Wicked Problem Perspectives Working Group

The Changing Competitive Environment: Standards and the Digital Economy/IoT – Implications for Policy and Teaching

September 8-9, 2016

Event Description

This 1.5-day Workshop will examine the Digital Economy as it impacts industry, explore related standards successes and roadblocks, and examine how standards and standardization are integrated into the academic curriculum.

The relentless pace of the ongoing Digital Evolution – aka Digital Economy, Industry 4.0, and, particularly, the Internet of Things (IoT), including Cloud Computing, smart systems, open standards, and cybersecurity -- is fundamentally challenging business and personal operations and strategic, technology and innovation decisions as well as government policy. The impact is expected to be pervasive and disruptive, affecting all sectors, including services and products, and driving jobs, innovation, and global competitiveness.

Underlying and enabling the digital economy are still-emerging technical standards.  As a consequence, Standards have moved from technical concerns to a position of strategic importance and success in the Digital Economy will require both an understanding of standards and standardization processes and participating in the evolution of standards driving the Digital Evolution. However, standards and their development and management are rarely included in the growing number of digital economy courses.

This one-and-a half day Workshop will engage faculty, industry, and government participants in a discussion on how standards can be effectively integrated in to the curriculum and appropriate pedagogy. 

This workshop has two interrelated components:  

  • Day 1 begins with keynote addresses by renowned speakers in the relevant strategic standards arena on the implications of the digital economy.  A special lunch presentation by Alan Davidson, Director of Digital Economy at the U.S. Department of Commerce and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce will lay out the challenges facing industry. An industry panel considers sector variations. Following an academic panel response, participants will work in breakouts to consider the challenges, standards underpinnings, and curricula requirements.
  • Day 2 digs deeper:  Attendees will work through an experiential standards negotiation exercise designed to deepen understandings of the complex and subtle issues inherent in standards development. Discussion will then consider what was learned and suggest potential class uses of this model and other teaching approaches.  

Full event description, agenda, participant bios and presentations