Economic Review X – Dreaming for Wealth


This series is reviewing ideas gained at the Jyske Bank Global Economic Seminar in Copenhagen .

One of the speakers was Rolf Jensen, author of the “Dream Society”. This was an exciting speech I could hardly wait to hear as Jensen’s book has been on my core reading list for years.

Jensen is a futurist, the chief imagination officer of the Dream Company which he founded after being the manager of the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies from 1988.  The ideas expressed in the Dream Society have influenced my thinking a lot.

Jensen began his speech with a global overview.

  • There are 6.6 billion people in the world.
  • The global economy grew 5% last year.
  • Emerging economies are catching up.
  • Mature economies are growing only 2.3% each year.
  • 1 billion people live on a dollar a day. 2.5 billion live on two dollars a day.

This thinking shows the huge problem in helping the poor and reinforced the opinion so often stated in our messages, “there is great opportunity in emerging markets”.  Huge problems create huge opportunities.

Jensen then expanded his global view.

  • $50 billion would buy Kenya for a year.
  • 20% of all merchandise that is manufactured passes a border.
  • 70% of the world’s population watch TV.
  • 40% of the world’s population has a cell phone.
  • 15% of the world’s population has access to the internet.
  • 50 million people visit websites.

That reminded me how much I gave up when I shifted to a website only business.  Yet his next comment outlined the correct direction we took when we moved to a value oriented philosophy in our messages on life, business and investing.  He stated that markets are having a great transformation to value:

  • Markets are shifting toward post materialistic values.
  • Markets in the industrial revolution have shifted from demanding things to knowledge and are shifting to wanting experiences.
  • Markets are shifting from materialistic needs to emotional needs.
  • Love-friendship-control-freedom-tradition-change-biganswers-recognition and care are emotional needs that create expanding demand.

The next generation is transferring this transformation into five ways of action which include:

  • Adding more diversity.
  • Having more involvement.
  • Increasing globalization.
  • Feeling better.
  • Enjoying more passion.

The first transformation is added diversity.

  • Every customer becomes special.
  • Every employee becomes special.
  • Nobody is seen as normal. Everyone is special.
  • Organizations will have a flatter hierarchy. The top will be connected with the floor. Management with staff. Workers with clients.  Server with user.
  • This will end mass marketing. There will be smaller but more focused brands. This can be seen in the cola wars, the way micro breweries develop and Nike IDs it users.
  • We will not watch TV ads.

The second transformation will be increased involvement.

  • Marketing of products will shift from advertising to customers and workers becoming more involved in   marketing via word of mouth and one to one.

  • Customers will become salesmen and ambassadors.

Jensen also talked about the importance of authenticity.

  • The customer is becoming smarter.
  • The customer is becoming more cynical and has more information.
  • Traditional ads no longer work.
  • Real stories work.

He asked, what is a good story?

  • One with authenticity, meaning and roots.
  • One true to the heart.
  • One with conflict.
  • One with passion.

He outlined how small, passionate companies gain an edge and how good big companies will decentralize.  He also pointed out that successful companies will not advertise but will let the passion of the business pass through the workers and customers.

The fourth transformation is increased globalization.

  • World trade is growing at 10% per annum while world GDP grows at 5%.
  • Global trade grows but un-globalized values also grow.
  • Values change much slower than GDP.
  • There is more growth in local brands than global and small brands than big.

Finally Jensen also outlined the importance of the “feel well” transformation that creates care and wellness markets.

  • Body and mind is an emerging market.
  • Physical health, fitness and botox grow.
  • Mental health, retreats and spas expand.
  • The health of the planet becomes more important.
  • There is a shift of emphasis from GDP to GWB  (General Wellness Barometer Happiness Factor)

I especially agreed when Jensen’s said that one transformation will be a shift towards increased passion in business. Our site has looked at how to turn your passion into profit for decades!  See http://www.garyascott.com/archives/2000/02/02/55/index.html

Rolf ended his speech with this wise quote:  “If you feel the future as a headwind, then you are walking in the wrong direction”.   That’s really good advice!

Until next message, may you always find your direction be helped along.

Gary

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