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Carlota Perez’s Message of Hope at the Web 2.0 Expo New York


Web 2.0 Expo, the trade show for the builders of the next-generation web, just ended in New York.

As usual since its debut in 2004, the conference offered a rich array of presentations related to the web ecosystem, showcasing innovations and practical advice  in design, marketing, ecommerce, cloud computing and social media.

Out of the many excellent keynote presentations, Fred Wilson’s conversation with Carlota Perez stood out, because it offered a message of hope in these dark economic times:

A Conversation with Fred Wilson and Carlota Perez

In this lively conversation between Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and and Carlota Perez about the current economic crisis, Carlota made a passionate plea for a new way of life.

Carlota believes that it is the technological revolutions that drive positive change. The last technological revolution, which was that of mass production, has led to an economic boom. Today, the new technological revolution is IT, and it has the potential of leading us into a new global “Golden Age”.

“What’s good for IT is good for the world, and what’s good for the world is good for IT,” she said, paraphrasing the famous 1953 remark by GM Chief Executive Charles Wilson.

The old way of life, based on growing consumption of material goods, has become unsustainable, due to the high cost of production and the scarcity of resources.

“For all the people in China and India to live the way we live in America, we would need seven planets.”

In order for IT to realize its potential for global wealth creation, there needs to be a consensus on the necessity to create a new way of life: A “green” life, a sustainable life, with emphasis on consumption of life enhancing services instead of continuous and growing consumption of material goods.

Green societies would create new jobs in areas such as recycling, maintenance, waste disposal, renewal of entire infrastructures, redesign of buildings, and redesign of products to be more durable and more energy efficient.

Only the dinosaurs (a.k.a governments and the old industry) insist on keeping the status quo, she said. She urged leaders in the IT world to become politically involved and called out to leadership to encourage Finance to leave the “casinos” and invest in this real economy instead.

Fred Wilson then turned to the international audience, consisting of VCs, business leaders and owners, entrepreneurs, web developers, web designers, marketers, and consultants and said: “That’s all of you: go out and get it done!”

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