Jeremy Rifkin: A Positive Futurist

Economics has a well-deserved reputation as “the dismal science”. Whether it is uncontrolled growth or worldwide depression, all futures envisioned by economists seem dystopian. The world is going to hell in a basket of goods.

Amongst all the doom and gloom Jeremy Rifkin represents a breath of fresh air. He is an economist with a positive view of the future. I happened upon an interview with Rifkin about his book “The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, The Economy, and The World” and was mesmerized by his sweeping historical perspective. The interview is available on YouTube by following this link:

A lecturer at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Rifkin has authored 20 books. He is the founder of The Foundation on Economic Trends (www.foet.org) and is an advisor to the EU.

A recurring theme in Rifkin’s recent books is the transformative power the Internet is exerting as a social and economic leveller and as a model for a new economy. In his latest book “The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, and The Eclipse of Capitalism” Rifkin goes into detail about how the Internet has transformed commerce, the entertainment industry and the publishing industry and is beginning to transform the way we manufacture goods, the way we deliver services, the way we work and the way we produce and consume energy.

Jeremy Rifkin will make you look forward to the future.