The Age of Less
The Age of Eternal Figure Growth remains as a simulation of itself.
More wealth = More consumption, more emissions, more waste.
How can we preserve meaningful wealth? Frugal innovations? Upscale Simplicity?
Less is More? More with Less thanks to clever digitization? Small within Big is Beautiful?
Back to human dimensions?
What do we want? The fascinating impossible or the worrying possible?
More than just trends
"The way we die is a mirror of the way we live" (Takumi Nakazawa, 83). How many crises can we stand? Which ones are threatening us?
Longterm effects of Covid? Generation Stagnation?
Demography is telling the story of tomorrow. Alone Together, Solo Living, Super Agers, Ageless . . . Getting older without getting old?
A.I. & Digital Connectivity
How is ever more powerful tech changing human behavior? Will A.I. make humans just more artificial and less intelligent, if hyperconvenience wins?
19th C = automation of handwork
20th C = automation of brainwork
21st C = automation of automation Programming the programmers. What is "good" tech? How much "high" is good tech for humans?
End of Consumption
"Shop ‘til you drop", "Spend 'til the end", "Buy 'til you die": Brands and consumption still promise happiness. We love seduction. But consumer behavior is easier, faster, and ever more precise to predict. And manipulate. Are customers sort of "cheerful robots" and "political eunuchs"
(C. Wright Mills 1951), wearing golden handcuffs?
Retail: Local Heroes
Why is there growing fascination for the local, for closeness, and neighborhood? Will our shopping radius inevitably shrink to 5-10 mins of driving or walking distance? Is this a new kind of freedom for consumers, or just a new constraint, or sort of structural change in our lives? Will store size inevitably shrink & stores get step by step automated?
Is Home Office really the future? Meaning what exactly for productivity? Will this mean a retreat from physical connectivity and commuting, just becoming cave men again? Living in the twilight of Cinema World with fancy pictures and simulations of reality? "Quiet quitting" and "4-hour workweek" in a more and more automated workspace? What else will be remote? Travel. Leisure. Transpor-tation. But where does this all make sense, and where not?
Healthstyle & Deathstyle
We are more clueless than ever about what to measure when we talk about health. Getting cheaper services thanks to ecosystems and platforms? What is the value of human life? "If we cannot agree on the wisdom of wearing masks, how will we reach a consensus on how to re-write our genetic future?"
Hannah Kuchler, FT 20.2.21
We depend more and more on experts, the quality of data and statistical correlations. Knowledge is basics. And knowhow more important. But only will and believe are making the difference. Do you believe in Tesla or in VW? Crypto Bitcoin or Fiat-Money? When is radicality necessary? When not? When is it better to stay conventional?
Infodemy & Media Behavior
Information makes insecure, communication assures. Why do so many free people believe so much "bullshit"? Never ever in history, so many people didn't understand what's going to happen to them. The need for stories and myths goes up and up - there's an explosion of Watch Time in Social Media & an Email Boom. Who can influence the key "Narratives" of our times?
Who decides? Leadership in a digital age
Digitization tends towards extremes. Less hierachies and meritocracy will bring us new upward mobility opportunities? Or just less jobs and more inequality? Will the difference between high performers and left behind people increase ever faster?
Top = sociopaths,
Middle = clueless people, Bottom = losers?
Digitzation = Militarization?
Proxy wars like trade wars, currency wars, culture wars? ..., War for talents, Headhunters, Discount wars
Politics & Economy: Exit Strategies
- "Bitcoin is an exit from the Fed.
- DeFi is an exit from Wall Street.
- Social media is an exit from mass media.
- Homeschooling is an exit from industrial education.
- Remote work is an exit from 9-5.
- Creator economy is an exit from employment - Individuals are leaving institutions."
Back to human dimensions
The most important inno-vation over the last 250 years was the human being. We invented ourselves as masters of the universe. But success breeds excess. We lost our compass and common sense. We should find again the right measures, the right size, and the right attitude towards change (Leopold Kohr, E.F. Schumacher).
How can we have a positive impact?
Food, Nutrition, the urban and rural world
Wealth depends to over 50% from "Nature Capital". How we produce and organize food decides about our future. We need a mixture of small scale farming, green GMO for adaptation to climate change, urban vertical farming for servicing urban needs, and precision farming for a digital in-dustrialization with less pesticide. And the vegan mindset, pushed by flexitarians, wins.