Carlota perez

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Edward T. Hall wrote a book in 1976 entitled “Beyond Culture” in which he coined the phrase “Extension Transference.”  Wikipedia defines it thusly:

“Extension transference is a phenomenon that occurs when we create systems to help us do things more efficiently and effectively an in ways that we can measure and control. Often these are processes that we once did quite naturally on our own.”

The global economy with worldwide pricing and manufacturing for pennies on the other side of the planet, allows Americans to consume like there’s no tomorrow. This is bad for planet earth… and bad for its inhabitants.

Mass production, low price points, laziness, package directions and extension transferences based upon technology are hurting out hearts and brains. Some people literally and figuratively don’t know where they’re going…without Google Maps.

I’ve been a proponent of a cultural trend in America I like to call “Roots.” Roots brings us back closer to sanity.  We learn how things work (science), we become more self-sufficient yet communal, we use our leisure time to do and learn rather than play.  As Carlota Perez says, we need to stop messing up the planet and start an economy based on durable goods, servicing those goods rather than tossing them into the landfill; we need to live our lives in ways that leave the trail cleaner than when we found it.

This is the craft economy. And it will contain a lot less extension transferences and a lot more self-determination.  We will understand how to keep out bodies healthy rather than create a GDP where 15+% is healthcare related (a figure that doesn’t even count pharmaceuticals or insurance.)  Roots and the craft economy.  It’s the way forward. Peace!  

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One of my first insights as a young planner while working at Poppe Tyson on a brand called Ravensburger, maker of wooden puzzles and educational games, was the insight that competitors who were flooding the market with what we called “junk games” borrowed from the term junk food. 

Some might disagree with me on this, but I’m afraid a good deal of the products we consume today can be classified as junk. Products for most of the populace are not build to last. Clothes, sneakers, outerwear purchased for under ten dollars at discount stores start unraveling on the way home. But what the heck, they didn’t cost anything.

Carlota Perez, an economist interviewed by Fred Wilson at Web 2.0 last year, says the way forward for our planet is to make products that use less raw material, last a long time and can be serviced by real people earning a wage. This mentality is what I’m calling the Craft Economy.

If we make and consume craft products, we’ll take better care of them.  Craft beer isn’t swilled the way mass market pasteurized beer is.  It’s savored.  Refrigerators that last 25 years, a pair of shoes that are resoled rather than tossed – these are the things of a craft economy. Let’s lose disposable everything. Razor blades. Paper towels. Let’s use more natural products and think sustainability.

The craft economy is coming. And as a trend it will grow faster as economists start building cases for the inherent savings. More Etsy, less junk. Peace!

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Yesterday was Blog Action Day and the topic this year is food; another important  topic we all too often take for granted. As we do with air and water.

At the end of this month theplanet’s population will top 7 billion. Most of the growth is coming from countries and areas that are underfed, undernourished and under-watered. These areas don’t seen to have fertility problems. Is it possible that making the body work harder to sustain itself is better for the planet than eating French fries, salted snacks and high-calorie things that come wrapped in paper and Styrofoam?

I am an evolutionist who believes there is a very direct correlation between the man, earth and bio-chemistry.  You grow what you sow, so to speak. 

For too long we’ve been a car and fossil fuel country. It has to stop.  Sadly, even the smartest venture capital companies (Google whatstheidea+kleiner perkins) that have taken a stand and opted to jump start green tech have returned to focusing on social media start-ups.  Carlota Perez, a big picture genius, interviewed by Fred Wilson last week said our future is not in technology but in sustainability. She is right.

But food, how do we fix food?  And what will be the incentive.  How do we eat better. Eat less. Eat things that don’t enable diseases?  President Obama knows fixing these two things is the answer, but like Kleiner Perkins he knows it’s a steep uphill effort.  And long term.

According to Chipotle each week 330 farmers leave their land. Farming is a noble business. Farmers tend to get the whole eat well thing.  We can find a way to combine a healthy eating lifestyle and the reduction of fossil fuel (burning) consumption.  That is the mission. That is the future. That will fix much. Peace! 

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