How the Next Capitalism Can Meet Global Challenges
Economic events of the last several years have made it clear that current business practices and public policy are insufficient to meet the problems now facing the country and the world: climate change, structural unemployment, income inequality, and many others. But technology and entrepreneurial trends can help guide capitalism toward an evolution that can address these challenges, by demonstrating the value inherent in new systems and practices that are more in line with sustainable business, ecological and even personal choices. While it is only just emerging, the Next Capitalism will take a form that promotes sustainability while providing more equitable returns for a broader populace -- if we guide it in that direction. Occupy the economy itself by helping to discover the systems that are over the horizon, the role technology will play in hacking society toward this evolution, and the kinds of business that will thrive in the Next Capitalism.
- Why have current systems of capitalism failed to address the problems now faced by the nation and the world? Market mechanisms were supposed to make it more profitable to do good than to do your worst, and yet money still drives decisions that have little or nothing to do with the common good. What happened? What went wrong?
- What role can technology play in discovering and defining new modes of business, finance, and the economy that can help address problems like climate change and structural unemployment? Even in light of technological solutions, how does one solve the social challenges of financing and adoption? What new systems of capitalism would not only foster innovation, but help spread new technologies to the people most in need of them?
- What is the future of entrepreneurship in the Next Capitalism? Would more equitable and sustainable business practices stifle the ability of entrepreneurs to make the kinds of advances that are actually required to address the problems at hand? How can we shape a system that lets entrepreneurs profit while still creating a more equitable distribution of income and wealth?
- What is the role of government in the Next Capitalism? Does the entrenchment of private interests through lobbying and campaign finance mean that government will always be a drag on progress and sustainability? Or are cracks in the facade beginning to show that will allow for an evolution of the relationship between government and the economy? And what about the Occupy movement anyhow?
- What can you do to help? In order to succeed, the Next Capitalism can’t be decided in the halls of power. The conversation needs to be widespread, and it needs to start happening now. How can the broader community of technology innovators and entrepreneurs help discover, define, and deploy the ideas that will lead to the Next Capitalism, and create a more equitable, more sustainable world?
- Mark Wallace, entrepreneur, at large
- Eric Nonacs, Vice President, Alliances and Partnerships, Skoll Global Threats Fund
Mark Wallace, entrepreneur, consultant and advisor, various early-stage companies
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