The Knowledge Economy: Trends and Impacts

The knowledge economy is quickly becoming ‘the’ market in tandem with the growth of technology and urbanization. The transition is occurring as we shift value systems from pure resources to the information to be innovative and resourceful.

“Newly released, our study, Canada’s Urban Competitive Agenda: Completing The Transition From Resources To A Knowledge Economy, shows that the Canadian economy is built on two distinct models with two distinct geographies. Natural resources drive the West, while knowledge and creativity propel development in the East.” From the article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/by-ignoring-the-knowledge-economy-canada-is-taking-a-step-backward/article26688832/

OECD report

Three key trends to look for:

Big data and the internet of things

If we turn to assessing efficiency to reveal the amount of waste in our economy, we need look no further than our cities. Urban planning is restricted in uptake of new technologies as investment in infrastructure is a much longer actualization of 10 to 1 and even more. The urban fabric must add a tech layer to existing space and development, such as digging miles of fiber optic, may not be feasible. Making efficiencies to urban processes, such as in transportation would save a myriad of costs. This is where technology of the future will be applied. In the Toronto region alone, traffic costs over $6 billion annually.

Other uses for high-tech in cities:

  • Food security
  • Home monitoring
  • Blended learning and education

Bitcoin

With unfulfilled promises of federal reserve panaceas to our perpetual lagging and divisiveness in the current economic regime, alternative currencies may help pave the way to a more decentralized, affordable and innovative economy. The code behind bitcoin is open and transparent making it more trusting. From the site: “It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen.”

Open source or crowd sourced innovation

Many minds are better than a few. Organizations are scrambling to leverage the power of team work in terms of innovation. By reaching out to a network for solutions, feedback invites diverse perspectives and costs per capita are lower.

Rewards are also perceptibly different. Crowds, research shows, are energized by intrinsic motivations—such as the desire to learn. With technology making it simpler to reach people, manage workflows and support efforts, having more people on board to assist in solution making becomes a very attractive and cost-effective method for organizational development.

Last Words

Some of the pitfalls of the above adoptions include protecting intellectual property, quality control, and lack of structure. These technologies can make a business feel a little on shaky ground as control is relinquished to external forces. The information requires mediation and context to ensure stakeholder input is heard and reflected along with the use of technology to produce results.

By | 2017-04-04T20:18:15+00:00 February 8th, 2017|Blog, Technology @ Work|0 Comments

About the Author:

Christopher Caldwell is an adviser, author and educator in organizational sustainability, leadership and change.