President, Chief Executive Officer and Principal, MAYA Design
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.
Mickey McManus is president, CEO, and principal of MAYA Design, a technology design and innovation lab that tames complexity through human-centered design.
In 2005, Mickey spearheaded the launch of MAYA's Pervasive Computing practice to help companies kick-start innovation around business challenges in a vastly connected world, where even now computing devices outnumber people. To maximize such opportunities for innovation, he leads a team of cognitive psychologists, ethnographers, computer scientists, mathematicians, visual and industrial designers, game designers, architects, and filmmakers. This interdisciplinary team collaborates to design products, services, and environments for people in a trillion-node world—a world whose scale and complexity will dwarf that of today's Internet. Mickey and his team work with a wide range of clients—from Fortune 500 global companies to foundations, government organizations, and startups.
To explore the ramifications of a trillion networked nodes, including this network's potential impact on individuals and businesses, Mickey co-authored Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology, published by John Wiley & Sons. The book is a field guide to the future, where computing will cease to be confined to any particular "box," but instead be freely accessible in the ambient environment.