Ryan Avant is a senior editor and the Free exchange columnist at The Economist. He previously served as The Economist’s news editor, as an economics correspondent, and as online economics editor. Before joining The Economist, Ryan worked as a freelance journalist, as an associate at an economics consulting firm, and as an industry analyst at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
He is the author of The Wealth of Humans, published in 2016, and The Gated City, a Kindle single, published in 2011. Other work has been published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Bloomberg, and a number of other places. Ryan has also had articles published by the Journal of Economic Geography, the journal of the Royal Economic Society, and the journal of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
The Wealth of Humans: How powerful new technologies are playing havoc with the economy
If digital technology is so great, then why don't we all feel richer and happier? The answer, I'll explain, is that our fundamental social institutions -- from the structure of the welfare state to the way our cities are built -- aren't equipped to manage the change. The disruption created by the digital revolution is therefore placing growing strains on society: in the form of rising inequality, stagnant living standards, and an erosion in the quality of job available to the typical worker. The talk will describe how the historical response to such stresses is a crisis or crises, which lead to political change, which lead to social reform and a world better suited to the new technologies.
What's gone wrong with the global economy?
The world economy seems to be stuck in the doldrums. Income and productivity growth are low, inflation and interest rates are near zero, the emerging-market boom has come to an end, and voters everywhere are increasingly fed up with globalisation and the elites who favour it. This talk will explain how the great trends of the last few decades -- globalisation and the digital revolution -- landed us in this mess. It will then go through the possible routes out, and the risks associated with each.