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.

Rethinking ownership

Our economic system is founded on the concept of ownership. Buying stuff, selling it, that’s the baseline model. Most importantly, how much or how little you posses is key to your social status. So ownership is a central aspect of our society, and it’s woven deeply into our daily lives. But that doesn’t mean it is immutable, that it could escape change.

Innovation – Our force for change

Innovation has become a major buzzword of our time, often with almost mystical properties ascribed. This essay is my attempt to demystify that buzz – in 500 words.

Disrupting energy and production – How

Becoming more energy and raw material efficient is the only way to manage increasing demand within limited resources. That’s no surprise. Challenges arise not only from the physical limitation of resources, but also from our inefficient and wasteful use. That is particularly relevant for manufacturing, as we largely depend upon non-renewable sources of raw material. […]

Disrupting energy and production – Why

The Industrial Revolution essentially was an energy revolution: we learned to harness energy way beyond the natural sources we had used thus far. Instead of relying on renewables such as muscle (ox, horse, and man), wood, water, or wind, we increasingly utilised fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas to power the dizzying progress we have […]