The Wonderful World of … the new economy!

On August 1st and 2nd, we held the first Caribbean Hackathon on the beach! A great event where many creative -, innovative – and economically viable concepts were brought to life.

Hackathons belong in the “new economy.” An economy that, among other things, is characterized by the creation of a sustainable society where the individual does not come first, but rather, sees itself as part of the larger whole. It is a stark contrast to the circular way of thinking and working that we are used to.

This also means that people that participate in hackathons trust other participants with their valuable ideas without fear of having it “stolen” for individual financial gain. The people who join hackathons do so mainly because they want to experience a hackathon. Either they love to participate in a creative process, or they like networking, or they are passionate about a topic/ product/ idea and want to contribute in bringing that to life. In short, they want to have a great time.

When viewed from the old-, linear-, people first-, not sustainable economies, a hackathon is THE go-to platform for new ideas and new perspectives. It is the fastest way to get together, developing a product and get it to the market. Granted, all of the work is based on the ideas of others, but is that a bad thing?

When viewed from the new -, humans as part of the greater whole-, sustainable economies, a hackathon are a common platform for collaborating on sustainable concepts – sustainable development in the broadest sense – and it’s the preferred method to help companies think out of the box.

You can probably guess by now what the underlying questions are in this article. Questions such as; how do individuals behave during a hackathon? What do they do with all the information and ideas that are talked about in the group? and how can you apply these concepts in a sustainable society? These questions are not only raised during hackathons but serve also as the primary line in inquiry in the development of a new economy – in general.

I’m amazed at number of people here in Aruba that are actively playing a part in propagating the new economy. Not to mention the millions of positive contributions from around the world. It is however unfortunate – downright distressing – to see how the “old way of thinking” will put pressure – or stop completely – the development of a new economy, on many levels. This does not mean I have a negative perspective on the way these things are. This only serves as a driving force for me to support and encourage the creative process towards a sustainable society, wherever possible.

I have spoken to a lot of people on the topic of developing a sustainable society, and all the conversations seem to steer towards the same conclusion; that Education – in the broadest sense – is the key to a sustainable society. Not only for young people, but also for the elderly. Not only in schools, but also in companies and organizations. Not only from the master or teacher, but also from sharing knowledge among ordinary people

I am very happy to see that TEDxAruba – Sept 23rd, 2015 – has changed the ‘E’ in ‘TED’ from ‘Entertainment’ to ‘Education’, in order to give extra attention to the role of education within the theme of TEDxAruba: Island of sustainable solutions.

In the end, we all want the same thing. We want – as Wikipedia phrases it – to “build a society that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs”.

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