Agenda

Get ready for EmTech Next with our pre-conference resources

Sessions below are listed in Eastern Time. Agenda times are subject to change as details are confirmed. 

Day 1: Leadership (12:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.)

What does it take to lead in a world driven by technology, striving for social responsibility and committed to diversity, equity and inclusion? And how do leaders lead, keeping us on mission, when the world itself is in crisis? 

12:00 p.m.

We are experiencing unprecedented change. Now is the time to examine how to empower a workforce that can adapt to the coming changes in the way we work, the technology we need, and the leadership that will get us there. 

Socially Responsible Business (12:10 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.)

Business and the workforce are bracing for a resurgence as the world recovers from the pandemic, how can companies embrace social responsibility to empower employees, boost morale, increase productivity, and enhance their brand? Can we find a better balance between purpose and profit?

12:10 p.m.

What does good leadership look like in the face of opportunity, crisis, and change? From social responsibility to emerging technologies, how is leadership changing along with the tools, expectations, and needs of the workforce? 

12:40 p.m.

Change comes from the top, but how do we empower and inspire change toward a more socially responsible organization? What tools and resources are available to companies who want to make the move to becoming a sustainable and responsible business? 

MIT Inside Track (1:20 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.)

Join the Inside Track sessions to engage more deeply with our content, speakers, and your fellow attendees during mainstage programming breaks.

1:20 p.m.

Contactless lasers, ultrasound, and optical imaging expose previously invisible views that will revolutionize all industries from medical to mechanical. This session examines the opportunities exposed by imaging technologies that let you see through walls and under skin.

Creating a Culture of Equity (1:50 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.)

Has technology created greater worker equity or more challenges? We examine what organizations can do to help meet the need without creating new disparities. 

1:50 p.m.

It is time to change the narrative from human / AI competition to human / AI collaboration. AI can be utilized to amplify human potential, to assist people in everyday life, from education to manufacturing to remote work and supporting vulnerable populations. We need to change the focus from working on problems that AI can solve to re-thinking how humans and AI can collaborate to solve the most important problems.

2:15 p.m.

Work is changing as are the needs and expectations of a modern workforce. How will these forces impact the efforts to create a culture of equity as part of our ordinary business practices, especially in the wake of a pandemic that has created a new set of challenges? 

2:45 p.m.

Unless measures are taken, the future workforce will experience even greater economic and racial disparities. How do initiatives like the OneTen Plan help to make meaningful, measurable, and lasting systemic impact on the future workforce? 

MIT Inside Track (3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.)

Join the Inside Track sessions to engage more deeply with our content, speakers, and your fellow attendees during mainstage programming breaks.

3:15 p.m.

This session brings together leaders from MIT and Harvard’s respective Work of the Future task forces, in a joint exploration of their collective research. Glean expert insight on the technologies and policies driving the changing nature of work.

What We Learned (3:45 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.)

Meet the organizations that survived and even thrived during the COVID pandemic. How did they do it? And will their model work 'the next time'? 

3:45 p.m.

Airline transportation was all but grounded by the COVID pandemic. As the industry prepares to fly high once again, learn how Delta’s pandemic prompted strategies and innovations has them coming back faster than ever, ready to confidently face the next major crisis.

4:15 p.m.

In a matter of weeks, the pandemic changed how we did business, and the medical industry responded. How did the healthcare network survive, from the shutdowns to the worst moments during the crisis? And how has healthcare been transformed? What lessons will be carried into the future?

4:40 p.m.

What does it take to lead at scale in times of social upheaval or global pandemics? How do these lessons learned also translated into building a strong skills-first workforce and actionable insights to create lasting organizational change?

Last Call with the Editors (5:10 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.)

Before we send everyone home for the night, join our last call with all of our editors to get their analysis on the day’s topics, themes, and guests.

Day 2: Workforce (12:00 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.)

The multi-year shift to a digitally transformed workforce happened overnight, but shifting to remote work is only the beginning. How do organizations transition from surviving to thriving? What tools, infrastructure, and skills are essential to foster an agile, effective workforce? 

The Race to Upskill (12:05 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

The rapid rate of technological change can make it difficult for companies and workers to adapt. How can organizations understand the new talents they need and help their current workers keep up? 

12:05 p.m.

Jobs are changing. What does this really mean on a practical level for employers? Which jobs are changing? What is the new timeline for change in a post-pandemic world? And what do employers need to know to prepare their workforce and to close that skills gap?

12:25 p.m.

A variety of educational models are now available to help address the skills gap caused by new technologies. From college degrees to micro-credentials, what do business leaders and workers need to know when choosing the right training to stay competitive?

12:40 p.m.

Technology is outpacing today’s workforce. But many organizations have already made significant investments in their workforces, which are quickly falling behind as the skills gap expands. So, what does it take to upskill an existing workforce, and what are the benefits and challenges of doing so? 

12:55 p.m.

Millions of new workers will be entering the workforce over the next few years. How do we ensure that these younger workers are entering the pipeline with the right skills for a highly diverse tech workforce? And how do we build tech literacy in our future workers? 

1:05 p.m.
MIT Inside Track (1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.)

Join the Inside Track sessions to engage more deeply with our content, speakers, and your fellow attendees during mainstage programming breaks.

1:30 p.m.

Amidst a technological ecosystem delivering rising productivity, and an economy generating plenty of jobs (at least until the COVID-19 crisis), we find a labor market in which the fruits are so unequally distributed, that the majority of workers have tasted only a tiny morsel of a vast harvest. The MIT Work of the Future Task Force explores the relationships between emerging technologies and work, to help shape public discourse around realistic expectations of technology, and to explore strategies to enable a future of shared prosperity.

The Changed Office (2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.)

Has the office changed forever? How can businesses best adapt their built space to maximize the value of their onsite workplace, even as we move into a shift toward remote and/or hybrid work? What tools and technologies are helping to transform the workplace into the office of the future?

2:00 p.m.

The rapid onset of hybrid local and remote work has forced us to rethink the future of the physical office. Which factors should we consider as we re-evaluate workforce real-estate? How do we create seamlessly integrated in-person and virtual environments that enable productive “me spaces” and collaborative “we spaces”?

2:25 p.m.

With the widescale normalization of remote work, what digital infrastructure is needed to support tomorrow’s in-person, hybrid, and remote workers? We’ll examine the future of smart workspaces and the technologies that will connect and enable a distributed workforce.

2:50 p.m.

New technologies and tools can radically change what we can achieve together. We take an inside look at new and emerging technologies that could enhance the way we work and the work we do. 

MIT Inside Track (3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.)

Join the Inside Track sessions to engage more deeply with our content, speakers, and your fellow attendees during mainstage programming breaks.

3:15 p.m.

Is your organization grappling with how to best establish permanent remote or hybrid work models to meet the evolving needs of employees post-pandemic? This session examines the benefits and challenges inherent with virtual and hybrid work and evaluates the lasting implications. Draw from industry expert Tsedal Neeley’s decades of experience to gain practical, evidence-based answers to the most pressing questions.

New Ways of Working (3:45 p.m. - 5:05 p.m.)

In the evolving global workforce, where can we find new efficiencies as well as new technologies that effectively enhance the way we work and improve the work that we do? 

3:45 p.m.

How can leaders capitalize on momentum gained in 2020 and continue to evolve workforce strategies? Join Deloitte and industry leaders, as they explore workforce ecosystems – a strategic approach to rethinking standard enterprise talent models. Hear about new methods to accessing and managing workers, and step through new research findings on the implications for workforce management.

4:10 p.m.

The pandemic gave a rare opportunity to discard, inefficient systems and workflows and build new ones. But where to start? How can principles of good UX design help to better organize teams or reinvent workflows? What can we learn about productivity and collaboration that companies could adopt, whether in-person or remote?

4:40 p.m.

As many organizations contemplate a return to the office, others are reimagining workforce solutions. Learning from the past year, how do we effectively evaluate and pivot in this early stage of post-pandemic workplace transformation? What key opportunities and obstacles need to be considered and addressed to successfully transition from vision to implementation in a work from anywhere model?

Last Call with the Editors (5:05 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.)

Before we send everyone home for the night, join our last call with all of our editors to get their analysis on the day’s topics, themes, and guests.

Day 3: Technology (12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Technology is driving the work of the future. How can we measure the true value of productivity both gained and lost? How are organizations embracing new tools and transforming their business? And how might this technology reshape the workplace – or the world itself?

The Future of Productivity (12:05 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

How do we identify and use new technologies to help us work better and smarter? What technologies and processes will actually help us to achieve this goal? 

12:05 p.m.

After several decades of sluggish productivity, the digital economy is creating new opportunities that are largely fueled by AI and emerging technology innovations. How are we measuring productivity growth and what are we actually measuring that businesses can use to get ahead? And where do gig workers fit into the digital economy?

12:30 p.m.

The productivity of humans and machines, when paired together, is greater than what either could achieve alone. We peek around the corner to explore new developments in robotics and how human-robotic work teams will become essential elements of a future workforce.

1:00 p.m.

Highly regulated, high volume, and high risk. The healthcare industry is slow to change, balancing new technology with ethical implementation. Yet, the industry has consistently succeeded in using technology to advance patient care and productivity. What lessons learned in this environment can serve as productivity prescriptions for organizations across all industries?

MIT Inside Track (1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.)

Join the Inside Track sessions to engage more deeply with our content, speakers, and your fellow attendees during mainstage programming breaks.

1:30 p.m.

Find out how new innovation coming from MIT.nano’s Immersion Lab is making it possible for our physical homes to sense vibrations and track patterns of movement in order to monitor health. And learn how the very same technology is impacting the safety and productivity of workers on assembly lines.

AI Productivity vs Privacy (2:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.)

Powered by data, AI has immense potential to dramatically improve productivity, quality, and personalization. How is this cutting-edge technology affecting the efficiencies needed to propel business growth and create jobs? What do businesses need to know to balance the amount of worker or client data needed for optimization?

2:00 p.m.

With human-centered innovation people’s needs come first. It translates into enabling more sustainable, accessible, easy to use products while keeping in mind human needs throughout the process of creating these products. Digitalization is key to achieving human-centered innovation and applying AI to optimize everything from the design, materials, connectivity to the manufacturing process and closing the loop from the experience of the user to the designer's desktop.

2:25 p.m.

AI is creating new opportunities in manufacturing through intelligent automation, services, tracking, and training. What do these AI advances entail for line workers? How else might AI continue to change manufacturing? And how does this translate across industries?

2:50 p.m.

AI is transforming the future of brick-and-mortar retail as organizations bring new technology into their physical and digital spaces. From small shops to superstores, how is AI impacting and automating the shopping experience and the retail workforce?  

MIT Inside Track (3:20 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.)

Join the Inside Track sessions to engage more deeply with our content, speakers, and your fellow attendees during mainstage programming breaks.

3:20 p.m.

In the health-first era, public health and business must forge ahead together for our economy and society to thrive. As organizations shape new operating models for the post-pandemic economy, protecting the health and well-being of employees, partners, and customers is a top priority. In this presentation, Dr. Joseph Allen, associate professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Harvard Healthy Buildings Program will discuss how to create smarter, safer buildings that meaningfully mitigate risk and actually improve the health and productivity of the people inside them. 

Leading with Innovation (3:50 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Leading the future will take a combination of tech-savvy and good business leadership. What does the path forward look like to today's leaders? 

3:50 p.m.

With the economy in recovery, we examine how technology and good decisions can lead to generating future prosperity with reduced resources. 

4:20 p.m.

Hubert Joly has been credited with leading one of the most stunning turnarounds in decades as he pulled Best Buy back from the brink and built it into a thriving and healthy organization. Get a first-hand look at the playbook for reinvention and recovery to achieve a sustainable and productive future through innovation.

4:50 p.m.
Closing Remarks

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