserman, Jack R. Anderson Professor of Business, Columbia University