JUSTINE THODY Editorial Director, Americas, The Economist Group
The era of big data presents incredible opportunities -- smarter cities, stronger companies, faster medicine -- but just as many challenges. Storage is scarce, systems overloaded, governments and businesses know too much. The world now contains unimaginably vast amounts of digital information, which is growing exponentially. Managed well, this data can be used to engineer new engines of economic value, unlock scientific breakthroughs, and hold politicians accountable. Managed poorly, it can cause great harm.
The financial crisis showed that complex models that analyze large quantities of data do not always reflect financial risk in the real world. The financial crisis was sparked by big data -- and there will be others. But the data deluge will also generate millions of new ideas for how to solve big problems, build new markets, and expand existing ones. Ideas Economy: Information is a fresh look at knowledge management for the information age.
The Economist will bring together theorists, strategists, and innovators who understand how to harness data to create value and advance individual, corporate, and social good. We will sift through the vast quantities of current thinking on data to uncover the best ways forward. And we will apply the lessons of the Ideas Economy, about innovation, human capital, and intelligent infrastructure, to uncover new sources of growth and accelerate human progress across the globe.
Justine Thody is Editorial Director for the Economist Group's Brand Innovation Businesses, covering thought leadership and events in the Americas and based in New York. She regularly speaks at conferences and to international media, chairing discussions and taking the Economist Group's views on economic, political and business developments throughout the world to senior-level audiences.
Thody is one of the Economist Group's leading experts on Latin America, having until recently directed the Latin America team of editors and economists of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the country forecasting arm of the Economist Group, based in London. Before joining the Economist Group in 1998, Thody worked first as a business analyst for McKinsey & Company, a management consultancy, and then as a political and security risk analyst for Control Risks Group, an international business risk consultancy.