How to think differently about the economy | Dave Elder-Vass | TEDxLoughboroughU

by Super User, 7 years ago
0 0
Today the right sees the economy as entrepreneurs pursuing profit in markets by producing what people want. The left sees it as capitalists pursuing profits in markets by exploiting their workers. While they disagree on whether it's a good thing, both see the economy fundamentally as a market economy. Both fail to see a major part of our economy that is built not on markets but on gifts – including households, charities, and large parts of the Internet – and also intriguing new hybrids of the gift and the market. Gift economies won't solve all our problems, but they have many advantages over markets. They offer us a new kind of economy and we need to transform how we think about the economy if we are to realise their potential.

Dave Elder-Vass is an academic who studies the nature of the social world and thinks about how it could work differently. He initially studied economics and went on to work in Botswana as a government economist. Subsequently he worked as an IT technologist for twenty years before returning to academia through a Masters degree in social and political theory and a PhD in sociology. He has published books on social structure and social constructionism, and most recently Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy(Cambridge UP, 2016).  In it he draws on expertise from all his various studies and careers to examine the digital economy and its implications for how we should understand the politics of the economy more generally.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at