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Generative Capitalism - The Future of Business and Abundance


As we track our future stories, one clue to what may emerge is represented by the adage... "follow the money."  There has always been some sense that what we bet our money on, shapes what's next.


From the beginning of human civilization, systems for exchanging value were paramount to our success. In the beginning, the powerful mostly controlled the economic health of the culture, but as intelligence advanced, the value of what was created was spread to much larger percentages of the population. For example, the emergence of the "middle class" is fairly recent in cultural time and has played a critical role in the expansion of wealth on the planet for many.

Now we find ourselves asking these questions again as the wealth of the world is being  consolidated into the hands of less than 1% of the population. The middle class is struggling and this could potentially get worse with the advent of automation driven by artificial intelligence. Many current thought leaders believe we are going to fundamentally re-define out relationship to "work" in the next 15-20 years. This could be a huge disruption to our economic systems in addition to the other political and global developments that are in play.

However "work" evolves, collaborative economic systems, new types of corporations, deliberate developmental organizations, new perspectives on the laws that govern our financial exchanges and more sustainable business practices are emerging all over the world. They suggest that a new "wave" is forming that will expand our notions of success. And those that want to continue to be successful should carefully observe these new wind patterns on our collective waters.

Below is a sampling of some of the experts working with these new innovations and the reporters covering the developments that we are tracking.

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Jeremy Rifkin - The Internet of Things

One of my big influences on innovation in business is Jeremy Rifkin. His book "The Third Industrial Revolution" was seminal for me in understanding the potential changes going on in the marketplace. In this video he summarizes his thoughts on The Internet of Things and how it will influence human productivity going as it goes to zero marginal costs.

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Rachel S.L. Minard

The Future of American Capitalism

Every now and then I find a jewel on You Tube. When you search YT for the Future of Capitalism you find thoughtful people like Rachel speaking from a place of facilitating hedge fund offerings, but also aware that the rules of capitalism could be changing. We talk about the qualities of a more generative capitalism and in this video you will hear the thoughts of an investment expert that already knows that what we do next is just a story that we can tell ourselves and begin to inhabit.

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Yanis Varoufakis - Capitalism will Eat Democracy

There is an assumption that Capitalism always begets democracy. In this excellent TED talk Greece's financial minister Yanis Varoufakis points out that with the rise of China and other totalitarian states this is not necessarily true anymore. Yanis makes an argument for why an authentic democracy is so important to our future on this planet. He points to the uncertainty that ensues as democracies decline that among many issues, causes individuals and financial organizations to hoard their cash, depriving all of us of the benefit of its fueling innovation.

Jeremy Rifkin - The Logistics Internet

In this video, Jeremy summarizes the Logistics Internet. One of the defining systems of any civilization is the way it moves humans and goods from one place to another. In the beginning, we walked. Then we rode animals. Then we traveled on steam trains. Then we drove in gasoline fueled vehicles. We are about to evolve again into an automated, electric system of transportation vehicles.

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Mobility - 2030

To visualize the logistics system Jeremy is talking about, I found this video from KPMG. It reminds me of those films about the future we used to watch at Disneyland. Although it is still early, the concepts this video presents are already underway. You may not buy another personal auto but rather lease access to a vehicle on your cell phone. Sort of Uber without the driver. Even if only half of this actually emerges, it is a huge change in how we think about moving from one place to another.

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Humans Need Not Apply

Now for the challenging news. If you are paying attention there are billions of dollars being spent developing artificial intelligence that among other things will automate many jobs. This video by CGPGrey does a nice job in covering what's coming. The automation revolution currently taking place in blue collared industrial jobs is going to rapidly spread to middle management white collar jobs like law discovery, product research and insurance. Any job that requires repetitive actions can be done better by a software program that never takes a day off and never gets tired.

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