The Future of Crowdsourcing and the Sharing Economy: Part I


July 24, 2014


Elizabeth Gerber, Michael Luca, Jeffrey Nickerson, and Arun Sundararajan


Northwestern University, Harvard Business School, Stevens Institute of Technology, New York University


From Airbnb, to Kickstarter, to Mechanical Turk, the on-demand provisioning of workforce, services, and goods is changing the nature of work and play. In this session, we focus on exploring the challenges and opportunities with these platforms that span from the technological to the social. We will also discuss the future of crowd-based work. The session will feature a wide range of speakers involved in crowdsourcing research as well as lively discussion panels.


Elizabeth Gerber, Michael Luca, Jeffrey Nickerson, and Arun Sundararajan

Liz Gerber is the Breed Junior Chair of Design in the McCormick School of Engineering and School of Communication at Northwestern University and the founder of Design for America. Her work focuses on the study and design of organizations and technology to empower innovators. This year, she was recognized by Crain’s BusinessWeek as leader of innovation in Chicago and received the IEEE Computer Society teaching award. Her work has been awarded at the MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, Core 77, and Ashoka, and featured in such venues as Wall Street Journal, NPR, ABC, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company. Liz holds an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Harvard Business School

Jeffrey Nickerson is Professor and the Director of the Center for Decision Technologies in the Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology. His research and teaching interests include crowd work, social media analytics, information systems design, and collective intelligence. He is the principal investigator of an NSF-funded project researching crowd creativity. He has published in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction and ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems, and he is the co-general chair of Collective Intelligence 2014.

Arun Sundararajan is Professor and NEC Faculty Fellow at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He also heads the Social Cities Initiative at NYU’s Center for Urban Science+Progress, and is an affiliated faculty member at NYU’s Center for Data Science. Professor Sundararajan’s research program studies how digital technologies transform business and society. Current topics include the governance of digital spaces, the collaborative-peer- sharing economy, social media and cities, digital institutions, contagion in networks, and strategy in digital markets. His research has been recognized by four Best Paper awards and recently profiled by trade publications that include The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, Financial Times, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. His op-eds and expert commentary have appeared in TIME Magazine, the New Yorker, the New York Times, Wired, TechCrunch, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Harvard Business Review, and on BBC News, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, Fox, NPR and PBS. He is one of the founders of the Workshop on Information in Networks. He holds degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and the University of Rochester.