2020, entering the Adaptive Economy. — The Adaptive Economy

Djoann Fal
8 min readJan 13, 2020
The adaptive economy, book cover, 2020.

“In these dark times, each of us can become a dazzling candle proving that good can always conquer evil. Hope is the door to the future. Hope is the seed of life & civilizations. “ Pope Francis

Introduction: The post-internet & Greta Thunberg paradigm.

Our generation is moving from ownership to access, from markets to networks, from consumerism to sustainability, from market capital to information capital, from cheap to healthy, from offline to online. Does that sound familiar? This is a revolution which none of it has been taught in school because it’s happening now and next 10 years.

After analyzing the nature of work and specifically digital work for the last decade, I realized the mission I embarked was much bigger than just seeking to understand how the nature of work was redefined with technology.

Underlying, I found all the implications brought by the internet and our energy abundant economy in our daily lives last 50 years. I realized it wasn’t only the nature of work that was changed, but our whole set of values, principles from freedom to power to property to consciousness of the impact of our economies on our planet, that has changed and was about to change even further. I needed a compass to not get lost in this chaos of information.

And I think a lot of us do need that compass.

This book is about putting together the parts I have understood are in stable directions in this complex world of uncertainty and moving pieces. I am here to provide a simple, positive compass for humans hoping to adapt their vision of this post-modern world’s mechanics values and purpose. Underlying that you are not aiming to suicide tomorrow but you are actually aiming to survive and thrive in what some call the 4th industrial revolution and what I call our new world’s Adaptive Economy.

This cover picture represents how individuals will have to be adaptive, agile and tenacious if they want to survive the convulsions of the grey, dusty era of fossil carbon-based energy. On the left side, the green color represents the pre-industrial revolution era when humanity was green and small, and the part of the right side represents hopefully the green ecological side humanity will be able to reach after adapting.

We are all little blackbirds trying to make our way through this world trying to escape the pollution in our cities, out of the fossil fuel era, this post-modern world that looses many of us and our friends to depression or vanity. Rich or poor, we need a compass to thrive on how to adapt to make the best of our limited lifetime.

Let me start with a few questions.

  • In 2020, will you stay in your current city when the pollution will reach daily toxic doses increasing cancer chances by 100%?
  • What will you do in 2020 when you will see your favorite forest burn to ashes, your favorite beach disappear under plastic bags? Will you plant trees & clean your lands or will you relocate somewhere else? What about those 20M migrants? Will you blame them to knock at the doors of your country?
  • What will you in 2020 do when your former colleague now makes 3 times your salary doing your job from a beach in Thailand, just because he learned Javascript with an online course and you did not.
  • What will happen in 2025 when the AI will create software by itself and start to automate any logistics, accounting, travel office worker's tasks?
  • What will happen in 2022 when a global pandemic outbreak cease the whole world for 6 months and bankrupt most of the offline businesses?
  • What will happen in 2025 to your sister’s job when, as a result of climate change the sea rise 1 meter higher than today?
  • What will happen in 2030 when the price of petrol rises so high that your nearby shopping mall won’t be able to afford to supply products and food to its store shelves?
  • What will happen in 2030 when any products will be available via sharing economy with blockchain for consumer goods?
  • What will happen in 2035 to capitalism when the cost of printing any hardware will become nearly zero thanks to metal 3D printing?
  • What will happen in 2035 to your government, your company, your house, your family when 200M climate migrants emerge and will come by boats to share your habitat?
  • How do you stay ahead of technology-driven changes? How do you prepare for the climate-related events that will shape our decade?
  • How do you use your life to prepare a world where opportunities exist for our children? Where going to the park is still possible without a mask?

Good & Bad, we are living in an incredible time to be humans.

We are seeing things that never happened before in the history of Humanity.

So how do you maximize the “good” in your purpose and your next 10 years actions?

Of course every day, we hear about Murder, Terrorism, Climate change, Danger. If you open the News, you are being fed with extremely negative stories: because that is what our minds pay attention to. And there is a very good reason for that: every second, every day, our sense brings way too much data that we can process in our brains.

And because nothing is more important to us than survival, the first stop of all that data is an ancient sliver of the temporal lobe called the amygdala, our warning detector looking for anything in the environment that might harm us.

So given the dozens of News stories, we will preferentially look at the negative news, and that makes more views and more money to advertisers so media will continue doing it.

So given that all our digital media devices we have access to nowadays, we will have more an more negative news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: it’s no wonder that we are pessimistic. It’s no wonder then people are paralyzed seeing a world that is getting worse.

But perhaps that’s not the case.

Perhaps it is a distortion brought to us of what is really going on.

Perhaps the tremendous progress we’ve made over the last century by a series of forces are in fact accelerating to a point that we have the potential in the next 2 decades to create a world where the entire biosphere can survive.

I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems. Wild Fires, Tornados, Floods Pollution, Massive species extinctions, water, and energy shortage — we surely do.

And as humans, we are really good at seeing problems and doing nothing about it until the last minute. But ultimately, we can knock them down, together.

So let’s look at the negatives of today’s economy snapshot to start thinking what can I do as an individual living in this 21st century to contribute to write history, solve the planet’s problems we created and participate to give our children a preserved world worth living in.

  • Over the last 100 years, the average human lifespan has more than doubled. People used to live until 40 years old now they live until 80!
  • Good or bad: The average per capita income has tripled. More than half of humanity can now access food without having to hunt it!
  • Childhood mortality has come down to a factor of 10.
  • The cost of electricity has dropped by 20 times, enabling access to advanced knowledge on mobiles at an affordable cost for most humans in emerging markets.
  • The cost of transportation has dropped by 100 times, enabling almost any millennial to fly to explore another country.
  • In fact, Steve Pinker's researches showed that we are living in the most peaceful time ever in human history.

We truly are living in an extraordinary time. And many of us forget this.

Because we keep setting our expectations higher and higher. In fact, we redefine what poverty means. Think of this: in America today, the majority of people under the poverty line still have electricity, water, toilets, refrigerators, mobile phone, cars, and air conditioning. The wealthiest robber barons of the last century, the past emperors of this planet could never have dreamed of such luxuries.

In the meantime, the rate at which technology is impacting our lives is only accelerating. In the last 100 years, our scientists have developed so much technology that Human society hasn’t even grasp 10% of it yet.

Next decade, a set of extraordinary powerful technologies that gonna become available to all of us:

Internet: We are seeing the emergence of new internet infrastructure. Global Internet traffic in 2020 will be equivalent to 95x the volume of the entire Global Internet in 2005. This is the equivalent of all movies ever made will cross the Internet every 2 minutes. And 5% of this traffic will come from PCs. Most of the traffic will be generated from 26 billion IoT devices.

Cloud computing, which will enable any device to access the world power of computer software to make our lives easier, and give everyone transparency to monitor our economy.

IoT and other sensors who will enable us to reduce car accidents using driving cars as well as predict and prevent damages from natural catastrophes.

-Robotics will enable us to explore parts of the universe we never been able to think of such as under the ocean and space, at cheaper costs.

3D printing has the ability to democratize and distribute personalized production around the planet, taking us out of the old centralized production system <> consumers capitalism paradigm.

Nanotechnology enables us to turn saltwater into drinkable water and solving our water crisis problem forever.

Synthetic biology will give us the power to heal any cancer or disease directly from the genes expression.

Artificial Intelligence which will start to help us organize our political productivity by forecasting and calculating solutions advising us on how to manage resources for 9b people on the planet.

Last year, we started Adaptivity, a university program that will teach leaders all the stakes of these technologies and particularly how they can be used to solve humanity’s grand challenges sustainably. In every student batches we have, as part of the program, we will ask them to launch a product or a service that can affect positively the life of the biosphere within 5 years.

Because this is the beauty of humanity’s superpower today — you don’t realize it enough — but if they realize it and try, one group of students can touch and change the lives of a billion people today.

30 years ago that would have sounded ridiculous. Today we can point at hundreds of companies that have done just that. Why? Because they are founded by adaptive talents, because these people, these companies are part of the adaptive economy.

Let’s get into it. Pre-order the book here: https://bit.ly/37tgrvR



Djoann Fal

Author of The Adaptive Economy | Forbes 30U30 | Tatler | Jedi | Co-Founder, GetLinks (Alibaba, SEEK) | Watch my talks here: http://y2u.be/Ep4a9Pba374