The “new” economy?
Posted April 23, 2014on:
These videos helped me time-travel.
To explain how, I need to mention “new economy” and a memory from my time as a graduate student.
The “new economy” has been bandied about for as long as I can remember. When I was a graduate student over 10 years ago, I recall a professor saying that the phrase was rubbish. He claimed that despite the influence and advances of the Internet, there was no real “new” economy despite the dotcom boom and bust. Companies either made money and survived or they lost money and went away.
His point was that money talked the same way it did in the “old” economy. I recall how the class laughed because we understood where he was coming from.
But the new economy is more than making money (or not) in order to survive (or not). It is about newer approaches to things like fund-raising, how you make a living, and getting work done.
The two videos show how crowdsourcing is one way of raising funds. This seems not much different from asking for donations until you realize how anyone in the world can participate. If people do not offer money, they can also offer their services, talents, locations, resources, etc.
For example, a typical blockbuster movie is a multi-million dollar hard sell that you do not have any say in. The Wongfu guys are asking for money, resources, and even ideas. The ordinary person is not just a cinema patron, s/he is a donor, writer, web designer, marketer, talent, manager, etc.
If the old economy is typified by centralized control, the new economy seems to be exemplified by distributed reach and involvement. What used to be 9 to 5 is now 24 x 7. What used to just be about numbers is now about doing something meaningful.
We live in interesting times because they are not about just the old economy or the new one. Both exist as do combinations in the continuum between.
But we also live in troubling times because schooling still focuses largely on preparing kids for the old economy. The good thing is that some kids with the means are teaching themselves the skills they also need for the new economy. Skills like building digital identity or building online community.
The bad thing is that many school systems run on the model of the old economy. The worse thing is that some of these skills are not encouraged or viewed with fear in schools. The worst thing is that kids are not ready for either economy when schooled this way.