Using the word “economics” in the sense of valuing the progress of a human society (business, politics, global) we see that economics of growth prove unsustainable, potentially risky and certainly due for a total make-over. From a stability point of view we do not want economic growth as this leads to speculation which in turn leads inevitably into situations of crisis. We need to concentrate on the true values that make up an economy and keep growth to zero. An economy of 100 needs to be an economy of 100 next year and in a hundred years too. The real change should not be occurring in the size of the economy but in its content.
In a content economy is valued by sustainable progress not by growth. It should stay at 100 on the pre-established scale of social and environmental wellness. In such economy any long term savings in pensions and securities are stable as the valuables do not change over time. There is no need for speculation as no growth or inflation needs to be compensated. The key value of a content economy is its capacity to change continuously, providing lasting value in progress triggered by the natural ever changing circumstances of a progressive community that experiments with its evolution. The true and only growth that can be seen in a content economy is in know-how, human awareness, scientific knowledge and social interaction focused on maintaining and enhancing quality of life through constantly applied innovation along the lines of sustainable progress. The economic thermometer stays at 1oo if the society is capable of balancing genuine quality of life with the any changes in life expectancy, human health, our natural environment, population growth, usage of natural resources, footprint, etc. The true attention goes into co-creative ongoing adaptiveness of the community by being inventive, progressive and truly aware. Such content economics produces wellness by connecting personal talent and co-creative productivity to personal enjoyment of life and insight about human complexities. People in such content economics do no work but contribute, feeding the upcoming generations with the reflections of the generations that fade out.
In business we have see the talent of the late Steve Jobs and Apple to excel in content economics by being inventive, adaptive and focused on technological progress. The recent article of Adam Hartung in Forbes is an excellent reflection about the difference between conservative speculation of unsustainable economies of growth (Kodak, Microsoft, etc) and the sustainable content economy of change (The Apple of Steven Jobs. What will happen now that Jobs is gone?) in the paradigm of technological excellence. The same kind of leadership can be applied to societies and politics.
From a selfish human perspective the milking of the cash cow until the cow dies is perfectly natural human behavior. Why change anything that produces wealth? From a sustainable progress point of view it of course shortsighted to assume that the chicken with the golden eggs will live forever even if you kill all new born chickens for a while out of fear of competition. One cannot beat progress, only delay it at the expense of severe crises. During times of war people are more creative than in periods of economic growth. Crazy. In content economies people have an incentive to be inventive: sustainable progress. In economies of growth they don’t.
That is what we see occurring around the world today asking for immediate attention in the field of content economic in politics and business. The problem is of course that Steve Jobs is gone and among the world population of 7 billion only very few are strong, visionary and capable enough to provide the leadership that is needed to address the necessary changes. But they remain unseen for now. It is much easier for those in power to bully with force, conservative power and injections of fake masses of money over the back of our future without any collateral, just to maintain old power positions than to open up for a true mentality of change. Yet there is no other way for them then to let go or history will accuse them and every day we make history now. The current stress in the economies of growth is so large that they break up anyway. Instead of being stubborn and focusing on growth the global political forces would do good to inject the billions into applied innovation and an economy of content rather than the current actions of throwing speculative means into a black hole of nothingness that leads to disaster, depreciation of money and inflation right up to a crisis.
Instead of worrying about exchange rates, inflation, debts and stock values, let us get exited about change and use our incredible level of knowledge to provide excellence in wellness around the world. There is plenty of work for all in the content economy, now and always. If you really ask yourself what content economy is just remember family prime time and the way you generally interact at home for progress. Most families, especially those with children, reason at home with content economics in their minds while in their jobs or on the street with the economy of growth, just like the politicians and business executives, because that is the culture we live in.
Currently the social, political and entrepreneurial content economy, if we introduced a system to measure it is way below 100 and potentially volatile. A lot needs to be done to get it onto track, on individual level but especially in the way we run our human organisations.