Episode 303: The U.S. Manufacturing Sector’s Digital Future

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MFG digital future

In This Episode

In this episode Dr. Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington D.C. and senior fellow at the Mack Institute of Innovation Management at the Wharton School (UPenn) describes the dynamic and discusses the implications of the U.S. manufacturing sector’s evolution to a digitized production and distribution model.  In response to questions, Dr. Mandel explains the potentially favorable impacts of digitization for both customer interfacing and new product development.  Issues related to the workforce and to security are also discussed as is the role of all levels of government in the digitization transition.

Today's Guest

Guest Michael Mandel
Guest Michael Mandel

Dr. Michael Mandel is chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington D.C. and senior fellow at the Mack Institute of Innovation Management at the Wharton School (UPenn). He was chief economist at BusinessWeek prior to its purchase by Bloomberg.

With experience spanning policy, academics, and business, Dr. Mandel has helped lead the public conversation about the economic and business impact of technology for the past two decades.  Mandel’s seminal analysis showing how e-commerce creates jobs and reduces inequality was featured by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post,  Boston Globe, and Financial Times, among others. His most recent Wall Street Journal op-eds were entitled “Robots Will Save the Economy” and “Get Ready for the Internet of Goods.” The March 2017 report he co-authored with Bret Swanson, “The Coming Productivity Boom: Transforming the Physical Economy with Information,” makes the case that the information revolution is still only in its early stages.  He recently wrote a report entitled “The Rise of the Internet of Goods: A New Perspective on the Digital Future for Manufacturers.” He regularly writes about digital manufacturing for Forbes.com.

Dr. Mandel started two businesses: South Mountain Economics LLC, a consulting firm focusing on emerging occupations and emerging industries; and Visible Economy LLC, which produced news and education videos for the college market. Dr. Mandel is the author of four books, including The High-Risk Society and Rational Exuberance: Silencing the Enemies of Growth and Why the Future Is Better Than You Think.   His essentials level economics textbook from McGraw-Hill, Economics: The Basics, is in its third edition and widely used across the country.   Dr. Mandel received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and taught at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Our Host

Cliff Waldman
Host Cliff Waldman

Cliff Waldman is the CEO of New World Economics, a research and consulting firm in Arlington, VA. that specializes in contract research in the areas of manufacturing, small business, and frontier markets. Prior to founding New World Economics, Cliff was Chief Economist at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), a trade and research firm for U.S. manufacturers. While at MAPI, he won three national research awards for his published work on manufacturing productivity, innovation, and demographics. Cliff’s career has also included work for a state government economic research and forecasting unit and for a small business research team in Washington, D.C. He received his M.A. in economics from Rutgers University.

Cliff is an active leader in the economics community, currently serving as President of the National Economists Club for calendar year 2019.