Digitalization and the New Gilded Age

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DATE: April 18, 2018

DAY: Wednesday

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM


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Are technological advances leading to greater market concentration in firms such as Google and Facebook and, in turn, creating what could be described as a New Gilded Age? Is now a time for a new era of trust busting? Can start-ups compete against larger, more established firms? What is the prospect for “technological unemployment” that John Maynard Keynes forewarned about in 1930? The answers to these questions hold the key to how the IMF and policymakers should address productivity, inequality and the future of work.

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Digitalization and the New Gilded Age


Moderator: Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde has been Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund since July 2011. She held various ministerial positions within the French government, including Finance and Economy Minister (2007–11), Minister for Foreign Trade, and Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. She was also Chairman of the Global Executive Committee and Global Strategic Committee of Baker & McKenzie.

Panelist: Bridget van Kralingen

Bridget van Kralingen is the Senior Vice President of IBM Global Industries, Platforms and Blockchain. She leads IBM's business and technology capabilities helping global industry clients to adopt new business models using cloud platforms with Artificial Intelligence and blockchain. With over 400 organizations since 2016, she has established IBM as the leading enterprise blockchain provider, convening industry-first consortia that rely on blockchain to improve financial services, international food safety and global trade. Kralingen serves on the boards of Royal Bank of Canada, New York Historical Society, Partnership for New York and Catalyst. She holds a Masters of Commerce from University of South Africa and a Bachelors of Commerce from University of Witwatersrand.

Panelist: Alec Ross

Alec Ross is a New York Times best-selling author. He started his career as a teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools before co-founding a non-profit organization focused on bridging the digital divide. He has received a number of respected recognitions, including Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine, Huffington Post’s 10 Game-Changers in Politics and the Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Award. Ross lives in Baltimore and advises start-ups in Maryland and around the world.

Panelist: Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Tharman Shanmugaratnam is the Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies. He chairs the Group of Thirty, and the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance. He led the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) from 2011-2014, and was its first Asian chair. He served as Singapore’s Minister for Finance for 8 years, and as Minister for Education for 5 years. Shanmugaratnam is also Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator. He is on the board of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and chairs its Investment Strategies Committee.

Panelist: Richard White

Richard White is a Professor of American history at Stanford University. His most recent book is “The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age”. He specializes in the American West, the history of capitalism, environmental history, and Native American history. White is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the Mellon Distinguished Professor Award. His work has won numerous academic prizes, and he has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.