Since the dawn of the industrial era, human productivity and economic activity have increased dramatically. These increases have come with a corresponding jump in our environmental impact, in the form of the energy and natural resources we have consumed and the pollution we have generated. Toward the end of the 20th century, though, that pattern began to reverse as computers became common tools in industry. Today, the United States consumes fewer resources than it did 50 years ago—not just per capita, but overall. Capitalism and technological innovation, the twin forces that once drove us to consume more, now motivate and enable us to consume less. Author and researcher Andrew McAfee explores this transformation in his book, More from Less. At AU 2020, Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost sat down with McAfee for a discussion of the book’s ideas and what they could mean for people, the planet, and the roles and responsibilities for individuals, governments, and technology companies.
About the speaker
Andrew McAfee is co-founder and co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and a principal research scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In addition to his latest book, More from Less, he is the co-writer with Erik Brynjolfsson of The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. He holds degrees from MIT and Harvard.
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