Over the course of the last year, I have left the world of multi-national B2B finance and started a journey towards something new. There was no master plan but I was driven by the desire to do something with my life which would be more closely aligned with my values and which could create some positive impact in the real economy around me.
In that year, I have become more conscious of a number of things.
First, there are lots and lots of other people like me who are trying to align their professional lives with their personal values. This alignment with values is also increasingly influencing their role as consumers in terms of what they buy and more importantly perhaps, who they buy it from. This is driving the growth of circular economy businesses, sharing goods and services rather than owning everything and investing in crowdfunding projects etc…. Its very broad and very real. It is changing behaviour and will redefine relationships within the economy.
The second observation is that there is an increasing gap forming between how start-ups are engaging in economic activity and how existing companies are continuing along their current path. I’ve been supporting start-ups with crowdfunding and have seen first hand the benefits, not just financial, from doing this. It has led to pre-financing the development of products, growing a customer base before the product exists, distributors contacting them to request their product and even resulted in hiring people. Outside of Belgium, large corporations have understood this change and are slowly adapting. The fundamentals underlying economy2dot0 are not unique to start-ups.
Lastly, I’ve learned a whole lot more about the country I’ve been living in for the last 16 years. As I worked for multi-nationals, I had a good network in London, New York, Singapore and other locations but wasn’t very engaged in my own local economy. Belgium is a prosperous country with very high rates of savings. It also has a good infrastructure to support entrepreneurs, even if the tax system and some of the bureaucracy is a hurdle to overcome. What I’ve also realised is that it is lagging behind in terms of understanding the broader economic shifts of the collaborative economy and that many of its small & medium companies (SME’s) are struggling.
I’ve decided to reorient my skills and knowledge towards addressing this. How can I help contribute to stimulating the Belgian economy and do so in a way which reflects my own values of creating positive impact? This is where Economy2dot0 has grown over the last year.
As I said, it is a journey for me and I would like to invite you to join me on that journey either or an active or even passive passenger. As Economy2dot0 develops, so will your knowledge of what is changing in the economy and it may even lead to new career opportunities for you or in changing how you interact with the economy around you.
En route towards a more collaborative economy