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Tag: GDP

An Analog To Digital Converter For Knowledge Assets

A-D ConverterCuriosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets.

The single most destructive characteristic of the Market Capitalism is the dependence on resources extracted from the Earth to fuel constant economic growth. Natural resources are finite while constant growth model is infinite.  There are several ways to manage this disparity; the first is to expire Capitalism, the second is to base that dependence on an infinite resource. Given the shortcomings of most viable alternatives to Capitalism, the latter is likely more plausible than the former.

Many perils to society that manifest today have their beginnings in the thesis by Adam Smith called “The Wealth of Nations”. In this document Mr. Smith outlines the conditions of Capitalism where a merchant class would arise to efficiently allocate land, labor, and capital in various combinations in order to produce all of the useful things that society needs. The working class would hold the system in balance; too much growth would result in a shortage of labor that would constrain capital through higher wages (supply and demand). Government would be hardly necessary in a self-balancing system. Ironically, A great deal of innovation has arisen from the prospect of eliminating labor, which allowed growth to continue beyond the natural constraint.

Karl Marx identified the inevitable situation of constant struggle between the working class and the merchant class. One group strived for greater wages while the other strived to lower wages. From this struggle arose a spectrum of adjustments ranging from labor unions and calculated government regulations (Socialism) all the way to full State allocation of public resources (Communism). Herein lies the dawn of geopolitics and competing ideology.

It is fairly easy to see from this short history where hierarchy, competition, politics, exploitation, environmental crisis, and monetary corruption are intimately related. Today, these elements are enshrined in our culture in B-schools, sports, warfare, education, 2-party representation, etc. The result is that people are forced to compete with each other for jobs, money, food, water, air, education, civil liberties, etc.

But it does not have to be this way. A relatively simple modification to the existing paradigm can realign the economic incentives, and therefore social priorities, from consumption to preservation of our planet without necessarily triggering a collapse and subsequent reboot.

Consider the proverbial “basket of goods” – an economic standard used in a variety of analyses including Relative Price Index, Forex, Gross Domestic Product, etc.  The basket of goods consists of unit quantities of tangibles such as food, housing, energy, transportation, etc.  Now consider the human knowledge required to produce that same basket of goods. One can easily imagine economic standards articulated as either the tangible basket of goods or the intangible basket of goods. Both have the same outcome.

Yet, knowledge is an infinite resource that can underwrite so many more dimensions of human existence than a select basket of goods.  The problem is that there is no accounting system for intangibles as there is for tangibles. There is a reason for this – it is called control. Therefore, to create an accounting system for knowledge assets is to take control of productivity and the currency that represents it.  That is the evolution we ought to focus on.

This is a much simpler challenge than trying to solve every problem that our civilization faces individually. This is a much easier problem to solve than trying to change the minds of entrenched ideologies. This is a much easier problem than changing all the laws and institutions that exist to make the old game as fair as it can ever possibly be.  In fact, the solutions for our most complex problems as a civilization are stunningly simple to create.

Did I mention that Curiosumé is an analog to digital converter for knowledge assets?

How To Overhaul GDP

Self-imposed exile, or land of opportunity?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) refers to the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period.  Simon Kuznets first developed the concept of the GDP for a US Congress report in 1934.  He immediately said not to use it as a measure for welfare. He later elaborated:

“Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between costs and returns, and between the short and long run. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what.”

Sheer Madness at best

Today, the concept of Gross Domestic Product is vastly flawed to the point where the tail now wags the dog.  GDP now determines what we produce, who produces it, where it is produced, when and how it is produced.  Further, GDP snuffs out vast amounts of intangible value simply because it cannot be measured as GDP.

Global Policy is not enough

Recently, The G-20 meetings resolved to a very interesting point; to redefine GDP by a new set of metrics.  This will be a long hard journey if done solely in the political domain.   However, if we can make a business case for it, the entrepreneurs will jump on board.  Then, and only then, can the landscape change as rapidly and drastically as will be required to turn civilization around equitably and peacefully.

Corporate Policy is not enough

The irony is that those who perpetrate GDP metrics may be those who would benefit the most from dumping it.  In the following article from FastCompany, How Intangible Corporate Culture Creates Tangible Profits, companies who learn to transform intangible assets to tangible value become more competitive over companies that do not.  The article cites Southwest Airlines as the first airline to strip down all “tangible” amenities, yet they succeed by replacing them with intangible value such as superior customer experience.

Policy, Corporations, Culture and Entrepreneurs need to act as one:

Interestingly, the FastCompany article talks a great deal about culture.  They also use the terms; “information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom” liberally throughout the text.  This is very inspiring to us at The Ingenesist Project because we use similar language to design and deploy business methods in industries as diverse as Aviation, Construction, and Philanthropy that readily convert between tangible and intangible value.

For Example:

  • The objective of Zertify is to replace the competitive incentives among communities and replace them with a knowledge inventory that matches mentors to protégé.  Teachers and students do not compete, they collaborate in order to be successful.
  • The Value Game creates an environment where one acting in the best interest of their collaborator, acts in their own best interest of value creation.
  • Our Exoquant algorithm provides a direct relatedness between information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom.

The New Value Movement

When we talk about the New Value Movement, we are trying to specify a new class of business methods that can literally “manufacture” the things that people actually need without any distinction between tangible and intangible.  People need a game that they can win playing by the same set of rules. People need food as much as the need love – there is no walled garden of human needs, except the planet we share.

Then we can measure what people actually produce with it

Gross National Happiness

Continuing our series on the Search for the Next Economic Paradigm, we feature an unlikely authority on Economic development. The Gross National Happiness Metric hails from the Himalayan country of Bhutan listed by the UN as a “Least Developed Country”.

The linked presentation below reports on the GNH (Gross National Happiness) conference. Yes, people are getting together for an annual GNH conference just like the famed GNP (Gross Domestic Product) conferences elsewhere.

Hypothesis: Paradigm shift related to global societal development

• ‘Economic growth’ as the dominating paradigm of ‘progress’ is increasingly under challenge
• Growth of GDP is unsustainable and does not lead to more happiness
• We are in a process of Redefining Progress and Global Transformation
• Needed: Multi-stakeholder, multi-cultural and intradisciplinary as well as participatory public support networks for an emerging new development paradigm

The Production of Happiness

How Does Social Media Affect GDP?

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a basic measure of an economy’s economic performance.  GDP is the market value of all final goods and services made within the borders of a nation in a year measured in Dollars.  Globally, GDP is equal to the total monetary income generated by production of goods and services in a country.

Gross Domestic Product does not take into account many important variables accelerated by Social Media and growing exponentially in economic influence.

GDP counts only industrial output, but…

Industrial output is becoming increasingly dependent on social networks and social innovation.  GDP does not take into account such non-market transactions such as open source development, crowd sourced innovation, conversational currency, social capital, creative capital, or intellectual capital exchanged between people in diverse social networks

GDP reflects Wall Street Priorities, but…

Wall Street Priorities are increasingly challenged by social priorities. GDP does not account for sustainable business practices, heroism, mentorship, activism, volunteerism, social networking, uncompensated innovation, and community involvement.  GDP does not account for quality improvements and social multipliers such as aggregation of social media, increasingly powerful computers, acceleration of conversations, online etiquette, multi-media, and social editorial services.

All of the above exclusions are valuable, because…

These exclusions add value, they store value, they create value, they distribute value, and they exchange value.  If we called it a financial instrument that is highly convertible, extremely liquid, and easily transported it would describe a currency by any definition of the word.  For the purpose of this discussion, call this currency the “Rallod” – or Dollar spelled backwards.  The Rallod is the currency of the new American economic and production paradigm.

The Invisible Currency

For Example; Twitter is doing in Iran what America has been trying to do in Iraq for 8 years.  Face book, LinkedIn, and the entirety of social media space is producing many times the effectiveness of the $200 Billion U.S. advertising industry in terms of driving people to specific action. Social vetting platforms such as blogs, commentaries, groups, and content aggregation have increased the efficiency of markets by vastly reducing arbitrage opportunities while also identifying scams and corruption.  Human productivity is being converted to Rallods and there is no politician, executive, or white collar criminal anywhere in the world who is not deeply concerned about this invisible currency.

The Best is Yet to Come:

The “Last Mile of Social Media” is analogous to the last mile of broadband Internet – the marginal cost of reaching every person in every household and tightening social networks to extremely high resolution, is diminishing rapidly.   The Last Mile will bring communities together to vet local politicians, corporations, products, and policies.  The Last Mile will formulate a knowledge inventory combines with close proximity of knowledge assets and a percentile search engine to predict outcomes.  The Last Mile of Social Media will duplicate every function that exists in a corporation except it will be built upon the social media operating system; aggregated, amalgamated, sustainable, and reflecting social priorities.

So what happens to GDP?

GDP by current measure will reflect only the value of the “dollar”, not necessarily the value of the human productivity.  Perhaps it already does.

Next Economic Paradigm; Part 1

Technological change must always precede economic growth. We are going about the process of Globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change. This is the singular flaw of market capitalism that needs to be reversed.

The Next Economic Paradigm will be an Innovation Economy. Unfortunately, this will not be delivered by corporations, Government or Academia. There no single person, country, ideology, or philosophy that can meet the challenges of the future alone – everyone will be required to participate because everyone has a stake in the outcome.

The Ingenesist Project outlines a very optimistic future. The problems ahead have a relatively simple solution that can be implemented today using existing tools and infrastructure. These tools acting in the right system can have profound impact on future economic growth and the sustainability of our resources.

The Ingenesist Project identifies a core problem:

This is the human productivity chart. Every time humans invent better ways of doing things, they become more productive. Where more people are more productive, the economy gets bigger. This is a fact.

About 50,000 years ago, humans began to make tools using tools and innovation increasing exponentially. Tools made hunting and gathering easier. As farming developed so did the emergence of cities. When people could produce more than they needed, they had time to think about things like philosophy, art, astronomy, written language. This led to a scientific revolution that continued to make new observations about the world. These observations were applied to systems that made people still more productive. The industrial revolution followed. Industry produced a lot of information. The ability to process that information using computers led to the information revolution. Soon people began seeing new trends among the information, facts, and data. This ability largely defines the knowledge economy that we see today.

Obviously, There were economic “eras” in the past and there will be more in the future; of this is not the end of human economic development. Something else will happen after the knowledge economy. This next economic paradigm is not easy to see.  Many people have a sense that civilization is changing – it must change.

Looking at the productivity chart, we notice a few interesting trends.

  • Every level of economic development was derived from the prior level of economic development.
  • That transformation was achieved by integrating the tools that were developed during the prior economy.

The two greatest tools in the knowledge economy are the Internet and Social Media. The Innovation Economy must integrate these tools.

Now, this is the Human Gross Domestic Product Chart. This is obviously very similar to the productivity chart except that the bottom axis is labeled with Global Gross Domestic Product over the same time period. The global GDP of 50,000 years ago was about 200 Million in current dollars.

Today, the Global GDP is about 65 Trillion Dollars.

If this curve was to continue, and it can, the next level of economic development could easily value in the Quadrillions. However, this cannot happen without some adjustments to the current system:

The only way to create more money is to increase human productivity and the only way to increase human productivity is to Innovate. This is the guiding principle of an Innovation Economist.

The problem is that the financial system is highly organized while the “Innovation system” is nearly random.

Economic growth with “money” as the scorecard lives in a complex, global and highly integrated system where billions of dollars circle the globe daily at the click of a mouse.

By contrast, human innovation lives in the patent system which is extremely slow, static, and prohibitively expensive. Of course, innovation certainly happens in places like Silicon Valley, Government Laboratories, Universities, and let’s not forget the proverbial “Steve’s Garage”; but these sources are not integrated and they do not behave like a system – except at the mercy of the financial system.

Innovation is market driven, markets should be innovation driven.

It is clear; there is no Innovation system to match the financial system in speed, efficiency, and integration. The objective of the Ingenesist Project is to specify an innovation system that integrates the tools of the knowledge economy into a structure that mimics the financial system. If it looks like money, it will behave like money and people will trade it.

The Next Economic Paradigm must duplicate the same 5 essential components as today’s economy.  These 5 components interact with each other as a system.

The 5 Essential Components of an Economy

1. A Currency to store value

2. An Inventory to account for the storage and exchange of value

3. Institutions that are supposed to keep the game fair

4. Entrepreneurs to do the “fuzzy math”

5. Business Plan or philosophy such as “Capitalism”

If any of these pieces are missing or corrupted, the market will fail. All 5 of these elements must be operational and integrated in order for a market to be efficient.

In the next several articles, we will go through each of the 5 elements and develop the corresponding knowledge system that will be integrated as we create the structure of the Innovation Economy.

If you give people a game they can win, they will play it all day long. In this regard, human behavior is highly predictable.

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