‘Knight Cities’ podcast: 5 things you need to know about our economic future

Communities / Article

Is it possible to forecast the future? Institute for the Future has been doing that for almost 50 years. Kathi Vian leads Institute for the Futures’ Ten-Year Forecast, which was just released for the institute’s clients. It explores seven economies working at once to produce a future with a lot of surprises.

Knight Cities podcast

We talked to Kathi last week from her offices in Palo Alto, Calif., and here are the five things you need to know from our conversation on the Ten-Year Forecast.

1.     Seven economies are operating all at once over the next 10 years. Each is in a different stage of evolution. Those economies are: corporate, consumer, collaborative, creative, civil, criminal and crypto.

2.     The corporate economy is vulnerable like never before, automating for profits but also for volatility, while the increasingly volatile consumer economy is automating for instant gratification.

3.     The collaborative economy is not peer-to-peer so much as corporate economy + platform to capture stranded assets of individuals and to create value flows with those assets. The collaborative economy is a transition economy, shifting risk outside of the corporate economy.

4.     The creative economy embraces freelancers. Historically, it has been a winner-take-all economy because the channels of distribution were limited. That is no longer the case. If we can build more robust peer-to-peer channels, we can restore the creative economy to a much more robust value exchange. This, too, is a transition economy.

5.     Civil and criminal economies are battling for new regimes of control over the emerging economies, while the crypto economy represents the first truly distributed economy, with decentralization like we’ve never known.

Listen to my conversation with Kathi here. And sign up for the “Knight Cities” newsletter to get alerts as soon as new conversations are posted.

Look for new “Knight Cities” content posted every Wednesday. You can follow us on Twitter at #knightcities or @knightfdn. And if you have ideas for people you’d like to hear from, please email me.

Carol Coletta is vice president of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation. Follow her on Twitter @ccoletta. Photo credit: Jamais Cascio on Flickr.