Group Executive, Information Services, Mastercard
Social Data Lab, Stanford University
President and Chief Executive Officer, Virgin America
Business Correspondent, The Economist
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.
Kenneth Cukier is the data editor. Previously he was the paper's Tokyo correspondent and covered business and technology from London. Earlier, he worked at the Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong and the International Herald Tribune in Paris. He is the co-author of "Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Work, Live and Think."
Over the course of his career, Mr. Cush has held key leadership roles overseeing all aspects of the airline business including Finance, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service and Operations. Prior to Virgin America, he served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales at American Airlines, where he was responsible for all sales activity worldwide, including Latin America, Europe and Asia. In his career at American, Cush also gained significant operating experience, having held the position of vice-president of American's St. Louis hub, where he ran airport operations for more than 200 daily departures and over 7,000 employees.
Gary Kearns is group executive, Information Services for MasterCard Advisors. He has global responsibility for leading efforts to directly monetise differentiated data assets, drive growth within core target areas and identify new revenue opportunities in emerging segments at MasterCard. MasterCard data assets encompass 1.5 billion cards representing 26 million merchants and 65 billion transactions annually. Prior to joining MasterCard, Mr. Kearns spent five years as president, Decision Analytics North America at Experian. In that capacity, he was responsible for leading B2B software and predictive analytics businesses serving financial institutions, government agencies, asset managers, retailers, utilities and telecom companies. He also was managing director and global leader for Risk Solutions at Standard & Poor's. Prior to that, he spent twenty years in the banking industry.
Dr. Andreas Weigend studies the ongoing revolution in social data. He teaches at Stanford University and directs the Social Data Lab. Previously, as the chief scientist of Amazon.com, he focused on building the customer-centric and measurement-focused culture that has been central to Amazon's success.
Dr. Weigend works with innovative startups and global companies, helping them understand and leverage the irreversible changes in how consumers express themselves, relate to each other, and make purchasing and lifestyle decisions. His clients include Alibaba, Allstate, Lufthansa, Nokia, Priceline, Symantec, Thomson Reuters, Visa and the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Weigend studied in Germany and Cambridge (UK), and received his Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. His career as a data scientist combined with his deep startup and industry experience allows him to successfully bridge the gap between academia and industry. He lives in San Francisco, Shanghai and on weigend.com.