As part of his recently launched "Forward Thinkers' Talks" series, Professor Ivo Pezzuto interviewed Professor Simon Johnson, the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The interview focused on Professor Johnson's latest book titled Power & Progress: Our 1000-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity, co-authored with Daron Acemoglu. The book delves into the historical and economic aspects of significant technological advancements, including the latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
In addition to his role at MIT, Professor Johnson has an impressive background in economics and finance. He served as the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2007 to 2008 and currently co-chairs the CFA Institute Systemic Risk Council. Adding to his accomplishments, in February 2021, Johnson joined the board of directors of Fannie Mae.
"Power & Progress" provides a comprehensive exploration of the interplay between technology and prosperity over the course of a millennium. By examining historical examples, Johnson and Acemoglu offer valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by technological advancements. The book delves into the impact of Artificial Intelligence and its implications for society, shedding light on the role of businesses and business leaders in shaping the direction of technological progress.
During the interview, Professor Johnson shares his vision for a human-centered approach to technological developments, emphasizing the importance of considering societal well-being and inclusivity. He also highlights the significance of economic history in informing present-day decision-making and government policies. By drawing on lessons from the past, Johnson advocates for a thoughtful and responsible approach to harnessing the potential of new technologies.
The interview with Professor Johnson provides a thought-provoking discussion on the evolution of technology and its implications for society. By exploring the historical context and drawing connections to contemporary challenges, Johnson's insights offer valuable guidance for individuals, businesses, and policymakers navigating the complexities of the modern technological landscape.
Professor Pezzuto is currently teaching Global Economics online at ISM.