Alex Sandy Pentland
If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT’s Alex “Sandy” Pentland. Over years of groundbreaking experiments, he has distilled remarkable discoveries significant enough to become the bedrock of a whole new scientific field: social physics. We can now predict and change the social structures of companies, governments, communities and much more, to solve some of our most difficult issues. Social physics is about idea flow, the way human social networks spread ideas and transform those ideas into behaviors. It will change the way we think about how we learn and how our social groups work—and can be made to work better, at every level of society. In his newest book, Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread—The Lessons from a New Science, Pentland leads you to the edge of the most important revolution in the study of social behavior in a generation, an entirely new way to look at life itself.
Maintaining Vital Workplace Collaboration & Communication in a Work-From-Home World
From a business and organizational point of view, virus spread and information spread are very similar, mathematically. How do you stop one without stopping the other? Research shows that 50% of business decisions are influenced by informal conversations and interactions versus formal meetings. These face-to-face, casual interactions also spark innovation, boost productivity, improve mental health, increase trust, and foster solidarity at every level of your organization. With social distancing requiring so many of us to work remotely and interact in virtual meetings, how do we maintain the idea flow, successful innovation and productivity that thrive in personal contact environments? Drawing upon his work and book, Social Physics, Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland offers proven technological, managerial and organizational prescriptions to increase beneficial social communication and information flow in a work-from-home world.
Frontiers of Financial Technology
Financial technology innovation has exploded in the popular consciousness, and promises a radical transformation of the global financial services industry. Over $20 billion is expected to be invested in Fintech projects in 2016. How can executives, investors, and entrepreneurs make sense of the new inventions that are driving this change? MIT Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland, called by Forbes one of the seven most powerful data scientists on the planet, is curating an exploration of several major trends and technologies that are changing the face of financial services. From blockchain to artificial intelligence, this speech helps audiences grapple with this exciting area of technology innovation.
As the economy and society move from a world where interactions were physical and based on paper documents, toward a world that is primarily governed by digital data and digital transactions, our existing methods of managing identity and data security are proving inadequate. Large-scale fraud, identity theft and data breaches are becoming common, and a large fraction of the population have only the most limited digital credentials. Even so, our digital infrastructure is recognized as a strategic asset which must be resilient to threat. If we can create an Internet of Trusted Data that provides safe, secure access for everyone, then huge societal benefits can be unlocked, including better health, greater financial inclusion, and a population that is more engaged with and better supported by its government. MIT Professor Alex Pentland describes a roadmap and platforms to implement this new paradigm.
Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread—The Lessons from a New Science
Until now, sociologists have depended on limited data sets and surveys that tell us how people say they think and behave, rather than what they actually do. As a result, we’ve been stuck with the same stale social structures—classes, markets—and a focus on individual actors, data snapshots and steady states.
Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World
How can you know when someone is bluffing? Paying attention? Genuinely interested? The answer, writes Alex Pentland in Honest Signals, is that subtle patterns in how we interact with other people reveal our attitudes toward them. These unconscious social signals are not just a back channel or a complement to our conscious language; they form a separate communication