What to call the new economics

I’ve been talking with the awesome Charles Heying, author of Brew to Bikes (2010) about naming this movement. Is it:

  • slow: “seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything…” Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slow (2005)
  • local, specific to each place, its culture, style, ecosystem, “terroir” … and controlled by the people there rather than by distant forces
  • sustainable in a bioregion
  • about integrity, meaning that producers take pride in the quality of product, workmanship, labor and environmental practices, consumers take pride in paying a fair price, being reliable, and treating producers and products with respect, and middlemen (if there are any) facilitate connections at a fair cost rather than take advantage of producers. (FYI this is NOT the topic of Anna Bernacek’s 2010 book, The Economics of Integrity, which tries to re-valorize corporations’ image by arguing that our daily lives depend on their integrity) 
  • relational, about transactions that are based on direct, personal relationships between producer and consumers (FYI this is NOT the topic of Scott Allen’s 2008 book, The Relationship Economy, which proposes that everything is going to happen through online social networks) 
  • artisanal: about the making of things with care and skill (Chris Anderson has proposed that high tech manufacturing also fits within this model)
  • small-scale, or “small-batch”, the word preferred by Jason Kottke

 

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