It's here! The Knowledge/Service Economy 2.0: Completing the shift to the next economy

Yes, there is a jobless recovery, but that’s because we’re trying to put people back to work in the Industrial/Consumer economy jobs. Obviously, that’s not working!  As we shift into the Knowledge/Service 2.0, there’s plenty of work that needs to be done -- it’s just that it isn’t in the industries that we are familiar with. We need to begin to wrap our heads around this reality. Instead, let’s put our focus on what this Knowledge/Service 2.0 economy needs in terms of work.  Once we do this, we can go from a jobless recovery to new employment creation based on what this next economy needs in terms of work!

Economies change, work changes too.

Just as we shifted from the work we were familiar with doing in the Agricultural economy in order to learn how to do the work needed for the Industrial economy, so too will we need to learn and pay for the new work needed for the Knowledge/Service 2.0 economy.  That is the opportunity available to us in the crisis of the 2008 Great Recession. Investment in this new infrastructure will force us to expand beyond the GDP measurement system because it is insufficient to meet the needs of the Knowledge/Service 2.0 economy. As well, new employment sectors that will foster the needs of this economy based on quality of life will need to be added. This will include local community tied to human capacity development and environmental restoration/stewardship to support high quality of life.  We are not yet accustomed to paying for this work because of the deficiencies of GDP measurement but we certainly have the ability to make this possible.

Since 1975, we have slowly but surely been shifting out of the Industrial/Consumer economy to a Knowledge/Service economy. From 1975-2008, we were in Knowledge/Service 1.0 as production was outsourced throughout the globe, and we put our attention into increasing technology and knowledge expansion here at home.  Knowledge/Service 1.0 saw the first wave of transition sending blue-collar jobs overseas and now the white-collar jobs attached to these production industries are going too.  Less obvious however was the emergence of the new industries of the Knowledge/Service economy: medicine, education, finance, technology, arts, entertainment, and other quality of life industries that support optimal human life.  70% of our economy remained tied to the Industrial/Consumer economy while only 30% was part of Knowledge/Service 1.0.

As we sit in the Great Recession of 2008, we are faced with the stark reality that we will not be able to consume our way out of this recession. A jobless recovery is now predicted and this makes sense because many of the industries that provided jobs are no longer thriving. This time, a myriad of forces have come together to push us onward. As chaotic as this now seems, if we will embrace it, we’ll discover we’re about to enter the most vibrant economy ever! While yet to be determined, it is possible that a complete flip will occur and within the next 10 years, 70% of work will be found in Knowledge/Service industries while just 30% remain in the Industrial/consumer sector.

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