The Next Economy

The highly connected nature of the World today is straining the Old social order at theaten_crop_thumbnail seams. It was based on a closed, mechanical view that was right for an industrial age economy. I’m exploring the Next Economy – an open, sustainable ecosystem-based World view born in the third generation of the Information Age. We can have abundance! My current focus is on guiding others through the Transition from Old to Next and mapping the way.

A lot of people are aware that something is terribly wrong with society, not just the way we do business. Political movements like the Tea Party, Occupy and Arab Spring indicate that something is up. Traditional politicians think these movements are fringes, not a growing recognition then all of the “mainstream” political entities are fundamentally flawed.

Quite simply, we are fast outgrowing the institutions of our current society – governments, businesses, schools, even charities. These methods and frameworks are inadequate for the world we live in today. They were designed for the industrial age andimages-1 we have moved into at least the third generation of the information age. (Note: See vocabulary page for and expaination of Information Age, third generation.) 

Playing the blame game is pointless. I listed some causes in Become a Change Agent: Part 1. Individuals trying to reboot or repair the current system have very few possible outcomes:

  1.      Working harder and harder for less return
  2.      Becoming a parasite
  3.      Be overwhelmed by the changes that are occurring

 The Next Economy is in its infancy. It is currently a collection of ideas, activities and technologies that are just getting started!

 Different Assumptions for the Next Economy

It is time to start adopting a new set of basic assumptions about the economy and how we interact with each other. Let’s take a look at the differences:


Old Economy

Next Economy

born in the Industrial Age

born in the Age of massively available Social Media

mechanical systems

organic ecosystems

economies of scale

small batch customization



mass communications

on demand information

unlimited growth

life cycles and right-sizing

command and control

transparent personal responsibility

corporate business structures

cooperative business structures

bottom line responsibility (profit motive)

triple bottom line (expanded responsibility for people, planet & profit)


The next economy it is already here.  We are able to choose the news through RSS feeds rather than live with what is served to us in Newspapers and TV, Amazon brings the book store to your desktop or tablet with more titles than any store could possibly offer. Research has morphed from long hours in the library into Google searches.

In future posts, I will look at these concepts in more depth and explore the paths for transitioning between form Old to Next.

What do you think?



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