Philip Sadler CBE

Futurist, Author, Speaker


How the economics of abundance will change the world


My new book, published December 2010, is about the economics of abundance., Sustainable Growth in a Post-Scarcity World, charts developments once envisaged by Keynes, Chase, Galbraith and Packard, and more recent radical thinkers such as Chris Anderson.

It describes how many goods and services have moved from relative scarcity to relative abundance, and asks how this trend can be reconciled with the global issues of population growth and climate change. He assesses the impact of new technologies, new energy sources, new materials and the development of artificial intelligence, on business, government and economics, and discusses the challenges ahead – the creation of new business models, the need to meet people’s legitimate expectations of improved living conditions while avoiding environmental catastrophe, and the need to adapt ideas developed in scarcity to conditions of abundance. Why is it that in countries foremost in creating post-scarcity, millions are still in poverty, and billions, worldwide, still lack basic necessities of life?

I agree with those who say the relief of global poverty cannot rely on aid and corporate philanthropy. The book explores the idea of re-engineering products and delivering them into bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) markets, and concludes that the more global companies take this route, as some are already doing, the more profitable they will find it, and this will in turn help the poorest people who currently pay more for goods and services – the ‘poverty penalty’ – than the rich.

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- (04/11/2012)