While the Information Economy has created many marvelous inventions and improvements in our society, one of the unfortunate side effects has been a loss of connection in many parts of our lives. In her book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, MIT professor Sherry Turkle illustrates the irony that even as people are spending so much time on social media sites, they’re finding less authentic connection and more isolation.
But the Purpose Economy promises something different. Technology now has the potential to connect us in more authentic, meaningful ways, rather than isolating us, and we have come to need this connection more and more. This shift in the use of technology is enabling radical changes to markets and organizations. As this happens, it disrupts almost every industry and creates economic opportunity for those who are able either to build new organizations or retrofit existing businesses to accommodate these changes.
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In this chapter of The Purpose Economy, entitled “Purposeful Ventures: Five Opportunities,” Aaron Hurst covers five industry trends that illustrate how value is created in the Purpose Economy, and how it will continue in the future. Through his analysis of five distinct industries, Hurst explores how people are striving for individuality, which in turn creates a more cohesive society.
- The New Marketplace: Technological Advancements in Retail – Campaigns for independence are becoming the new norm in retail spaces, and consumers are looking for ways to produce, distribute and purchase their own products.
- Real Estate and the Rise of Community Hubs – Starbucks started the trend, creating a “shared office” stop between work and home. Now more business models are forging gathering places for collaborative work.
- Revitalizing Finance through Social Lending – New leaders are personalizing finance by lending money to individuals and companies based on community reputation and personal rather than monetary factors.
- Using Community Education to Personalize Learning – As education evolves, it’s necessary to evaluate the limited effectiveness of traditional classroom learning spaces. Bringing education to the community promotes independence and discovery.
- Restoring Personal Interaction to the Medical Field – By reducing and streamlining paperwork and time constraints, the doctor-patient relationship can become more personalized and purpose-driven.
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