A recent report tries to capture the economic impact of the internet in the United States. In short, $300 billion and 3.1 million jobs. That doesn't take into account the social aspect, either, and how the internet has shaped the job market. As massive as the reported number is, it possibly understates the real impact of the internet.
In a similar vein to a past article on Varian, David Warsh thinks about economic engineers in the field of game theory and market design. The boom of auction theory combined with the economic impact of the internet makes for a large impact of relatively recent economics. There are a lot of really interesting examples of market design in the real world, and I think more recent events will only serve to highlight practical and empirical applications of economics.
I apparently recently missed the death of econometrics giant Clive Granger.