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New economic vision of the world

Apr 12 2016 06:47
Carin Smith

Dallas – The big question is how the travel and tourism industry can help to find a new economic vision for the world, according to Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and advisor to the European Union.

He was one of the keynote speakers at the recent global summit hosted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in Dallas.

“Scientists say events indicate we are on the 6th extinction track of the planet – in real time – within the next seven decades,” warned Rifkin.

“This great storm is in front of us and will impact the travel and tourism industry. This industry is, of course part of the problem as it produces about 5% of global pollution.”

He pointed out that currently GDP is slowing all over the world and production has been declining globally over the past 20 years. This has led to especially the youth being unemployed. On top of that economists predict about 20 more years of slowing growth.

Rifkin emphasised that the world has to get off a carbon based system within the next four decades.

At the same time technology is changing the business sector from one where those with control are rewarded and ownership is centralised and closed to one where the reward will go to those who value transparency and lateral economies of scale.

“We are now in the long sunset of the second industrial revolution. The third industrial revolution involves the convergence of communication via the internet with digitalised energy systems and with automated road, rail and auto transport,” explained Rifkin.

“All of this will impact the travel and tourism industry.”

In his view, this convergence of technology’s influence within the areas of communication, transport and energy will bring opportunities for the travel and tourism industry to reduce marginal costs and manage efficiencies across the value chain better.

For Erika Karp, founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital, it is important to restore capitalism to what, in her view, “what it is supposed to do”.

“Bring back the humanity aspect to capitalism and enable investors and companies to have a long term view. Collaboration, consistency and transparency are needed,” she said.

“The dynamics of capital markets are changing and we are missing the point by not recognising that capital can be a force for good.”

Lastly, economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, cautioned that there is no time or excuse for fatalism. In his view it is all about the choices being made now and these have to be built on the official sustainability goals agreed upon.
 
• Fin24 was a guest of the WTTC at its global summit.

wttc global summit  |  tourism  |  world economy
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