By Elena Kozlovskaya

We live in the time, when the majority of people in developed countries can fairly easily address their basic needs in food, shelter and safety. For example, an average German household spends only 11% of income on food. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, the next levels that every individual and, correspondingly, our society as a whole will need to hit are: respect of others, the need to be a unique individual, morality, creativity, self-actualization, expression of inner potential.

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Image 1: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

These needs are still outside of our existing socio-economic framework, where №1 value is high productivity as a remnant of industrial age. Though we are gradually entering the new age of information and our society is moving to these new intangible heights of development and defining the framework of the new lifestyle. People come to the realization that the success of industrial revolution came as a result of environmental and social exploitation at the expense of nature and human self-worth, hereby the new terms such as sustainability, corporate social responsibility, personal development, ethical business, green, organic, fair-trade, social entrepreneurship, sharing economy become the factors of mass attention and hereby success in our times.

A young man 100 years ago felt comfortable with the idea of working long hours at a factory with other employees for the sake of creating a massive industrial output of food, machinery and basic items, while a young man of a modern time is not concerned about survival, but looks straight for self-actualization. This created a so-called X and Y generation phenomenon, when young people can’t stand routine, performance oriented job.  Further advancement in automation will leave more and more people think about an alternative creative occupation.

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Image 2 – Growth of C02 emissions during industrial age.

Image 3 – Growth in GDP across the world during industrial revolution.

The new trends in economy are “long tail”, peer-to-peer, custom unique design, crowdshared, crowdfunded, Finance 2.0, Industry 4.0, digital nomads, etc. These phenomena make us think about the new ways of doing business and living life.

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Image 4 – Shift from vertical power structures to horizontal peer-to-peer collaborations.

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Image 5: Accommodation case study – Airbnb created the shift in hotels industry from centrally controlled to collaborative model.

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