8 months ago

Diplomatic World_nummer 56.


THE NEXT CHAPTER OF WESTERN ECONOMY STARTS IN BRUSSELS By 2025, 1/3 of the jobs are going to disappear, and another 1/3 will completely change. It is the biggest shift in the history of economy since the industrial revolution. One difference: the speed. In 5-7 years, world economy will be unrecognizeable. Most companies and governments have no idea what to do, nor where to go. In the best case, they focus on digitalisation. With the vulnerability to hacking today, building whole businesses exclusively on robots, AI, IoT, and digital revolutions is very risky. On the other hand, numerous new approaches to value creation are emerging everywhere — mostly under the radar. From Brussels, we have been gathering all these tendencies, mapping, clustering, analyzing and extrapolating them horizon 2025. WHY BRUSSELS ? A FUTURISTIC SANDBOX 60 It is the geographic center of Europe, the HQ of most lobbies, federations, Nato, European Union, and multinational companies. But above all, Belgium has a skill to deal with multicultural issues and multiple agendas, through a blend of germanic culture, latin and Anglo- Saxon, and 140 others — combined with a culture of humble hard work and global engineering (Belgium was the world’s second economic power till 100 years ago). Belgians are welcome anywhere in the world, unlike some other nationalities. Embassies in Brussels are staffed by the best diplomats on the planet, with open lines with their heads of state. Moreover, all the good ideas pass through Brussels sooner or later. It is ideal to export new economic visions and models. The sandbox of those economic models will find their markets mostly abroad, as Belgium is quite conservative. Especially emerging economies with young populations, eager to learn and empower the next generation of humanist entrepreneurship serving global challenges. We need to experiment and empower collaboration between the players who have the most resources to create change: large corporations. They start to realize, little by little, that Michel de Kemmeter

they cannot innovate on their own. They will not be able to shift drastically before 2025. So, in short, they are big ships, aware of the iceberg, its size and position, but unable to turn the wheel in time. Two things should be done: (1) trim the ship for impact, get down to the basics, and (2) prepare the lifeboats. The lifeboats are new businesses, based on the new paradigms (collaborative, serving multiple challenges), and they will be able to swim in between the icebergs. These new businesses should be crisis-proof, bringing new coherence between people and economic activities. They will thus be able to tackle historical challenges in systemic, instead of linear ways. A few examples: sustainable rental housing, waste recycling, next generation education systems, senior population and sustainable pension funds, illness prevention, sustainable agriculture and food, greening deserts, etc… This experiment was started in Brussels. Half a dozen companies, twenty extrapreneurs of multiple backgrounds and generations, were trained on the next economic paradigms (24 days of action-training), hands-on creating the next generation businesses. In four months, they came up with new businesses, validated by stakeholders and market, all of them fully scalable. In combination with new systemic thinking and a top-down vision on the next generation macro-economic models, we have the DNA of transition. We have to mobilize the early adopters of new ways of creating value — those who did try internal innovation, incubators, without substantial success. Those large companies are now ready to open the box and share their resources with others to create the next generation businesses. We exfiltrate them in a dedicated space, and train their managers — together with a next generation entrepreneurs — to a new economic philosophy with brandnew tools. The first experiment of Extrapreneurs in Brussels is now ready to be franchised and scaled up. A NEW SCHOOL OF ECONOMIC THINKING — CLUB OF BRUSSELS The next chapter of economic thinking is now being written all over the world. Thousands of experiments and studies are done and in process. We are compiling them with the “Club of Brussels”, and projecting economic vision on 5-10 years. We qualify and quantify job destructions and creations, and prepare a road book for governments to help their economies resist global recession, and facilitate the emergence of new economic spaces. Social economy, digital economy, sharing- and collaborative economy, green and circular economies are the big winners. Public authorities, services, trade, industry are the big losers (studies to be found in “Shifting Economy”, Brussels 2017, by Mossay-de Kemmeter). Thousands of studies have been made on economic transition, but only very partially. It is now time to put all of them together to create a new holistic vision on economy. Following the paradigm shifts going on as we speak, it looks like public services will be made more efficient with digital tools, thus cheaper. Healthcare cost will go down, thanks to more prevention and education. Education will move to more peer-to-peer learning; it will be much more hands-on, efficient and cheaper. Mobility will be more shared and thus cheaper and with lower impact. 61