In his collaborative economics keynote, Jeremy Rifkin discusses the long-term implications of the first new economic system to emerge since the advent of capitalism, a system he refers to as the "collaborative commons."
The Internet has completely revolutionized the capitalist mentality, which seeks to increase productivity, decrease marginal costs and lure in consumers. Indeed, the Internet has the capacity to reduce marginal costs to next to nothing, making goods and services virtually free. With the growth of the Internet, consumers have become "prosumers," who are able to produce and share their own videos, news, knowledge and entertainment with each other, completely bypassing the capitalist market all together. Despite their attempts to compete, big business has often been undermined by the collaborative power of the Internet.
Economists feel certain that the Internet will be unable to cross over into actual, physical goods and services. However, 'The Internet of Things' proves them wrong. A recent innovation, The Internet of Things signals an expansion of traditional Internet that combines it with a "fledgling energy internet and nascent logistics and transport Internet," to create a single operating platform. By attaching sensors across the value chain of the economy, The Internet of Things connects human beings with actual appliances and ojects. With access to big data, we too, can create our own algorithms and apps to increase productivity and decrease costs in the production of physical goods.