Mapping Megatrends Series Part 2

By: Debbie Meltzer

From spring protests to Micro-capitalism, Mindful spending and Mobile e-Payment…

A call for future radical innovation now!

“Riots will hit the streets of America if we can’t resolve our economic, fiscal, political, social and monetary problems,warns Bloomberg.

Looking back at the protests map, the only matter that’s hard to understand is why they occur so seldom?

Protests and riots tend to be sparked by an incident or a concrete injustice that inflames massive moral outrage. The Arab spring, the London riots, Israel’s social protest and the anti-corruption demonstrations in India were amplified by people who did not believe they were validated by anyone in a position to make a difference.

Probably no one explained it better than Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963:

“When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty, whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up and express their anger and frustration if you refuse to hear their cries”. “A riot is the language of the unheard”. Nothing fundamental has changed since he uttered those words.

For all the “economic and social progress” governments still act on behalf of their wealthy sponsors, and the most privileged still see themselves as superior and deserving while pretending to abhor that very idea.

Since the debt crisis continues to expose extreme polarization, you’ve got to ask yourself – Where to next on the riot map?

“Riots will hit the streets of America if we can’t resolve our economic, fiscal, political, social and monetary problems, warned New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week.

moneyAlthough reticent about going public, the U.S. government is making contingency plans to deal with all-out-collapse scenarios. Rumors have it that the US Army is studying financial market trading floors with J.P Morgan to better understand how a financial and economic attack may occur, what will be the ramifications on US stocks and bonds and how to cull civil unrest.

While mainstream economists worldwide join the dribbles of tirade on anti-Fed funding, dollar doldrums and double dip recession, a new economic movement is offering an alternative outlook.

Micro capitalism is a third-way economic direction that favors small business and small government. It’s about preserving productive property and capital in the hands of as many private citizens as possible. It ties in with mindful spending and mindful consumption.

One thing that bothers me – is it yet another –ism that typifies the aftermath of turmoil?

Just after the 2008 crisis the Rasmussen Reports series published a survey. It showed Americans under age 30 were split almost evenly when asked about what economic model they preferred: 37% said they preferred capitalism, 33% said they preferred socialism, and 30% were undecided. In February 2010 a Gallup poll showed Americans across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support small business and entrepreneurs.

These results, together with street-level economics, show a need for new models and technology platforms that echo future values.

Micro capitalism tied in with mindful spending and mindful consumption offer more practical alternatives because they encourage and support more enterprising citizens, with no distinctions of age or place in the economic food chain.

Despite the scale and revenue of corporates like Google and Apple or the billion dollar plus valuations of new players such as Groupon, they do not employ equivalent numbers to firms with similar turnover in sectors such as manufacturing, retail or tourism.

With diminishing job growth, governments will need to start offering more support to micro-businesses. In future we need to see more micro-capitalist schemes facilitated through technology platforms like Google’s cloud based eBooks programs and Google ideas.

“Google eBooks was specifically designed so indies could leapfrog into the e-book game without having to invest a lot of upfront costs beyond the time to integrate our platform…,” Tom Turvey, Director of Google Strategic Partnerships.

In fact the more you think of it, the more technology trends like up and coming NFC payment and Google wallet can help facilitate mindful spending and mindful consumption. NFC is rumored to be offered on iPhone 5 from this October, according to Al-Gore’s slip up. If future smart phone e-Wallets will be everything they promise, we will be able to compare at point of sale each item with its local competition, track purchases, manage expenses and more…

With the slew of endless apps and mobile tech buzz, let’s hope more budding entrepreneurs can marry technology with business models and strategies that encourage smarter spend and death to debt.