The New Enlightenment Initiative — A CEO Knowledge Sharing Program

At the Center for Global Enterprise (CGE), we believe we are witnessing nothing less than the beginning of a period of New Enlightenment.

The original Enlightenment (1685-1815) brought great advances in the sciences, the way we govern, and laid the groundwork for the Industrial Revolution. It spawned new institutions, including the modern university, corporation, and nation-state, and transformed the material conditions of human life. 

We see this moment as the closest parallel to that period in our history. New, disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), are transforming business and society in radical ways. Thanks to the phenomenon of data and rapid advances in intelligent systems – generating new knowledge across all professions and spheres of life – we can see, hear, sense and measure the world with significantly greater accuracy than ever before. We can answer questions previously unanswerable – or even unaskable. Enterprises and entrepreneurs can now innovate new products, services and businesses with a speed never seen, operate them with new levels of agility, and deliver their value to customers and markets with unprecedented scale and individual specificity. 

The same applies to public services. Our institutions and systems of governance can be made radically more responsive and effective, as we are seeing in communities around the world – from waste and recycling in Seoul, to flood management in Calgary, to energy usage in Atlanta, to traffic management in Darmstadt, to electronic medical records in Kanazawa. 

Business leaders are embracing the role of technologies that analyze mountains of data to create intelligence-augmented (IA) services that allow their companies to compete more effectively in a digital economy that is only accelerating. But leaders are wrestling with how to apply new technologies to best serve their customers and society.

The CGE New Enlightenment Initiative convenes CEOs so they can share insights and best practices, plan industry research, and discuss how to manage the tensions caused by advances in technology, such as how to deploy Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) in the workplace.

Members of CGE’s Board of Directors explain how CEOs will benefit from participating in this one-of-a-kind initiative.

The New Enlightenment Initiative contains a research collaboration agreement with MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy led by Erik Brynjolfsson to address the issues and actions CEOs can take to expand business opportunities and minimize operating challenges in the following focus areas:

1: The Reorganization of Work (Management Focus)

How to reorganize work to ensure their enterprise maintains competitive advantage and operating agility.

  • What questions need to be answered to help CEOs deal with the tensions confronting them about the organization of work and efficacy of corporate structures?
  • How will the reorganization of work affect company decision-making?
  • How can these answers be used to crystallize a Management Roadmap for Action?

2: Suitability for Machine Learning (Workforce Focus)

While AI/ML are well suited to perform specific tasks that will increase business speed, agility, and value creation, not all tasks and jobs will best be accomplished by these technologies.

  • How can reasoned approaches be applied to determine which tasks and jobs are best suited for AI/ML within a company?
  • What new jobs will be created within a company by the “freeing up” of specific activities, and how can workers benefit from these new opportunities?

3: Multi-Stakeholder Benefits (Societal Focus)

In an era of New Enlightenment, new forms of economic and societal value will be created, disrupting previous models of business, and value creation.

  • What is “in it” for different stakeholders in society to embrace a New Enlightenment vision, and how can they assess the benefits and risks to values they consider important?
  • How will a New Enlightenment framework impact societal institutions and methods of governance?
CEOs: Contact CGE to participate in the New Enlightenment Initiative and discuss with CGE your particular interests.
The New Enlightenment Advisors

Samuel J. Palmisano
Chairman, CGE

Doug Haynes
President, Sphaerus LLC

Christopher G. Caine
President, CGE


CEO Exchange
November 15-16, 2019

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Millennials, Gen Z and The New Enlightenment Survey Highlights
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