An MNB reader sent along a piece from Strategy & Business which features a story that starts this way:

“Most people in the business world are aware of the convergence of computer and communications technology, the shift in energy from fossil fuels to renewables, and the movement toward self-driving vehicles and robot-driven manufacturing. But only a few people are thinking intensively about how all these technological changes will fit together — along with changes in advanced manufacturing, water systems, agriculture, healthcare, and education — to generate rapid, widespread growth accompanied by a dramatic reduction in ecological footprint.

This systemic approach to the industrial future is the domain of economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin.”

Rifkin, the story says, argues that “both capitalism and the fossil fuel industries are hitting limits that stem from the laws of thermodynamics. Investor-based capitalism, which focuses resources for immediate returns, will inevitably be replaced by a more distributed and streamlined network-based capitalism, alongside a sharing economy governed by a high-tech global commons … this new hybrid economic system will be made possible through the provision of solar, wind, and other renewable energy on demand, facilitated by innovations such as the Internet of Things and blockchain. In the world he envisions, the costs of producing and delivering an increasing array of goods and services will dwindle to near zero, and economies will have to learn to manage abundance — and the use of shared goods and services.”

Fascinating reading, and you can check it out here.