Political advisor and author Jeremy Rifkin predicts that the current economic system is headed for collapse, and in its wake will emerge a radical new model fostered by the Internet’s unprecedented capacity for rapid sharing and innovation.
The Internet serves as a major game-changer in power dynamics — we’ve already seen that individuals and smaller groups can disrupt the world of media and music sharing once dominated by big corporations. It’s an all together new economic system that Rifkin believes will play a role in how we address climate change and other sustainability challenges.
via The Guardian:
From the ashes of the current economic system, he believes, will emerge a radical new model powered by the extraordinary pace of innovation in energy, communication and transport.
“This is the first new economic system since the advent of capitalism and socialism in the early 19th century so it’s a remarkable historical event and it’s going to transform our way of life fundamentally over the coming years,” Rifkin says. “It already is; we just haven’t framed it.”
Some sectors, such as music and media, have already been disrupted as a result of the internet’s ability to let individuals and small groups compete with the major established players. Meanwhile, the mainstreaming of 3D printing and tech advances in logistics – such as the installation of billions of intelligent sensors across supply chains – means this phenomenon is now spreading from the virtual to the physical world, Rifkin says.
The creation of a new economic system, Rifkin argues, will help alleviate key sustainability challenges, such as climate change and resource scarcity, and take pressure off the natural world. That’s because it will need only a minimum amount of energy, materials, labour and capital.
He says few people are aware of the scale of danger the human race is facing, particularly the growing levels of precipitation in the atmosphere, which is leading to extreme weather.
“Ecosystems can’t catch up with the shift in the planet’s water cycle and we’re in the sixth extinction pattern,” he warns. “We could lose 70% of our species by the end of this century and may be imperilling our ability to survive on this planet.”