ISA Webinar Series | Past Webinars 2020

ISA Fall 2020 Industrial Policy Series

Wednesday, September 23rd | 12:00-1:15pm ET; 1:15-2:00pm Zoom breakout discussion rooms

Left, Right, and Center Discuss Federal Industrial Policies 

From the 1790s through the 1920s, federal decision-makers deemed industrial policies essential for U.S. economic development. Since the Great Depression, though, this view was replaced by a focus on macroeconomic policies. While supplemental, ad hoc, and ephemeral industrial policies have continued to exist, the federal government has not sought to monitor and deliberately shape the nation’s sectoral structure for 90 years. Indeed, the predominant view has rejected such a policy as interference with efficient markets. In the wake of declining U.S. industrial competitiveness and associated economic impacts, calls for renewed reliance on a comprehensive set of industrial policies have recently emerged from thinkers across the ideological spectrum. This session explores these ideas and the extent to which they are shared, or not, by the left, right, and center. 

Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Senior Fellow, Third Way
Wells King, Research Director, American Compass
Andrew Stettner, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation

Moderator: Andrew Reamer, The George Washington University

Wednesday, October 21st | 12:00-1:00pm ET; 1:00-2:00pm Zoom breakout discussion rooms

Identifying and Supporting Industries of the Future

Many countries seek to identify and target support to industries that their governments believe will grow and provide other social benefits in the future. Chalmers Johnson’s 1982 MITI and the Japanese Miracle famously described how Japan did so, triggering a debate in the United States. The issue remains lively in Washington policy circles, as shown by the Trump administration’s proposed Industries of the Future ProgramThis session will place the current debate in historical context, describe the administration’s proposal, and provide perspectives on it from the executive and legislative branches.

Kent Hughes, Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center
Lynne Parker, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Adam Rosenberg, Staff Director; House Science, Space, and Technology Committee: Energy Subcommittee 

David Hart, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Wednesday, November 18th | 12:00-1:00pm ET; 1:00-2:00pm Zoom breakout discussion

Industrial Policies and National Security

Since George Washington’s first annual message to Congress, the federal government has sought to ensure that the nation’s industrial base can adequately fulfill its military needs. In the last 200+ years, innovations that emerged from military industrial policies include parts standardization, precision machine tools, radio, and the Internet. Today, dedicated units of the Defense Department -- particularly the Industrial Policy Office and the Eisenhower School in the National Defense University -- continue pursuit of President Washington's aim. In this session, speakers will describe and discuss current military industrial policy efforts and the industry studies that guide them.

A. Adele Ratcliff,  Director, Industrial Base Analysis & Sustainment, Industrial Policy, U.S. Department of Defense 
BG Joy L. Curriera, Commandant, The Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University
Eugene Gholz, Assoc. Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

Moderator: Andrew Reamer, George Washington Institute of Public Policy, George Washington University

Wednesday, December 9th | 12:00-1:00pm ET; 1:00-2:00pm Zoom breakout discussion rooms 

The Present and Future of the Manufacturing USA Institutes

The Manufacturing USA program, currently composed of 14 institutes in 11 states, aims to accelerate innovation and strengthen the competitiveness of U.S producers in specific domains, such as 3D printing, robotics, photonics, and digital design. Each institute brings together a diverse set of stakeholders spanning business, labor, and academia, as well as state and local governments. This session will describe how topics are selected, how the institutes are organized, and how well they have performed, as policy-makers consider whether to maintain, expand, or eliminate the program.

Susan Helper, Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics, Case Western Reserve University
Mike Molnar, Founding Director, Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office
Federico Sciammarella, President and CTO, MxD, the Digital Manufacturing Institute

David Hart, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

ISA Summer 2020 Webinar Series

Wednesday, June 10th | 12:00-2:00pm ET; 75 minute presentation followed by 45 minute discussion/Q&A
ISA Award Winners – Backstories of their Award-Winning Research
(hosts/organizers: Tonya Boone, William and Mary University and John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton School, U. Pennsylvania)

Each year, the session at our annual conference that draws the largest and most enthusiastic crowd is when our award winning scholars give the “behind the scenes” story of their research – where the original idea came from; struggles and triumphs in the search for access; surprises, setbacks, and serendipitous moments while collecting data; “aha’s” along the way; reaction and impact after releasing the research findings; lessons for scholars, practitioners, & policymakers. 

Winners of:

  • ISA Dissertation Award
  • ISA Rising Star Award
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation “Best Paper” Award
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation “Emerging Scholar” Award
  • Ralph Gomory “Best Industry Studies Paper” Award

Wednesday, June 17th | 12:00-2:00pm ET; Paper presentations followed by Q&A/Discussion
Combined Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Technology Management Webinar: “AI and the Future of Work”
(hosts/organizers: Mahka Moeen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Raja Roy, New Jersey Institute of Technology)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will significantly affect how firms create value and how they function as organizations in the future. This session is intended to generate new ideas and insights into how AI will affect the nature of innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology management in the coming years.


  • Multiple papers on this theme chosen from original submissions to the 2020 conference
  • 7 minute presentations, followed by plenary Q&A via curated Zoom chat
  • Discussion in hosted Zoom breakout rooms, by theme, to follow


  1. "The Computational Limits of Deep Learning", by Neil Thompson (MIT), Kristjan Greenewald (IBM), and Keeheon Lee (Yonsei University)
  2. "Extending Robotic Construction Processes with Sensor-Enhanced End Effectors", by Andrzej Zarzycki (New Jersey Institute of Technology)
  3. "Guess Who’s Shaping AI: Deep Learning and the Compute Divide in Artificial Intelligence Research", by Nuruddin Ahmed (Ivey Business School, Western University) and Muntasir Wahed (University of Dhaka)
  4. "AI-driven Innovative and Agile Supply Chain", by Qiannong (Chan) Gu (Ball State University) and Ziping Wang (Morgan State University)      
  5. "Threats to the Future of Work: Discovering New Uses for Existing Innovations", by Rebecca Karp (Boston University)
  6. "Privacy Please! Avoidance of Conflicts with Data Protection Law, in the Field of Robotic Process Automation Through the Use of Digital Twins", by Julian Koch (South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Hagen, Germany), Michael Trampler (South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Hagen, Germany), and André Coners (South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Hagen, Germany)
  7. "Measuring the Digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: a Global Perspective", by Abraham Song (George Mason University) and Dr. Zoltan J. Acs
  8. "How Digital Tools are radically changing innovation work, and the consequences for workers and for education", by Sebastian Fixson (Babson College) and Tucker Marion, Northeastern University

Wednesday, June 24th | 12:00-2:00pm ET
"Self-Sufficient Production and the Third Digital Revolution”
(hosts/organizers: Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Brandeis University; Neil Gershenfeld, M.I.T.; Alan Gershenfeld, Co-Founder, President: E-Line Media)

The co-authors of "Designing Reality:  How to Survive and Thrive in the Third Digital Revolution" (Basic Books, 2017) will introduce the concept of self-sufficient production. The blend of ancient forms of self-sufficiency with modern digital fabrication technologies represents a third digital revolution (following digital communication and digital computation). Like communication and computation, digital fabrication is expanding in scale and scope at an accelerating rate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fab labs, maker spaces, and rapid prototyping facilities are playing expanded critical roles with long term implications in society.