Jeremy Rifkin was the keynote speaker at the informal EU Council, inaugural event of the Italian Semester, during the Digital Venice Conference
On the 8th of July Jeremy Rifkin delivered a speech to inspire the starting Italian Presidency in the direction of the Internet of Things, as well as the Zero Marginal Cost Economy, the digitalization of the EU activities and the raise of the Collaboratove Commons as the system that is going to replace capitalism in the long run.
The EU Informal Council was attended by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, other prominent policy makers from other European Union member states and representatives of leading international digital companies.
Rifkin explained to the Council how a new economic system is entering on to the world stage. The emerging Internet of Things is giving rise to the Collaborative Commons, the first new economic paradigm to take root since the advent of Capitalism and Socialism in the early nineteenth century. The Collaborative Commons is transforming the way we organize economic life, offering the possibility of dramatically narrowing the income divide, democratizing the global economy, and creating a more ecologically sustainable society.
The zero marginal cost phenomenon is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society. Rifkin describes how hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons.
Rifkin clarified that capitalism will be with us for the foreseeable, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player partner in the coming era. However, it will no longer be the exclusive arbiter of the economic life by the second half of the 21st Century. We are, Rifkin sayd, entering a world partially beyond markets where we are learning how to live together more empathically in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons, and the Digitalization of the European Economy must play along to this historic transition positioning EU industry, economy and society at the forefront ot the raising collaborative Commons, preserving net neutrality so that everybody can be given fair access to the infrastructure of the Internet of Things where the Communication Internet, the fledgling Energy Internet and Logistics Internet come together in a seamless 21st century intelligent infrastructure.
This will boost productivity to the point where the marginal cost of producing many goods and services is nearly zero, making them essentially free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces (marginal cost is the cost of producing an additional unit of a good or service if fixed costs are not counted). This new economic model, the Collaborative Commons, will free Europe and the world from the debt slavery and introduce a completely new logic in which social capital is as important as finance capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism cooperation ousts competition, and “exchange value” in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by “shareable value” on the Collaborative Commons.
In this new world, – Rifkin concluded- “Prosumers” are making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3-D printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are even enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. And young social entrepreneurs are bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance ecologically sensitive businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the new sharing economy. social capital is as important as finance capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism cooperation ousts competition, and “exchange value” in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by “shareable value” on the Collaborative Commons.
This was the second time that Jeremy Rifkin keynoted an Informal Council meeting. The first time was in Essen during German Presidency in 2007 when the EU embraced and paved the way for a Third Industrial Revolution, putting the basis for the Internet of Energy that today is a prominent component of the Internet of Things.
In 2011, Jeremy Rifkin published The Third Industrial Revolution, which captured the attention of the world. His vision of a sustainable, post carbon economic era has been endorsed by the European Union and the United Nations and embraced by world leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President François Hollande of France, and Premier Li Keqiang of China.
About Digital Venice
“Digital Venice 2014” is a high-level meeting, hosted by the City of Venice and promoted by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union with the support of European Commission – DG Connect, that will gather policy, industry and innovation leaders from all over Europe to trace the road to a growing, sustainable digital economy. The event, intended to be held every year, takes place at the start of the Italian Presidency to mark the emphasis placed by the Italian government on digital innovation as the key to sustainable economic development and boost to new employment. A “Venice Declaration” summarizing vision and recommendations will be presented by the Italian Presidency to be tabled at the next Digital Council.
For more information about Digital Venice see this page: http://www.digitalvenice.eu/
Jeremy Rifkin speech is available at this link (RIFKIN DIGITAL VENICE FINAL)
Here you can see a photo gallery of the Digital Venice event (LOOK AT THE PHOTOS)
Here you can download the program of the Italian Presidency of the EU (Italian Presidency Programme)