Researcher, lecturer and international consultant, specialized in the social and economic impact of technical change and in the historically changing conditions for growth, development and competitiveness.
ON THE BOARD
'The whole discussion about how to overcome the financial crisis and its consequences on the economy is wrongly focused. Getting public finances in order and the financial world back on its feet will not bring the world economy back to business as usual. Healthy finance with a languid real economy will naturally find new ways of casino behaviour.'
'What is needed is a set of policies that will decidedly tilt the playing field in such a way that finance would find it more profitable to fund production than to gamble in derivatives or futures, while production, in turn, would find clear pathways to profitable innovation and expansion. We are facing a recurring twice-in-a-century event, equivalent to the 1930s after the crash of 1929, which needs to be understood to find effective solutions.'
This article first appeared in Green Alliance's magazine Inside Track.
You may also like to read:The New Technological Revolution
"...History can teach us a lot. Innovation has indeed always been the driver of growth and the main source of increasing productivity and wealth. But every technological revolution has brought two types of prosperity. The first type is turbulent and exciting like the bubbles of the 1990s and 2000s and like the Roaring twenties, the railway mania and the canal mania before. They all ended in a bubble collapse. Yet, after the recession, there came the second type: the Victorian boom, the Belle Époque, the Post War Golden Age and… the one that we could have ahead now. Bubble prosperities polarise incomes; Golden Ages tend to reverse the process.
The first prosperity of each revolution is a huge experiment for testing and choosing the new technologies and for installing the infrastructures (be they railways or electricity or internet). It is an intense process of creative destruction, of learning the new and unlearning the old, of getting rid of the dinosaurs. Innovation concentrates on the new industries (as we saw with the information revolution) and on modernizing all the other industries with the new paradigm. This time, it also concentrated on globalization.
The result is that the range of possible technological avenues is now immense. The power of information technology can enable almost any industry to make its own revolution: the world of medicine, the world of materials or that of biology, the creative industries, transport, energy, buildings, nanotechnology, stem cells, agriculture, 3D printing, robotics... Which is the next big thing? Nobody knows. There are no sure successes. They are all uncertain. But they are indeed powerful paths for innovation and wealth creation..."
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