This is a talk given by one of the most influential economists and thinkers of our time, Jeremy Rifkin, at Google HQ in California in 2014, shortly after the publication of his book: The Zero Marginal Cost Society.
The subject matter of the talk summarises the contents of that book fairly well, though I would obviously recommend reading the book as it goes into much more detail and is therefore even more convincing.
Rifkin’s idea is that we are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution which is being driven by the emerging internet of things (IOT) technologies that are spreading globally. He identifies three essential technologies that drive and shape the world: communications, energy and logistics.
All of these are being connected together and are scaling laterally in peer-to-peer networks which will eventually lead to all three costing near zero to add to once the platforms are built. This will revolutionize the way people interact and organise to a scale where we are talking about a 3rd industrial revolution.
One of the main thrusts of Rifkin’s work is that this is not only happening, and happening quite quickly, but is also necessary if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Consumption in the wasteful way things are organised at present is dramatically higher than it needs to be, and organising in peer-to-peer systems will fundamentally altar that.
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