Debora Spar is a Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Senior Associate Dean of Harvard Business School Online. Her research focuses on issues of gender and technology as well as the interplay between technological change and broader social structures. Prof. Spar tackles some of these issues in her recent book Work Mate Marry Love: How Machines Shape Our Human Destiny.

During this 90 min interview with Debora Spar, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: whether we can predict the future by looking at the past; the story of how she started with an interest in foreign service, went into studying Soviet Military Studies and ended teaching in Harvard Business School; the interplay between technology, social structures, and gender; prioritizing questions such as why and so what before how; the cyber-punk dream of the internet and why self-regulation doesn’t work; whether technology changes the world; why Work Mate Marry Love has a Marxist lens of analysis; John Maynard Keynes’ The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren; male/female identity and professional vocation; technological unemployment and story-telling; Prof. Benanav’s argument about the causes of unemployment; sex and relationships in the age of Tinder; how the plow and the pill shifted power between men and women.

My favorite quote that I will take away from this conversation with Debora Spar is:

It’s important to look at technology with the broadest lens. Not only in its engineering, its machinery, but as a crucial input to our societies.

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