Jeremy Rifkin on Zero Marginal Cost and the Decline of Capitalism

Jeremy RifkinJeremy Rifkin is a social activist, economist, futurist and best-selling author of twenty books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and are being used in hundreds of universities, corporations, and government agencies around the world.

In 2011, Jeremy Rifkin published the New York Times bestseller The Third Industrial Revolution, which captured the attention of the world. Mr. Rifkin’s 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. His latest one – The Zero Marginal Cost Society, describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.

During our 97 min conversation with Jeremy Rifkin we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: near zero marginal cost as the deeply embedded paradox in the heart of capitalism; the dematerialization (i.e. the digitalization) of material objects; The Third Industrial Revolution and the decline of capitalism; how US and Canada are becoming outliers while Germany and China are emerging as the new leaders; Dutch Disease and the risk of being a one-trick-pony-type of an economy; decentralization of power and bitcoin; Rifkin’s biggest dream and greatest fear; AI and technological unemployment; empathy and the Turing Test

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above or scroll down and watch the video interview in full. To show your support you can write a review on iTunesmake a direct donation or become a patron on Patreon.

 

Who is Jeremy Rifkin?

Jeremy Rifkin PortraitJeremy Rifkin is the bestselling author of twenty books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages and are used in hundreds of universities, corporations and government agencies around the world.

On April 1st, 2014 Mr. Rifkin’s published his latest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism. In 2011, Jeremy Rifkin published the New York Times bestseller The Third Industrial Revolution, which captured the attention of the world. Mr. Rifkin’s 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. Mr. Rifkin’s other recent titles include The Empathic CivilizationThe Age of AccessThe End of WorkThe European DreamThe Biotech Century, and The Hydrogen Economy.

Jeremy Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union for the past decade. Mr. Rifkin also served as an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, and Prime Minister Janez Janša of Slovenia, during their respective European Council Presidencies, on issues related to the economy, climate change, and energy security. He currently advises the European Commission, the European Parliament, and several EU and Asian heads of state.

Mr. Rifkin is the principal architect of the European Union’s Third Industrial Revolution long-term economic sustainability plan to address the triple challenge of the global economic crisis, energy security, and climate change. The Third Industrial Revolution was formally endorsed by the European Parliament in 2007 and is now being implemented by various agencies within the European Commission as well as in the 27 member-states.

Jeremy Rifkin is the President of the TIR Consulting Group LLC, comprised of many of the leading renewable energy companies, electricity transmission companies, construction companies, architectural firms, IT and electronics companies, and transport and logistics companies. His global economic development team is working with cities, regions, and national governments to develop the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure for a Collaborative Commons and a Third Industrial Revolution.

Mr. Rifkin is a senior lecturer at the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania where he instructs CEOs and senior management on transitioning their business operations into sustainable Third Industrial Revolution economies. From 1995-2010, Mr. Rifkin taught in the Advanced Management Program at Wharton.

Mr. Rifkin’s monthly column on global issues has appeared over the years in many of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times in the United States, The Guardian in the U.K., Die Süddeutsche Zeitung and Handelsblatt in Germany, Le Soirand Knack in Belgium, L’Espresso in Italy, El Mundo and El País in Spain, Kathimerini in Greece, Informatíon in Denmark, De Volkskrant in the Netherlands, Hospodárské Noviny in the Czech Republic, Wort in Luxembourg, Clarínin Argentina, and Al-Ittihad in the U.A.E.

Mr. Rifkin holds a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Rifkin speaks frequently before government, business, labor and civic forums. He has lectured at hundreds of the world’s leading corporations as well as more than 300 universities in some thirty countries in the past four decades.

Mr. Rifkin is the founder and president of The Foundation on Economic Trends in Bethesda, MD. The Foundation examines the economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts of new technologies introduced into the global economy.

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