What Singaporeans must know about ‘innovation economy’Singapore Business Review

In his groundbreaking book, The Third Wave (1984), Alvin Toffler proposed that the human civilization has invented and experienced three types of wealth systems. Each wealth system is fundamentally different and has a distinct set of principles for wealth creation and distribution. The adoption of a new wealth system is followed by a major wealth shift from the old guards to the new innovators.

The first system was the agrarian (i.e. agricultural) economy which surfaced more than 10,000 years ago. Empires and landlords came to dominate the riches, by exerting militaristic forces. The second system, the industrial economy, sank its roots in the mid 18th century. Multinational corporations and industrialists seized economic power through market forces. The third system, the knowledge economy, probably dawned in the 1950s with the invention of electronic computers. Today, we are witnessing the rise of megacities and entrepreneurs who are exploiting creative forces. The primary factor of production has shifted from land (agrarian) to labor (industrial), to ideas (knowledge).

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Charlie’s strong message on “disruptive future is not an extension of the yesterday we know” deserves our serious attention with immediate mindset shift and behaviourial change. Especially in our approach to educating ourselves and our next generations!

Teng Theng Dar
former CEO, Singapore Business Federation & Chairman, APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)

Charlie is an astute thinker, engaging writer and inspirational speaker on how rapidly advancing technologies will impact the economy, business and people today and in the future. I benefited both professionally and personally from his deep insights. Thank you, Charlie!

Xander Friedländer
Senior Vice President, Retail Insight
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