Jeremy Rifkin: The sharing economy is the future of the society

The economist explained to the Forum PA audience why the future of human race is in danger and how the only choice available to public and private organizations is a change towards the sharing economy

Published on 12 Jul 2016

Professor Rifkin, economist, writer, activist, considered one of the 150 most influential people in the government of the United States, certainly does not sends word: keynote speaker at the opening of the summit on Public Administration Forum PA 2016, in Rome, he did not spare to those present any disaster among those that modern civilization will have to face in few years. Not even the most extreme, that of complete extinction of the human race. He did not spare to his audience, near and far (the event was streamed and followed by thousands of people) the call to awareness and responsibility that every person in their role, in private companies, public, in government, has the duty and urgency to get to work.

Rifkin’s new economy, “zero marginal cost” is “the only solution to save the human race”, and in his opinion zero marginal cost economy means “sharing economy”.

“The response to climate change, the ecosystem in trouble, the distribution of wealth to put it mildly imbalanced, to an economic crisis that gave no respite for years, is the sharing economy, the economy at zero marginal cost. It is an economy based on internet of things, the only solution that can, in a short time, save a species, the human one, that otherwise could not reach the end of the century”.

Public Administrations are responsible of encouraging the above through car sharing services, smart grids (smart network management) and database sharing.

Jeremy Rifkin stressed the concepts of “relations”, the Internet of Things and 4.0 industry. In particular it highlighted the need for each country to appoint a special commissioner for the sharing economy, to understand which rules and policies apply to a whole new paradigm. He argued that public authorities may be pioneers in this field and directly stimulate the new model, for example through car sharing with electric cars or smart grids (smart network management).

And also invites us to look to the new mindset of Millennials.

“The change requires a new business model starting from architecture, renewable energy and mobility, it is true that the top three causes of global warming are, in order, no green buildings, intensive farming and transport”, said Rifkin. For millennials, digital natives, this change is perfectly natural: ” For them, freedom is not exclusion and loneliness, but inclusion, being part of a network “, said Rifkin; “powers and hierarchies do not stretch vertically but extend horizontally, and the zero-sum game of the past gives way to a widespread awareness of the value of socializing and defending the planet’s resources”. ” Italy has a large number of assets to be enhanced and put together, from the sun to the culture and creativity “, said Rifkin. The PA can and should start pursuing the goal of digitizing and making the leap in the new industrial age by putting into practice what is already occurring at legislative level, and by combining the strengths of the new laws with the essential boost given by human resources.

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