The Zero Marginal Cost Society

Author: Jeremy Rifkin
Editor: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1137437766
Size: 14,68 MB
Format: PDF
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In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism. Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. Now, a formidable new technology infrastructure—the Internet of things (IoT)—is emerging with the potential of pushing large segments of economic life to near zero marginal cost in the years ahead. Rifkin describes how the Communication Internet is converging with a nascent Energy Internet and Logistics Internet to create a new technology platform that connects everything and everyone. Billions of sensors are being attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks, recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores, vehicles, and even human beings, feeding Big Data into an IoT global neural network. Prosumers can connect to the network and use Big Data, analytics, and algorithms to accelerate efficiency, dramatically increase productivity, and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just like they now do with information goods. The plummeting of marginal costs is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society, according to Rifkin. Hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons. Prosumers are plugging into the fledgling IoT and making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D-printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. Social entrepreneurs are even bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance startup businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the fledgling sharing economy. In this new world, social capital is as important as financial capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism, cooperation ousts competition, and "exchange value" in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by "sharable value" on the Collaborative Commons. Rifkin concludes that capitalism will remain with us, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, says Rifkin, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons.

The Green New Deal

Author: Jeremy Rifkin
Editor: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250253217
Size: 18,42 MB
Format: PDF
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An urgent plan to confront climate change, transform the American economy, and create a green post-fossil fuel culture. A new vision for America’s future is quickly gaining momentum. Facing a global emergency, a younger generation is spearheading a national conversation around a Green New Deal and setting the agenda for a bold political movement with the potential to revolutionize society. Millennials, the largest voting bloc in the country, are now leading on the issue of climate change. While the Green New Deal has become a lightning rod in the political sphere, there is a parallel movement emerging within the business community that will shake the very foundation of the global economy in coming years. Key sectors of the economy are fast-decoupling from fossil fuels in favor of ever cheaper solar and wind energies and the new business opportunities and employment that accompany them. New studies are sounding the alarm that trillions of dollars in stranded fossil fuel assets could create a carbon bubble likely to burst by 2028, causing the collapse of the fossil fuel civilization. The marketplace is speaking, and governments will need to adapt if they are to survive and prosper. In The Green New Deal, New York Times bestselling author and renowned economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin delivers the political narrative and economic plan for the Green New Deal that we need at this critical moment in history. The concurrence of a stranded fossil fuel assets bubble and a green political vision opens up the possibility of a massive shift to a post-carbon ecological era, in time to prevent a temperature rise that will tip us over the edge into runaway climate change. With twenty-five years of experience implementing Green New Deal–style transitions for both the European Union and the People’s Republic of China, Rifkin offers his vision for how to transform the global economy and save life on Earth.

Smart Europe

Author: Jeremy Rifkin
Editor: European Investment Bank
ISBN: 9286138334
Size: 19,17 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A green digital economy could change the future of the Old Continent. The new Smart Europe will be based on three elements: new communication technologies, new sources of energy and new modes of mobility. But the transition will require a transformation of the continental infrastructure. Jeremy Rifkin, advisor to the European Union and main architect of the Third Industrial Revolution, has been promoting over the last few years the importance of this approach, enabling collaboration in "vast virtual and physical global networks to create a more ecologically sustainable and equitable quality of life". This is the fourth essay in the Big Ideas series created by the European Investment Bank.

This Thing Called Theory

Author: Teresa Stoppani
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 1315406241
Size: 14,57 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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In the age of post-digital architecture and digital materiality, This Thing Called Theory explores current practices of architectural theory, their critical and productive role. The book is organized in sections which explore theory as an open issue in architecture, as it relates to and borrows from other disciplines, thus opening up architecture itself and showing how architecture is inextricably connected to other social and theoretical practices. The sections move gradually from the specifics of architectural thought – its history, theory, and criticism – and their ongoing relation with philosophy, to the critical positions formulated through architecture’s specific forms of expression, and onto more recent forms of architecture’s engagement and self-definition. The book’s thematic sessions are concluded by and interspersed with a series of shorter critical position texts, which, together, propose a new vision of the contemporary role of theory in architecture. What emerges, overall, is a critical and productive role for theory in architecture today: theory as a proposition, theory as task and as a ‘risk’ of architecture.

Smart Metropolitan Regional Development

Author: T.M. Vinod Kumar
Editor: Springer
ISBN: 9811085889
Size: 16,31 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book discusses the concept and practice of a smart metropolitan region, and how smart cities promote healthy economic and spatial development. It highlights how smart metropolitan regional development can energize, reorganize and transform the legacy economy into a smart economy; how it can help embrace Information and Communications Technology (ICT); and how it can foster a shared economy. In addition, it outlines how the five pillars of the third industrial revolution can be achieved by smart communities. In addition, the book draws on 16 in-depth city case studies from ten countries to explore the state of the art regarding the smart economy in smart cities – and to apply the lessons learned to shape smart metropolitan economic and spatial development.

The Future Of The Professions

Author: Richard Susskind
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198713398
Size: 12,54 MB
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This book predicts the decline of today's professions and introduces the people and systems that will replace them. In an internet-enhanced society, according to Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind, we will neither need nor want doctors, teachers, accountants, architects, the clergy, consultants, lawyers, and many others, to work as they did in the 20th century. The Future of the Professions explains how increasingly capable technologies - from telepresence to artificial intelligence - will place the 'practical expertise' of the finest specialists at the fingertips of everyone, often at no or low cost and without face-to-face interaction. The authors challenge the 'grand bargain' - the arrangement that grants various monopolies to today's professionals. They argue that our current professions are antiquated, opaque and no longer affordable, and that the expertise of their best is enjoyed only by a few. In their place, they propose five new models for producing and distributing expertise in society. The book raises profound policy issues, not least about employment (they envisage a new generation of 'open-collared workers') and about control over online expertise (they warn of new 'gatekeepers') - in an era when machines become more capable than human beings at most tasks. Based on the authors' in-depth research of more than a dozen professions, and illustrated by numerous examples from each, this is the first book to assess and question the future of the professions in the 21st century.

Network Society And Future Scenarios For A Collaborative Economy

Author: V. Kostakis
Editor: Springer
ISBN: 1137406895
Size: 20,56 MB
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This book builds on the idea that peer-to-peer infrastructures are gradually becoming the general conditions of work, economy, and society. Using a four-scenario approach, the authors seek to simplify possible outcomes and to explore relevant trajectories of the current techno-economic paradigm within and beyond capitalism.

Compromising The Ideals Of Science

Author: R. Sassower
Editor: Springer
ISBN: 1137519428
Size: 15,56 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This books examines the conditions under which scientists compromised the ideals of science, and elucidates these with reference to the challenges of profit motives and national security concerns. The book also offers suggestions for changing the political and economic conditions under which the integrity of science and its ethos can be practiced.

The Resilient Investor

Author: Hal Brill
Editor: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
ISBN: 162656339X
Size: 20,40 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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If you want to build a better life and a better world—and really be prepared for any possible future in these turbulent times—you need to become a resilient investor! This trailblazing guide will expand your ideas of investing way beyond Wall Street. Your time, your energy, and the things you own are investments too, and you'll learn to diversify them in ways that move you toward your life goals. The Resilient Investment Map lays out all your assets—personal and physical as well as financial—and then provides three essential, timely strategies (Close to Home, Sustainable Global Economy, and Evolutionary Investing) that will help you grow each of them. The goal is to become more resilient: able to anticipate disturbance, rebuild as necessary, and improve when possible. You'll discover that the choices making you more resilient also enhance our communities, our economy, and the planet—building real wealth for all.

Economic Growth And Sustainability

Author: Karen L. Higgins
Editor: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128031085
Size: 15,11 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How to sustain our world for future generations has perplexed us for centuries. We have reached a crossroads: we may choose the rocky path of responsibility or continue on the paved road of excess that promises hardship for our progeny. Independent efforts to resolve isolated issues are inadequate. Different from these efforts and from other books on the topic, this book uses systems thinking to understand the dominant forces that are shaping our hope for sustainability. It first describes a mental model - the bubble that holds our beliefs - that emerges from preponderant world views and explains current global trends. The model emphasizes economic growth and drives behavior toward short-term and self-motivated outcomes that thwart sustainability. The book then weaves statistical trends into a system diagram and shows how the economic, environmental, and societal contributors of sustainability interact. From this holistic perspective, it finds leverage points where actions can be most effective and combines eight areas of intervention into an integrated plan. By emphasizing both individual and collective actions, it addresses the conundrum of how to blend human nature with sustainability. Finally, it identifies primary three lessons we can learn by applying systems thinking to sustainability. Its metaphor-rich and accessible style makes the complex topic approachable and allows the reader to appreciate the intricate balance required to sustain life on Earth. Highlights the application of system thinking in economics Identifies systemic leveraging actions for achieving sustainability Outlines a comprehensive and integrated plan for achieving sustainable stewardship in the future