Stanford University

Stanford Digital Assets Week

Building the New Economy:
Data as Capital

Building the New Economy: Data as Capital
November 17, 2022
McCaw Hall, Stanford University
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Read a recap and view videos from “Building the New Economy: Data as Capital.”

Web3 presents new digital means of production and an opportunity to rebalance the relationships between all stakeholders of the economy. As humans continue to develop brilliant new applications of emerging technologies, we need to reimagine the ways our society is organized so that data serves all communities.

The speakers and panelists who participated in “Building the New Economy: Data as Capital,” a special Stanford Digital Economy Lab event as part of Stanford Digital Assets Week, examined the feasibility and implications of human-centered web3, including:

  • — the role of collective citizen organizations in managing the way data is controlled
  • — more resilient and inclusive systems that spread financial and health benefits more widely
  • — the possibilities we unlock when systems are interoperable so that knowledge, trade, and interaction can flow across company and national boundaries.


All times Pacific Time (PT)


Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, Stanford Digital Economy Lab
Christie Ko, Executive Director, Stanford Digital Economy Lab

Building the New Economy: What We Need and How to Get There

Sandy Pentland
Director, MIT Human Dynamics Laboratory
Director, MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship
Visiting Scholar, Stanford Digital Economy Lab

Panel 1: The Human Perspective: New Types of Engagement

Lucy Bernholz, Digital Civil Society Lab
Delicia Hand, Consumer Reports
Melissa Valentine, Stanford University
Sheila Warren, Crypto Council for Innovation

As digital businesses replace traditional physical businesses and civic systems, we must grapple with the implications of the amount of data, and resulting power, held by a small number of actors. As in the past, citizen organizations may be central in helping balance economic and social power (much like trade unions and cooperative banking institutions formed as a response to the forces of industrialization and consumer banking). This panel discussion explores how community organizations can wield data cooperatives, shared data, and distributed tokenized funding mechanisms to form a system based on collective rights and accountability.


Panel 2: Resilient Systems: Making Society Work Better

Jennifer King, Stanford University
Alissa Kleinnijenhuis. Stanford University
Brie Linkenhoker, Worldview Studio
Joshua Tan, Metagovernance Project; Digital Civil Society Lab

New distributed, technology-enabled organizations may offer a path toward more resilient, transparent, inclusive, agile, and proactive systems, and a better future, particularly in places where existing institutions are either weak or underserved. In this panel discussion, we explore how new architectures could provide significant upgrades to — or enable wholly new — systems of currency and finance, taxation, and privacy.


Panel 3: Data and AI: A New Ecology

Dazza Greenwood, MIT Media Lab
Jeff Hancock, Stanford Social Media Lab
Sean McDonald, Stanford Digital Civil Society Lab
Sandy Pentland, MIT; Stanford Digital Economy Lab

To support a world with billions of data owners, producers, and consumers, governed by digital data and AI, we need to build infrastructure that enables interoperability across company and national boundaries. This infrastructure will determine the future of finance and money, civic engagement, and factors that contribute to human flourishing. This panel discussion explores the opportunities and challenges of designing ecosystems of trusted data and AI that provide safe, secure, and human-centered services for everyone.

Closing Remarks
Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, Stanford Digital Economy Lab



Featured panelists
and moderators

Stanford University