Sixth Wave Thinking

The next wave of innovation will be driven by resource efficiency, enabled through the pricing of waste and natural resources, and turbo-charged by clean technologies.

This is an enormous shift. Over the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution, we have seen economic growth strongly coupled with the consumption of more and more resources. The more we grew, the more we consumed. If the next wave of innovation really will be tied to resource efficiency, this equation is about to be turned on its head.

In a world that is ‘decarbonised’ or ‘deresourced’, we will have decoupled resource use from economic growth. The world economy will no longer be based on the transformation of inputs into outputs. This will not happen overnight; if resource efficiency really is at the heart of Kondratiev’s sixth wave, it will be a journey of some thirty to forty years.

So what does this mean for the shape of the future? How do you catch the wave? The second part of THE SIXTH WAVE looks at five big ideas that will shape the sixth wave:

  1. Waste = Opportunity
  2. Sell the Service, not the Product
  3. Digital and Natural Converge
  4. Atoms are Local, Bits are Global
  5. If in Doubt, Look to Nature
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