In Search of an Alternate Economy

I had dinner with SXSW buddy Britt Raybould last night, and during our conversation I finally put into words something that’s been on my mind: an “alternative economy” that I sense I’m being drawn into. This is the larger pattern behind trends like DIY, Social Media, Open Source, Crowd Sourcing, CSAs, NPR, non-profits, BarCamp, PodCamp, independent film and music, idling, global microbranding, the long tail, sustainability, and good old fashioned face-to-face. This is perhaps what the New Economy was supposed to be about, before the wave was hijacked by the Old Economy’s model for making a quick buck. In the implosion of 2000, lots of people re-evaluated their value systems amidst the smoldering ruins of their stock-optioned lives, and refocused on building community. My thought was that it might be possible to eschew the “old economy”, which is currently in shambles.

I don’t have much to say on this yet, but I wanted to stick this post up to see how it resonates. I’ve found a few other terms related to this:

  • Social Economy – between public and private economies, this embodies charities and non-profits.
  • Ethical Economies – I came across a blog post called “The political economy of peer production: Adam Arvidsson and the Ethical Economy”, which seems similar to what I’m investigating.

Anyone looking at anything similar?