Prof Carlota Perez - Universities of Cambridge, Tallinn, Sussex - Towards a Sustainable Global Golden Age


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ICT and Green: A paradigm shift to a sustainable, globalized world.
A presentation that enthused the audience at the start of the second day of the CUD conference was provided by Professor Carlota Perez. This focused on exploring her analysis of technological revolutions and the paradigm shifts to which they give rise. From historical contexts to the current day, revolutionary changes bring major new industries and transform the whole economy, creating a new paradigm for all.

Published in: Technology, Business

Prof Carlota Perez - Universities of Cambridge, Tallinn, Sussex - Towards a Sustainable Global Golden Age

  1. 1. TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL GOLDEN AGE Reshaping Globalization and redesigning well being Prof. Carlota Perez Universities of Cambridge, Tallinn and Sussex CUD Global Conference 2008 City and County of San Francisco and Cisco Systems San Francisco, February 20th – 21st
  2. 2. How feasible is sustainable global growth? Is full globalization compatible with the so-called “American way of life”? Why do we (and so many around the world) think that the “American way of life” is the best? Could there be better? UNDERSTANDING TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS AND PARADIGM SHIFTS CAN HELP ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS
  3. 3. A crucial relationship to examine TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY The historical analysis reveals a process of mutual shaping in a periodically changing context
  4. 4. FIVE TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS IN 240 YEARS Britain 1771 The ‘Industrial Revolution’ (machines, factories and canals) Each begins in a core country… Britain 1829 Age of Steam, Coal, Iron and Railways Britain USA 1875 Age of Steel and Heavy Engineering (electrical, chemical, civil, naval) Germany USA 1908 Age of the Automobile, Oil, Petrochemicals and Mass Production USA 1971 Age of Information Technology and Telecommunications USA? Europe? 200?? Age of Biotech, Bioelectronics, Nanotech and new materials? Both? Other? Each takes 40-60 years to spread across the world and reach maturity
  5. 5. Why call them revolutions? Because they transform the whole economy! NEW INDUSTRIES and NEW PARADIGM FOR ALL New generic technologies, A powerful cluster infrastructures and of visible new and dynamic organizational principles capable industries of modernizing and infrastructures the existing industries too Explosive A quantum growth jump in and structural innovation and change productivity potential for all A massive techno-economic paradigm shift CHANGING THE OPPORTUNITY SPACE AND RESHAPING SOCIETY
  6. 6. WHAT IS A TECHNO-ECONOMIC PARADIGM SHIFT? It is the appearance of an enormous new wealth creating potential Enabling and requiring A CHANGE IN THE DIRECTION OF CHANGE across all industries… …and gradually across society
  7. 7. A FAR REACHING TRANSFORMATION A new way of New ways of LIVING PRODUCING EACH PARADIGM SHIFT New ways of A new way of TRANSPORT AND WORKING COMMUNICATION Each generation sees itself as the embodiment of progress and comfort and sees the previous way of living as old fashioned and backward
  8. 8. Each technological revolution provides a new inter-related set of life-shaping goods and services at ‘affordable’ prices The British ‘middle classes’ establish Age of Steam, Coal, VICTORIAN an industry-based urban lifestyle iron and railways LIVING different from that of the country-based aristocracy. It spreads to new upper classes elsewhere Age of Steel and British, European and American Heavy Engineering THE BELLE EPOQUE upper and middle classes establish First Globalization a cosmopolitan lifestyle spreading to the upper classes of the world American upper and middle classes establish Age of the Automobile, a suburban energy-intensive lifestyle Oil, Petrochemicals THE AMERICAN spreading to the working classes and Mass Production WAY OF LIFE of the advanced countries and to the middle classes of the developing world Will the affluent educated classes of the developed ? Age of Information SUSTAINABLE and emerging countries Technology and GLOBAL establish an ICT-intensive knowledge society Telecommunications LIFESTYLES with a variety of environmentally friendly lifestyles and consumption patterns??? Each style becomes “the good life” shaping the desires and dreams of the majority
  9. 9. The emergence of the ‘American Way of Life’ as the paradigm shift from the 1910s… FROM ENERGY-SCARCE LIVING TO ENERGY-INTENSIVE HOMES AND MOBILITY Energy is expensive and often inaccessible Energy is cheap and its availability unlimited Trains, horses, carriages, stage coaches, Automobiles, buses, trucks, ships and bicycles airplanes and motorcycles Local newspapers, posters, theaters, parties Mass media, radio, movies and television Ice boxes and coal stoves Refrigerators and central heating Doing housework by hand Doing housework with electrical equipment Natural materials (cotton, wool, leather, silk..) Synthetic materials Paper, cardboard, wood and glass packaging Preference for disposable plastics of all sorts Fresh food bought daily Refrigerated, frozen or preserved food from specialized suppliers bought periodically in supermarkets Urban or country living and working Suburban living separate from work …all strongly aided by advertising, business strategies and government policies
  10. 10. The current paradigm shift taking place since the 1970s THE LOGIC THE LOGIC OF CHEAP ENERGY OF CHEAP INFORMATION for transport, electricity PROCESSING and synthetic materials AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS A radical change in the innovation opportunity space and in life-changing potential
  11. 11. Three of the many new directions of the current paradigm shift Mass production ICT- Flexible production Adaptability (including upgrading as change) Niche markets; ‘the long tail’ HOMOGENEITY DIVERSITY Potential for a great variety of lifestyles on a common ICT platform Global economy with differentiated NATIONAL ECONOMIES GLOBALIZATION national, supranational and local spaces Measurement, monitoring and control CAPACITY FOR Recycling and refurbishing UNAVOIDABLE ENVIRONMENTAL Conservation; closed-loop systems ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE PROTECTION Avoiding pollution and waste Each paradigm opens different new routes for making profits as well as for achieving socially desirable goals
  12. 12. THE POTENTIAL PARADIGM SHIFT IN PRODUCTION PROCESS INNOVATION Activity Practices enabled by ICT FABRICATION Minimum energy and materials use; custom designed materials INDUSTRIES Zero defects, zero resource waste. Design for low energy use in operation. Planned upgradeability (not obsolescence), disassembly, recycling PROCESS Energy saving and “intelligent” process controls. Low energy processes INDUSTRIES By-products seen as source of value: trend toward closed-loop systems Custom-made materials; development of nanotechnology and biotech More services than tangible products (pleasure in quality leisure; not in objects) PRODUCT PROFILE Very high quality products, smaller, multi-purpose, durable. High tech + hand-made Widely differentiated range by style of living (equivalent satisfaction) PERSONAL Information-based variety of means, revaluing of time, flexibility of location TRANSPORT Innovation in individual and collective transport. Car as last resort FREIGHT Full awareness of environmental impact (and full costing) TRANSPORT Optimizing of routes by bulk and weight. Innovation in vehicles Innovation in packaging and distribution Variety of sources, local diversity, interactive users. Conservation ENERGY Combined heat and power; intelligent controls in home and office URBAN Integrated cities: living, work, education and leisure DEVELOPMENT Full connectivity for multiple activities. Transport avoiding design Environmentally intelligent buildings But the realization of the potential will depend on the policy context
  13. 13. BUT THE NEW WAY OF LIVING IS STILL WRAPPED IN THE OLD! Even ICT adopted the consumerist mode of marketing! It is like early automobiles that looked like horse carriages One of the early automobiles 1898 WHY?
  14. 14. CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE GIVEN A NEW LEASE OF LIFE TO THE OLD PARADIGM The low price of oil in the 1980s and 1990s The low price of labor in China and Asia The old ‘American Way of Life’ is still seen as the model of well being to imitate (because it has not been replaced in America) YET, GIVEN THE WAY GLOBALIZATION IS EVOLVING TODAY, WE WOULD NEED SEVEN PLANETS!!!
  15. 15. AFTER THE OIL SHOCK, PRICES CAME BACK DOWN Index of real oil prices 1910-2007 1,000 Mass production paradigm ICT paradigm Cheap energy Cheap information and communication 900 800 NASDAQ 700 collapse of 1929 Crash Index 1968=100 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1910 1915 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 The conservation policies WERE The energy saving practices ALL The alternative energy investments ABANDONED… of the late 1970s …just when the diffusion of ICT was most intense! BUT THEY ARE GOING UP AGAIN, PRECISELY DUE TO GLOBALIZATION
  16. 16. THE “CHINA PRICE” MADE MOST PRODUCTS CHEAPER AND CHEAPER Not through technological advance, as in electronics BUT THROUGH EXTREMELY LOW LABOR COSTS • The old pattern of consumption was revitalized in the advanced countries and adopted with fury in the developing ones • Rather than durability, disposability came back as the desired norm (it is cheaper to throw out than to repair!) BUT THE RISING COST OF ENERGY, MATERIALS AND FREIGHT WILL ERODE THE COST ADVANTAGE Only ICT and Internet based services will remain cheap
  17. 17. WILL THE NEW PARADIGM PREVAIL? YES If economic circumstances change If it becomes an aspiration of the majorities If it is a positive sum game between business and society Sustainability must… “create economic opportunities and improve the quality of life” President Bill Clinton CUD 2008 Conference, San Francisco
  18. 18. Quality of life is measured by fulfilment of values and aspirations Those aspirations are historically determined by the way society shapes each successive technological potential The “luxury” life: ENABLERS values and aspirations UNDER THE MASS PRODUCTION PARADIGM • Low cost of products • Consumer credit • Unemployment insurance • Brand new is better than old • Official trade unions • Savings and loan banks • Bigger is better than smaller • Low cost housing • More is better than less • Synthetic is better than natural • Fabricated is better than hand-made OPINION SHAPERS • Disposable is comfortable • Role models • Leisure is rest (not exercise) • Advertising • Shopping is a leisure activity • Movies, TV • Relative prices • If you don’t keep up with the Jones’, you are falling behind • Marketing strategies
  19. 19. The shift to “ICT-green” consumption patterns is possible NOT BY GUILT AND FEAR BUT BY DESIRE AND ASPIRATION Through shaping and enabling a change in our notions of luxury and the “good life” BUT IT MUST HAPPEN FIRST AND VISIBLY IN THE ADVANCED COUNTRIES
  20. 20. The notions of luxury and good taste emerge at the top of the income scale and spread by imitation PART OF THE PARADIGM SHIFT IS ALREADY HAPPENING • Small is better than big • Natural materials are better than synthetic • Multipurpose is better than single function • ‘Gourmet’ food is better than standard • Fresh organic fruit and vegetables are healthier • Exercise is important for well being • Global warming is a real danger • Not commuting to work is possible and preferable • Solar power is luxurious • Internet communications, shopping, learning and entertainment are better than the old ways , etc. BUT RELATIVE PRICES AND WIDER INTERESTS HAVE TO FOLLOW! WILL THEY?
  21. 21. THE UNAVOIDABLE PATH OF THE CURRENT GLOBALIZATION PATTERN Rising prices of oil Visible effects of and raw materials increasing global warming Rising packaging and freight costs Rising climatic risk CHANGE IN THE ECONOMICS OF THE PRODUCTION, TRANSPORT AND DISTRIBUTION OF TANGIBLE GOODS CHANGE CHANGE IN BUSINESS IN GOVERNMENT STRATEGIES POLICIES Massive relocation and geographic re-specialization of physical production into optimal local, regional and global networks Gradual redesign of the consumption patterns for the “good life”
  22. 22. UTOPIAN OR REALISTIC? It sounded utopian to say But it was realistic: in mid-1930s DEPRESSION: Blue collar workers will have Increasing wages created lifetime jobs and many more millions of consumers fully equipped suburban houses for mass production and sustained growth with a car at the door Rising middle classes in the developing world Most colonies adopted the “American Way of Life” will gain independence widening world markets for mass production …or in the late 1960s: Some of the values of the hippie movement Innovation in natural textile fibers [back to natural materials, have transformed the world of fashion organic food, etc.] Innovation in distribution logistics will become have made organic foods the premium the luxury norms segment in supermarkets Shifts in consumption patterns shift profit-making opportunities
  23. 23. A SUSTAINABLE POSITIVE SUM FUTURE IS POSSIBLE Fast growing global demand (new consumers) Changing and widening space for innovation and investment FOR BUSINESS Huge environmental industry Profits from quality and adaptability, etc. Better job prospects from a less skewed production geography FOR CONSUMERS High quality durable products New patterns of “desirable living” fulfilled, etc. FOR THE ASIAN Better balance between outward and inward growth DEVELOPING WORLD Reduced dangers from the environment, etc. Growing prices of raw materials exports FOR THE REST New possibilities for development, growth and innovation OF THE DEVELOPING WORLD Attracting more global investment, etc. But it will not happen automatically: the market cannot do it alone WE ARE PRECISELY AT THE HISTORICAL MOMENT WHEN THE STATE MUST COME BACK INTO THE PICTURE
  24. 24. EACH TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION PROPAGATES IN TWO DIFFERENT PERIODS The first half sets up the infrastructure and lets the markets pick the winners the second half reaps the full economic and social potential INSTALLATION DEPLOYMENT INSTALLATION DEPLOYMENT Turning Point Uncertainty, institutional recomposition and role shift “Creative destruction” “Creative Learning the new construction” Degree of diffusion of the new technological potential unlearning the old Led by A great production capital market experiment Applying the paradigm Led by to innovate financial Major across all sectors technology and to spread capital bubble Ending in the social benefits a stock market more widely crash Until maturity and exhaustion ??? Next Time big-bang 2O - 30 years 2O - 30 years big-bang We are here
  25. 25. The historical record: bubbles, recessions and golden ages TURNING INSTALLATION PERIOD POINT DEPLOYMENT PERIOD Bubble Golden Age 1771 Great Britain Canal mania 1793–97 1793– British leap 1829 Britain Railway mania 1848–50 1848– The Victorian Boom 1875 London funded global market Britain / USA Belle Époque (Europe) infrastructure build-up 1890–95 1890– Germany (Argentina, Australia, USA) “Progressive Era” (USA) Europe 1908 The roaring 1929–33 1929– Post-war USA twenties Golden age USA 1929–43 1929– 1971 Telecom mania, Internet emerging markets 2001–?? 2001– Sustainable global USA knowledge society ”golden age”? and NASDAQ Each Golden Age has been facilitated by enabling regulation and policies for shaping and widening markets
  26. 26. Different periods: different roles for the agents INSTALLATION DEPLOYMENT THE STATE FINANCE and FINANCE PRODUCTION in a THE NEW in a and facilitating ENTREPRENEURS facilitating THE STATE service as drivers service as drivers role and innovators role and innovators As the roles shift to enable deployment collective interests become part of the guiding mechanisms
  27. 27. John Chambers, Cisco CEO CUD 2008 Conference, San Francisco “It is important to have supportive governments… I wouldn’t have said this ten years ago” The pure market ideology has already played its role in the installation of the ICT paradigm. THE TIME IS RIPE FOR THE STATE TO COME BACK INTELLIGENTLY at all levels, nationally, regionally, globally and --especially– locally! IN COLLABORATION WITH - Business - Civil society (NGOs) - Universities and - Media “We must all collaborate to paint a vision and realize a new architecture”
  28. 28. The answer to whether sustainable global growth is feasible is, therefore, YES! But neither pure “free markets” nor simple “environmentalism” will get us there The innovation potential of the ICT paradigm can and must be collectively redirected towards new patterns of environmentally friendly well being and a new profit-making dynamic for business AND THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!