Nine Shift post: Our Economic Future: We Need a Word

Fri, Jan 31,2014 @ 12:45 PM
by William Draves |

For the U.S. to really move forward in, and with, the new economy, we need a word. Nine Shift post

Just one word, we need to agree on using that word.  We currently have no word that both accurately describes, and is in common usage, for "the new economy."  Here are the candidates:

*Innovation sector, used by Enrico Moretti in his new book
*Knowledge sector, created by Peter Drucker in 1959
*Intangible economy, used by a number of economists
*'Private Services,'   used by U.S. Commerce Department
*IT sector, used by the IT sector  :)    

Ironically, the term 'knowledge worker' (society, sector) was invented by Drucker, an American, but is used extensively in Europe but not in the U.S. 

100 years ago my great grandfather, who started a company that by mid-century was a Fortune 500 company, was called an "industrialist."  Everyone knew what that new occupation was.  He and many other creator of industrial companies were called industrialists.

Today we have a commonly understood term, “manufacturing,” to describe what is dying and being replaced, but not a term for what is replacing it economically.  So it is very difficult to promote, advocate, and encourage what we need without a term to describe it.

This post was written by William A. Draves, who authored "Nine Shift: Work, Life, and Education in the 21st Century" with Julie Coates. Their latest book is "Pedagogy of the 21st Century." This post originally appeared on the Nine Shift blog.


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