What’s an economy – According to Jane Jacobs

Lots has been said and written about the economy and how it works, most if it in the specific terminology of economics. It took somebody with a very broad spectrum of interests, insights and ideas to develop a more natural narrative, somebody like the journalist, author, and activist Jane Jacobs. In “The Nature of Economies”, she offers a conceptual description of economies that is entirely based on the very same natural principles that govern chemistry, mechanics, and biology, and a fresh perspective on how economies thrive or fail. This post is a tribute to her work.

On the impact of technology on creative thinking

Innovation breads new technologies. But what about the opposite interaction: Does technology have an impact on innovation? Does the Digital Revolution affect our innovation skills, our inventiveness, our creative thinking? Triggered by the recent debate on negative impacts of social media, I’ll try to scratch the surface today in order to frame a few questions for further discussion in 2018. 

Rethinking value

Our values shape our views of life, of good and bad, of right and wrong. We hold our values dear as guiding stars that give us fundamental orientation. They are the long-standing core of our cultures, traditions, and beliefs. And over time, we have constructed our social, economic and legal institutions on the foundation of shared values.
However, our values have changed drastically in the historic past. And I’ll argue that they will morph again in the near future as the Digital Revolution is in full swing.

Rethinking trust – in technology

We are engulfed in technology in our homes, at our workplaces, in our spare time: every moment of our everyday lives. We rely on technology such much that the question whether we trust it doesn’t easily come to our minds. And there was little need to ask that question – until recently. But with information technology pervading literally every aspect of our lives today, we cannot evade that question any longer.

Rethinking trust – in humans

Trust is the essential currency in human interaction, it is the indispensible basis for the many unwritten contracts we enter every single day. Trust is the glue that keeps social groups together and the grease that lets these groups act, and interact, smoothly. Trust is so foundational to human society that we take it as just that: the eternal fundament of our culture. I’ll argue that digital technologies are gradually eroding that fundament, causing cracks in the foundation of our society.