The World Productivity Congress is proving to be very interesting.

Just before the event I read an article by Robert Gordon about the state of US productivity, the gist of which was that the major innovations of the period 1870-1970 fuelled productivity growth but now we have ‘used them up’ and productivity is stagnating, compounded by the fact that we are incurring extra costs coping with the negative (environmental) effects of those innovation.

At this event we hear lots of papers extolling the virtues of Big Data in terms of creating Smart Cities, new forms of healthcare, competitive advantage – and so on.

Will this be reflected in the economic and productivity figures of the next few years – or decades?

We have to hope so – or our children and grandchildren are in for a long period of slow growth or stagnation.