THE NEXT ECONOMY
We are in the next economy. It is not a new economy (as some economists call it) because we are building upon four economic cornerstones that already exist: growing food, making things, serving people, and creating experiences. The next economy is a convergence of these four cornerstones rooted in place - geography and local character - and space - "up there" using the internet.
This Next Economy web page at is a resource of ideas and practices that can help you unfold the next economy. The resource section of links and papers is organized in 7 groupings: Conditions; Character, Community & Place; Ecology; Economy; Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Regionalism.
I have a "watch" list of topics I am scanning to better understand what is going on in the economy. Here are some I am currently watching:
- 1.Regionalism - not the consolidation of government, but of trading commerce and developing infrastructure, e.g., building a regional renewable energy utility across state or municipal lines
- 2.The rise of self-employment as a preferred way to work, especially among young people
- 3.Cities driving the next economy
- 4.The new, stretch role for universities as community builders and economic developers
- 5.Young people preferring to live and work in cities and who are less inclined to own a house or a
- 6.Entrepreneurs are the change makers of the economy...and the source of most of the job creation
- 7.The rebirth of manufacturing in the US. This is not my father's manufacturing where he used mostly his hands. Rather, it is advanced manufacturing using more technology and fewer hands. Manufacturing is no longer about the jobsIt is about measuring productivity per worker, e.g. total revenue per employee. An interesting component of the comeback of manufacturing is the "maker movement" that combines the use of technology such as 3-D CAD and design to make cool stuff like robots.
- 8.Measuring the health of our economy beyond the number of jobs and growth of the tax base
- 9.New forms of organization driving the economy such as worker-owned business cooperatives, networks of capability distributed among several organizations and social enterprise
Over the coming months II will be blogging about some of these topics. You can also read more about the next economy in a paper I wrote called "Ten Core Ideas." And as always, I would love to hear from you in general or with thoughts about one of the 6 items on my watch list.