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The Infinite Economy

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A slightly edited version of the current presentation, last given to the Windward Entrepreneurs Meetup, December 2012.

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The Infinite Economy

  1. 1. The Infinite Economy: The landscape of emerging economic possibilities
  2. 2. Richard A. K. Lum, PhD Vision Foresight Strategy LLC To assist clients with envisioning and realizing Chief executive officer critical and preferred futures through www.kikilo.biz foresight development and strategic analysis. Institute for Political Futures To support intelligent and critical discourse on President the futures of governance, citizenship, and democracy. kaipo@kikilo.biz @kikilo, @thethirdera
  3. 3. The Infinite Economy is the potential for a new material reality that emerges from the co-evolution of a broad landscape of technological, social, and philosophic changes.
  4. 4. No place is in more dire need of a new paradigm… THE HAWAI‘I IMPERATIVE
  5. 5. The most isolated habitation on the planet 90% of the energy we use comes from somewhere else 85% of the food we consume comes from somewhere else 90% of the consumer goods we use come from somewhere else
  6. 6. THE INFINITE ECONOMY
  7. 7. The Landscape of the Infinite Economy Infrastructure Infinite Capital Emergent Models Platforms of The Infinite Production Mindset
  8. 8. History, patterns, and models frame our expectations ANTICIPATING CHANGE
  9. 9. “Analysis, whether economic or other, never yields more than a statement about the tendencies present in an observable pattern. And these never tell us what will happen to the pattern but only what would happen if they continued to act as they have been acting…” Joseph A. Shumpeter. Can Capitalism Survive?: Creative Destruction and the Future of the Global Economy.
  10. 10. Prediction: a statement about the future intended to be accurate. Real futurists Forecast: a logical statement about the future.
  11. 11. If Futurists Don’t Predict, Why Do They Have a Job? Ubiquitous Complexity ? Pace of Change Knowledge ? Information 50 years Industrial 250 years Agrarian 6000 – 7000 years 6000 BCE CE 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2025 2050 Adapted from A. Tuominen and T. Ahlqvist, 2010
  12. 12. The Long History of Human Prosperity Trade Specialization “Exchange is to cultural evolution as sex is to biological evolution.” 7000 World GDP Per Capita 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 1 500 1000 1500 1913 Matt Ridley. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves; Angus Maddison. The World Economy.
  13. 13. “Creative Destruction,” Long Waves, and Economic Change Joseph A. Schumpeter. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy; The Economist, February 20, 1999
  14. 14. Reinterpreting Long Waves of Technological Revolution Technological Techno-economic revolutions paradigms Successive “Techno-economic paradigms” Carlota Perez. Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages.
  15. 15. Other Dynamics of Economic Growth Physical Social Technology Technology Physical Technology: the means for manipulating matter and energy Social Technology: how we organize to get things done Social technologies in turn shape what is deemed appropriate to pursue Richard R. Nelson. Technology, Institutions, and Economic Growth.
  16. 16. Takeaways Understanding that such change is clearly possible Anticipating a new techno- economic revolution
  17. 17. “… progress can involve significant changes in direction; that accumulation may require ‘disaccumulation’ from time to time; that what is installed may have to be ‘uninstalled’… that learning the new can require unlearning much of the old.” Carlota Perez. Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages.
  18. 18. The new infrastructure supporting the new platforms RAILWAYS OF TOMORROW
  19. 19. Past Industrial Revolutions Assembly Electric Trains Telegraph Line Motor Steam Electricity Coal Oil
  20. 20. The Infrastructure of Today Renewable Vehicle Mesh Ambient Fuel Cells Smart Grids Wi-Fi 3G/4G WiMax NFC Storage Analytics Algorithms Energy Storage Networks Informatics Power Communications Data Computing
  21. 21. Our ever-expanding pools of resources INFINITE CAPITAL
  22. 22. ? People ? ??? Power Infinite Capital Machines Finance Feedstocks
  23. 23. The core families of technologies PLATFORMS OF PRODUCTION
  24. 24. Emerging Families of Technology Digital Nano- Fabrication fabrication Bio- production
  25. 25. The sensitivities of real revolution INFINITE MINDSET
  26. 26. “We see a world of abundance, not limits. In the midst of a great deal of talk about reducing the human ecological footprint, we offer a different vision. What if humans designed products and systems that celebrate an abundance of human creativity, culture, and productivity? That are so intelligent and safe, our species leaves an ecological footprint to delight in, not lament?” William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.
  27. 27. The Evolution of New Worldview
  28. 28. The evolutionary algorithm at work EMERGENT MODELS
  29. 29. Experimentation, Exploration… Co-evolution The space in which everyone is experimenting to find what works Changes in the Perception of the Environment Long Tail Transition New Technologies Towns Coworking Localization Open Source Anticipation of Transformational Shifts Co- production (defining new “economies” before they appear) Sharing Economy DIY/Maker Creative Commons Service Alternative Economy Currency P2P Service Crowd- Informal sourcing Economy New Assumptions, Principles, and New Models for “how Distributed Regulatory things get done.” Processing Regimes
  30. 30. The Field of Action Intersections, Transition combinations, and Towns Localization Long Tail recombinations Co- Alternative Creative Coworking production Currency Commons Service Sharing DIY/Maker Open Source Economy Economy Informal Distributed Crowd- P2P Service Economy Processing sourcing
  31. 31. THE CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY
  32. 32. A New Image, a New Future The strategy implicit in the Infinite Economy is about shifting our communities from merely recipients of long global economic flows to more coherent economic systems in their own right, embedded in increasingly dense global networks of cultural and informational flows.
  33. 33. This is about images and inspiration
  34. 34. The real danger to our civilization is slowing down. What we really want is greater cultural evolution.

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