In 'The Nature of Economies', Jane Jacobs provides a view on a number of important aspects that often go unrecognised. Starting from her insights on an economy's main processes, the control mechanisms at work, and the fitness of an economy, we can take a comprehensive look at innovation targets, i.e., the types of problems our society needs to solve.
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.
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. … Continue reading Disrupting energy and production – How