Throughout history, the way people share resources with each other keeps evolving—from bartering and early forms of money all the way to today’s sophisticated capitalist markets.
Now, based on what my colleagues and I found during the FORESIGHT Futures Scan, America may have already begun a transition to new kinds of economies.
Trends are changes over time that we can already measure.
Emerging Issues are potential trends—they haven’t happened yet, but we can detect faint signs that they could be on the horizon.
We uncovered 72 trends and emerging issues with the potential to impact the future for health and well-being, and synthesized them into nine major Game Changers. In this week’s video, we explore the sixth Game Changer, New Economies. We are already seeing what may be the beginnings of a “Gig Economy” where people work short-term jobs, independently, often through apps like Lyft and AirBnB. We are also in the early stages of a large group of innovations that together make a “Sharing Economy” possible, such as peer-to-peer data sharing, 3D printing, and social networks. Looking further into the future, it’s possible we could even reach a point known as a “Post-Scarcity Economy,” which is when most things are so plentiful and cheap to make that nothing is scarce anymore; everyone can basically have anything for little to no cost. What does an economy look like when the supply side of the supply/demand equation reaches such an extreme? Depending on the extent to which these economic changes unfold, there might be a need to reexamine longstanding social rules around who owns what, what creates values, how prices or wages are determined – and more.
How will economic changes impact your life? What social contracts do you think will need to be re-examined? Tell us your story in the comments below, or connect using #FutureforHealth and #GameChangers on social media.
The world is changing fast. It’s time we design a future for health together. Our work begins with FORESIGHT.
FORESIGHT is an initiative of The Rippel Foundation, created in partnership with Blue Shield of California Foundation, and actively supported by forward-thinking national and regional philanthropic partners.