Taken from this video (video) featuring an interview with Douglas Rushkoff (http://www.rushkoff.com/).
So this is a very short version of the information contained in the video above.
Basically at the moment everyone expects constant growth in the economy. This is unsustainable, so as a species we have to change what we do.
History tells us that the need for constant growth had it's roots in the 13th century when the crusaders returned from the middle east and introduced the idea of trading and markets. This led to sustained growth in Europe as people traded their wares and labour with the introduction of monetary systems.
At the time the "elites" were the nobility and they passed laws to outlaw local currency and to ensure that the various trades were employed under the control of the elites. This was the birth of the employee. Any money in the economy had to be worked for or borrowed with interest and hence the constant need for growth was born. This worked well for centuries as the west expanded but now the planet is being plundered over it's capacity and can no longer support constant growth.
Then along comes disruptive technology like Amazon and Uber. Uber uses technology to out perform local taxi companies. A relatively simple application that costs little generates huge income for a very small company in a far off land. This is a destructive relationship sucking money out of local economies.
Why do disruptive companies act in this way. It is all about the way money is provided to start ups. A company like Twitter has a turnover of 2B$ which is seen as inadequate when compared to AirBnB and Uber. This is because investors and shareholders demand huge returns. The only element that matters for these businesses is Capital. They do not rely on people or owning land. They act remotely and vacuum up money depleting local economies.
Basically the operating system of our economy is a 13th century relic being used to run 21st century technology companies. We need technology companies that work locally so that cities can hang on to local generated money and create value. We need to stop extracting money and focus on the flow of money in the local economy. We need to decouple work from employment.
One idea is to create platforms co-ops like Winco Foods that out competes Walmart and is owned by it's employees.
We need to focus on our local cities. We need to create high technology local businesses ideally based on co-operative principles. Each city has people that need services, we just need to ensure these needs are met by local businesses and skills and not outsourced to distant super wealthy technology companies.
It sets out a vision of where councils might be in 2025 to better understand what opportunities they face now.
Key FindingsLocal government has made huge progress in enabling residents to carry out basic transactions online. But most councils have a long way to go to deliver smooth, frictionless services and fully digitise their back offices. Digitisation isn’t just about developing digital services; depending on the level of ambition, digital tools can help:
- Save money and deliver better outcomes by intervening earlier and helping people manage their own conditions.
- Transform the way that councils work internally, commission services and partners, diagnose and solve problems, use public space, and attract talent.
- Make services smoother and easier to access, more personalised and user-responsive.
- Put residents at the heart of local problem-solving and decision-making and create an environment which supports businesses to startup and scale.
The 2025 visionLike the best tech companies, future councils will be lean, agile and data-driven. Siloed services will be replaced with multi-agency teams that form around specific local challenges. A truly mobile workforce has freed up public space. Almost all transactions take place online. Instead of two-dimensional council websites, interactive platforms connect users with third-party apps and services, and stream personalised content on local democracy, jobs and services.
Relational services (such as social care) still rely heavily on face-to-face contact. But digital tools help people to manage their own long-term conditions and connect to a broader network of support, such as peer mentors, health coaches, friends and family, volunteers and group-based activities. Digital technologies have helped councils take a more ambitious approach to place-shaping. A larger share of public contracts go to high-growth SMEs. Councils systematically engage residents in decisions about how services are commissioned, delivered and evaluated.
Policy RecommendationsThe report recommends:
- Councils become digital by default, moving all transactional services online and fully digitising their back offices by 2020.
- The Cabinet Office should bring together key local government actors to define - and continuously update - open standards for data for the whole public sector.
- Leading councils should come together to create a market for new digital products in cases where local authority needs are not currently being met by off-the-peg solutions.
- City regions should be required to establish an Office of Data Analytics (ODA) as part of devolution settlements. The ODA – modelled on the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics pioneered in New York City – should be tasked with helping city leaders and public bodies bring together and analyse data to support regional economic growth and local public sector reform.
- Councils should invest in accessibility, by providing online and human navigation support to help people use digital services in public spaces, such as libraries and jobcentres. They should also ensure that pathways between different services are seamless, jargon free, and that people with different digital needs are appropriately ‘triaged’.
- The Cabinet Office should review and publish detailed guidance on the ethical dimensions of data-sharing and algorithm-supported decision-making.