Mar 1 2012

Can Technology Save Us?

Interesting article from the TED Conference showing the contrasting views of Paul Guilding and Peter Diamandis.  While Paul argues that our obsession with economic growth is overloading the planet’s capacity to support us, Peter believes that technology will save us.

It’s an argument that has been going on for some time, and one I’ve written about before in an earlier blog.  It’s hard to defend growth when you hear about the environmental limits, but harder still to not defend it in this time of austerity.

I think the conversation would be more fruitful if we were trying to figure out what sustainable ‘growth’ could look like.  It’s probably true that we are measuring the wrong things, but GDP is going to be the indicator of choice for some time yet.  So while that is the case, now is the time to be looking at the new business models that will change the world.  There are ways to improve living standards that don’t involve consuming more.  There are collaborative businesses that do this, whatever there legal status.  I’m tracking some of these down to find out how and why they do what they do, and will be writing about them here.  If you know of any, or you are one, please get in touch. I’ll bring the biscuits when I come and visit.

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