There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen
If City 2.0 is to support more life-giving options for behaviours, intentions, cultures and systems, City Economics 2.0 will have to emerge as an integral part of the whole.
A pessimist would say we have been witnessing the disintegration of the old economy in the last ten+ years with the waves of meltdowns surging across the globe like tsunamis, engulfing in turn Asian Tigers, Japan, Southern Asia, BRIC, USA, PIGS, Europe.
An optimist might way we are witnessing a whole new economy being born – like a new life emerging from an egg that is cracking open. The tsunamis are merely the result of new life pushing to the surface, seeking light as people outgrow the old systems that enabled survival but now curtail the next natural stage of emergence. The Occupy movements and their cousins are pecking away at the old shells, too brittle now to hold the flex and flow needed to nurture City 2.0.
The new economics is being created from the bottom up and the top down at the same time. We are growing a whole new metabolic system for City 2.0. Christian Arnsperger’s Eco-Transitions describes an eco-system with processes for exchange that are more reasonable, more ecologically viable and more socially equitable. Long a visionary voice for the invisible economy and the champion of an ecologically balanced and socially responsible economy Hazel Henderson has been developing systems, investment vehicles and metrics for the new economy for decades. Other economic voices like MacLeod and even the Euro’s “father” Bernard Litaer are dialoguing with regional experts like Gwendolyn Hallsmith call for multiple currencies that can co-exist in cities for different purposes and different markets. Values-based economic pioneers like Said Dawlabani recognizes that “memenomics” explains the natural stratification of wealth that emerges along with the values systems (Vmemes) of societies.
Actually new wealth is emerging because people are inventing not just new economies but ecologies of economies that break open the hard shells created by the old banking systems, national governments and organizational oligarchies.
As Integral City 2.0 emerges a lot of light is breaking through. City 2.0 is going to have to accustom itself to the glare and learn how to dance in it.