Next to my professional practice I serve as an Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco since 2013, where I teach the pioneering Experience Design studio, in both the Interaction Design (BFA) and Design Strategy (MBA) programs.
I call today’s economy “The WTF Economy.” It fills us with wonder, and it fills us with dismay. I’ve been working hard to understand what we need to change if we want to create a Next Economy that will preserve the wonders of innovation but also addresses the dark futures that we face unless we put people first. Let’s work together to harness the power of technology to decrease income inequality rather than increase it! — Tim O’Reilly
There are many people who blame technology for increasing income inequality. Paul’s defense of technology (which he frames as “startups”) is that it creates wealth for all, even as (he claims) it creates inequality. I agree with him that technology can make us all richer, but I disagree that it necessarily creates greater inequality, even if some startup founders become very rich. It only does that if companies don’t create real value in return for that wealth.
In chatting with Rafael (our VP Marketing here at Intercom) last week about questions we ask when interviewing people, he mentioned that he often asks people if they are a ‘Starter’ or a ‘Finisher’. What a brilliant question. I am a Starter, no doubt. I work hard to be a Finisher when it matters, but I am naturally a Starter.
I saw this last month just outside Kigali, in Rwanda, where a combination of government assistance, through President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, and private investment, through Gigawatt Global, has created a crazy futurist solar field that’s boosted Rwanda’s generation capacity by 6 percent and has basically blown my circuits with its possibilities; this array just has to be seen. Europe’s already on board with the idea of clean, green energy, promising to help 500 million people get access to it. The world ought to put its weight behind risk-takers like Gigawatt and help them scale in places like northern Nigeria. The sun shines there, too.