Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 3:46 am | Mostly Cloudy 43º



Santa Barbara County Economic Summit: Trends, Technology and Theories of Future

In addition to the staple economic forecasts, experts will weigh in on the changing nature of work

From the First Agricultural Revolution thousands of years ago to today’s Information Revolution, the idea of work and labor has been defined by technology, with each shift in the progression of machines and scientific knowledge profoundly affecting our society and economy. As our technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds, how will we define work and determine the value of labor? Who will benefit most from our advances and how will economy and society shape itself around these breakthroughs?

Peter Rupert
Peter Rupert, executive director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project.

Those questions and more will be tackled by a panel of experts at UC Santa Barbara’s 33rd annual Santa Barbara County Economic Summit, scheduled from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 8 at the Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara.

Presented by the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, the event kicks off with a breakfast reception from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. on the 1200 block of State Street, directly in front of the Granada, followed by opening remarks and a welcome to attendees starting at 8:30 a.m.

An 8:50 a.m. panel discussion titled “The Future of Work” seeks to answer questions about the nature of work today and how it could look in the future. According to panel moderator Russ Roberts, topics on the table include the rise of smart machines and how they might change the nature of work; the U.S. education system and whether it’s preparing students for the modern world of work; and the futures of outsourcing, telecommuting and manufacturing work.

“My goal for the panel is to have a lively, provocative conversation on the central issues facing workers in America,” said Roberts, author of The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity.

The John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Roberts hosts the award-winning weekly “EconTalk” podcast and is the author of three economics novels, including The Price of Everything. He is also the co-creator of Keynes-Hayek rap videos, using pop culture to explain the mechanics of economic philosophies that underlie the modern world.

Speakers on the panel include:

» Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the Sloan School of Management at MIT. The author or co-author of more than 100 articles, case studies and other materials for students and teachers of technology, McAfee studies the ways that information technology affects businesses and business as a whole. He is the co-author of The New York Times best-seller The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.

» Megan McArdle, a Washington-based journalist who writes about economics, business and public policy for Bloomberg View. Her work has appeared in publications such as Newsweek, The Economist, The Atlantic, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Her book, The Up Side of Down, on how to use failure as the springboard to success, was published by Viking in February.

» Lee Ohanian, professor of economics and director of the Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research at UCLA. Ohanian is an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and a frequent columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek and CBS Moneyline. His research focuses on economic crises; in the past year he has advised the U.S. Senate and the California state legislature on the recent economic downturn.

This year’s summit also features Michael Bryan, vice president and senior economist in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, where he is responsible for organizing the Atlanta Fed’s monetary policy process. Bryan, who is scheduled to speak at 10:10 a.m. about the national economy, currently teaches in the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago.

Peter Rupert, executive director of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, follows Bryan’s presentation at approximately 10:40 a.m. with his own talk, focusing on the local and regional economy. Rupert is chair of the Department of Economics at UCSB and associate director of the campus’s Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance. He has served as senior research adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for 13 years.

Rupert and Bryan will field questions from the audience after their presentations.

The UCSB Economic Forecast Project was established in 1981 by the Department of Economics at UCSB to provide the community with information on economic, demographic and regional business trends. Sponsors for this year’s event include Union Bank and Montecito Bank & Trust.

The summit is open to the public; admission is $200 per person. Cost for UCSB students is $25. For tickets and information, click here, call the Arts & Lectures box office at 805.893.3535 or call 805.893.5148 for event information.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
"We both love this business. We strive to make life long relationships from each real estate transaction."

Full Profile >