MIT Open Learning has established a multidimensional project to explore the foundational ideas and issues around how knowledge institutions are managed and funded in society—the ways in which public and private institutions, government and corporate policies, and community and individual actions affect how we teach, publish, learn, invest in, and do research around what we know. The new Initiative on the Knowledge Economy (IKE) pays particular attention to how the ideas associated with the neoliberal agenda since World War II have shaped the sectors of education, public media, and scholarly communications.

Beginning in May 2020, IKE will support a series of convenings and publications focused on identifying the research and action agenda that can help us wend our way out of the disinformation and post-truth environments so much of national and international discourse has fallen into—and which are also profoundly, and negatively, affecting the future of universities, museums, libraries, archives, and other modern knowledge institutions. This work is critical in this age of a global health and information pandemic.

IKE’s seminars, launching with the Knowledge Futures Group (founded as a joint venture between MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab) will gather political scientists, economists, professors of law and communications, and experts and practitioners from multiple disciplines and professions—science, medicine, journalism, government, and more—in online sessions that are free and open to all.