ODC-UN Panel on Technology & Labor Markets
Thursday, December 16th, 2021 at 3:00- 4:30 pm CET/9AM EDT
In 2015, the United Nations established seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (https://sdgs.un.org/goals) as the outcome of three years of deliberations on the urgent environmental, political, and social challenges that must be addressed by 2030 to sustain human systems on the planet. The goals include a broad range of sub-topics and intermediate objectives that were widely vetted and considered by stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. One of these goals is to “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” – a goal made significantly more urgent by the recent advances in automation, artificial intelligence and communication technologies that both enable and challenge its achievement.
In this session, we focus specifically on the role that these technologies play in the achievement of productive employment and decent work for all. We bring together a panel of academic and industry experts whose work shapes our understanding of the processes by which automation, communication and artificial intelligence technologies are impacting worker productivity, worker wellbeing, organizational demand for different types of skills, organization design, and bargaining between workers and firms. Some of the themes that we will touch on include (1) the role of automation in organization design and the returns to different types of skills; (2) the role of artificial intelligence and algorithms in how organizations manage their human resources; (3) the role of communication technologies in organization design and bargaining; and (4) the role of service-oriented platform design in worker productivity and wellbeing.
The panel for this session will be moderated by Victoria Sevcenko (INSEAD), and will include experts with broad perspectives on these themes: Davor Miskulin (Burning Glass Technologies), Peter Norlander (Quinlan School of Business), Prasanna Tambe (The Wharton School), Jamie White (Unit), and Lynn Wu (The Wharton School).
Davor Miskulin is the Head of Global Business Development for Burning Glass for more than fifteen years. Burning Glass Technologies is an analytics software company that has cracked the genetic code of an ever-changing labor market.
Powered by the world’s largest and most sophisticated database of labor market data and talent, Burning Glass deliver real-time data and breakthrough planning tools that inform careers, define academic programs, and shape workforces. Previously, he spent seven years as Head of IT for the Slade Group, one of the largest privately-owned recruitment agencies in Australia.
Davor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Zagreb, Croatia as well as a Graduate Diploma in Applied Information Systems and Master of Business in IT from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Davor currently resides with the family in Toronto, Canada.
Peter Norlander, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Management and director of the Master of Human Resources and Employment Relations program at Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business. His research examines the balance of power in employment relationships and outcomes including wage exploitation, wage theft, alternative and non-standard work arrangements (remote work, outsourcing, gig work), and discrimination. His recent IZA World of Labor article “Do guest worker programs give firms too much power?” summarizes research on how institutional arrangements for temporary foreign workers on visas can lead to exploitation and discrimination.
Prasanna (Sonny) Tambe is an Associate Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and co-Faculty Lead for Wharton AI for Business. His research focuses on the economics of technology and labor. Recent research projects focus on 1) understanding how firms compete for software developers, 2) how software engineers choose technologies in which to specialize, and 3) how AI is transforming HR management. Much of this research has used Internet-scale data sources to measure labor market activity at novel levels of granularity.
Professor Tambe received his S.B. and M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Managerial Science and Applied Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Jamie Earl White is the founder of Unit of Work. After moving from Texas to Boston to attend MIT, he became passionate about reducing the growing quality of living gap in the United States. While volunteering with union organizing efforts, Jamie realized there were a lack of online resources for workers looking to unionize their workplace, and decided to create a platform to guide and empower workers through the process. In his free time, Jamie enjoys music, dance, and the great outdoors.
Lynn Wu is an associate professor (with tenure) at the Wharton School. She teaches MBA, undergraduate and PhD classes about the use and impact of emerging technologies on business.
Her research examines how emerging information technologies, such as artificial intelligence and analytics, affect innovation, business strategy, and productivity. Specifically, her work follows three streams. In the first stream, she examines how data analytics and artificial intelligence affect firm innovation, business strategy, labor demand, and productivity for both large firms and startups. In her second stream, she studies how enterprise social media and online platforms affect work performance, career trajectories, entrepreneurship success, and the formation of new type of biases that arise from using technologies. In her third stream of research, Lynn leverages fine-grained nanodata available through online digital traces to predict economic indicators such as real estate trends, labor trends and product adoption.
Lynn has published articles in economics, management and computer science. Her work has been widely covered by media outlets, including, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, New York Times, Forbes, and The Economist. She has won numerous awards such as Early Career awards from INFORMS and AIS, best paper awards from Information System Research, AIS, ICIS, HICSS, CHITA, and Kauffman. She has also won the Dean’s teaching award.
Lynn received her undergraduate degrees from MIT (Finance and Computer Science), her master’s degree from MIT (Computer Science) and her Ph.D. from MIT Sloan School of Management (Management Science). Lynn has experiences working with a variety of firms in the technology industry (e.g. IBM, SAP, Google, Facebook etc), government agencies and think tanks (e.g the World Bank, the Russel Sage Foundation). She has also consulted and advised several startups. Prior to academia, she was a software engineer and a research scientist at MIT AI lab and IBM.
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