The New World Economy: 5 revolutions for a sustainable world.

collaborative and sustainable economy
Last January, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Segolène Royal, asked former European Deputy Corinne Lepage to deliver a report on « The New World Economy ».

The 139-pages report, written with, amongst others, the help of world renowned economist Jeremy Rifkin, provides some fascinating insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the French economy in its globality to embrace and lead the way towards a “New World Economy”. And many if not all of those insights can readily be applied to Europe in general and Spain in particular.

The New World Economy refers to « an economy at the service of mankind, free of fossil and fissile energies, connected and relocated »; it refers to a world composed of a variety of actors, where civil, entrepreneurial and local achievements are proliferating, a world which takes into account social and environmental externalities and is willing to be a catalyst to the development of the Green Economy. In essence, the New World Economy fully embraces the principles of the sharing economy and the circular economy, whilst integrating and leveraging the digital revolution.

The report starts by covering the numerous successful initiatives which already permeate the French and European economies, and hence provide indications for the way forward:

  • Entrepreneurial successes like Blablacar, which nowadays requires no introduction; BoostHeat, with its ground-breaking boiler that halves energy bills and the ecological footprint; La Colmena que dice si, which connects farmers to consumers directly through local, decentralised marketplaces; or Albioma which produces electricity from thermal biomass, anaerobic digestion and solar power, and uses a circular economy model at its core! Clean Marine, a company which provides solutions to the maritime emission challenge, was recently recognised in the Deloitte Fast 500 ranking as the 8th fastest growing company in europe with a growth rate of 7260% in the past 4 years!
  • Territorial successes, with the remarkable example of Barcelona. The Fab City project in Barcelona plans to open several fab labs, at least one in every district, till 2020. The long term objective is to leverage the local ecosystem to create energy self sufficiency and be 50% autonomous for food and industrial production by 2030!
  • Initiatives driven by the civil society, such as ERCISOL, a cooperative set up to finance renewable energy projects; or the numerous examples found in Germany, where local citizens actively contribute to financing their energy production requirements; this results in 50% of all renewable energy today being produced by the citizens and the local collectivities.

There are however a large number of obstacles in the way towards the New world economy, which need to be addressed urgently. The report recommends a framework based on Jeremy Rifkin’s thoughts as outlined in his bestselling book « The Third Industrial Revolution : How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy and the World. ». The outcome is a series of 5 “revolutions” as follows:

  1. Set the economy at the service of mankind and the environment
  2. Integrate externalities
  3. Prioritise local actions and the civil society
  4. Build a new entrepreneurial model
  5. Give absolute priority, in the facts, to renewable energy

One of the key actors in this transition to a new model is the financial world. The climate finance day event which took place in May 2015 in Paris is emblematic of the key role global finance has to play towards the clean energy transition, and hence towards the “new world economy”. One of the most promising solution in this regard is the very rapid development of new collaborative financing models such as crowdlending. It should be of no surprise that this alternative finance model grew from $3 to $12 billion between 2011 and 2014 and is set to establish a new growth record in 2015.

At ECrowd! we are huge proponents of the “New World Economy” vision and intend to continue playing a growing role towards its realisation. Our web based collaborative platform brings together individual investors to finance local or global initiatives contributing to the energy transition and a long term sustainable economy. It’s the coming together of the sharing economy and digital revolution towards an economy which is fundamentally at the service of mankind and the environment. And we are making it happen today!

P.S: The new world economy report is available as a free download here

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