How is the passion economy changing the way we look at jobs?

The rules have changed, and so have we.

ADAM DAVIDSON: I think a lot of people don't realize that he world we have lived in for the last hundred years is just a blip in human experience, that it started to feel just normal that people work in big companies, people have things called a job and a career path and that people make more money in their forties than they did in their twenties. And they'd make even more money in their sixties and that kids make more money than their parents did. And that there's this sort of general sense of progress. That's this weird little thing that happened to happen in the twentieth century and really would have been seen as utterly confusing and unlike basic human nature at almost any other time in history.

And there's a lot that was wonderful about that blip. It really transformed the world. Far fewer children died in infancy. Mothers didn't die giving birth. People lived much longer lives, they had more to eat, they had more comforts. Things like pain relievers. Things like international travel, international communication. All the things that we associate with the modern world came about because of the widget economy. Because of that blip.

But we're now shifting away from the widget economy into a new kind of economy. So what fueled that growth in the twentieth century was the mass production of the same sort of thing, getting better and better and making the same stuff faster and faster, cheaper and cheaper and getting it to more places. And that is a form of growth that is revolutionary. It's more growth than ever existed by far anytime in human existence. But it is about sameness. It's about turning people into variations of the same thing. You have a job. It has a title. You have to suppress who you are to satisfy the needs of that job. Products are not designed to match some particular person's unique interests and passions. Coca Cola is for everyone everywhere on earth. Ivory soap is for everyone everywhere on earth.

And this new economy, the passion economy, it comes out of the widget economy but I see it in most ways as a real advance, a progression from the widget economy where the secret to growth, the secret to economic opportunity is not making the same thing billions of times as quickly and cheaply as possible, but creating special things that only some people want but they want a lot. They want it in a way that nobody wanted the widgets of the widget economy. And that is a totally different structure of an economy.

It means probably still having some big organizations but also a lot more smaller companies, entrepreneurial companies. It means a much more chaotic but I think ultimately probably more satisfying career path where you're not just junior ad sales and then you're ad sales and then you're senior ad sales and then you're manager of ad sales. But rather as you're finding your unique passions and the things that you uniquely provide your career might kind of bounce around a little bit. You'll be finding who you are, who your customer is, who your audience is. And it won't be quite as linear. I do think overall for people to understand and embrace the passion economy it will be better. You'll make more money in concrete terms but I think it will be more chaotic, a little more confusing, a little more confounding at least according to the rules we have because the rules we have are the ones that were made for the widget economy. And this economy is wildly different.

  • The widget economy has given way to something entirely different: the passion economy.
  • Whereas the previous economy was fueled by mass production and homogeneity, growth in the passion economy involves more specialized products that less people want more intensely.
  • This shift creates more dynamic, less linear career paths that evolve and change as you do. Ultimately, this will lead to more fulfilling and better paid work.

COVID-19 amplified America’s devastating health gap. Can we bridge it?

The COVID-19 pandemic is making health disparities in the United States crystal clear. It is a clarion call for health care systems to double their efforts in vulnerable communities.

Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated America's health disparities, widening the divide between the haves and have nots.
  • Studies show disparities in wealth, race, and online access have disproportionately harmed underserved U.S. communities during the pandemic.
  • To begin curing this social aliment, health systems like Northwell Health are establishing relationships of trust in these communities so that the post-COVID world looks different than the pre-COVID one.
Keep reading Show less

Bruce Lee: How to live successfully in a world with no rules

Shannon Lee shares lessons from her father in her new book, "Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee."

  • Bruce Lee would have turned 80 years old on November 27, 2020. The legendary actor and martial artist's daughter, Shannon Lee, shares some of his wisdom and his philosophy on self help in a new book titled "Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee."
  • In this video, Shannon shares a story of the fight that led to her father beginning a deeper philosophical journey, and how that informed his unique expression of martial arts called Jeet Kune Do.
  • One lesson passed down from Bruce Lee was his use and placement of physical symbols as a way to help "cement for yourself this new way of being, or this new lesson you've learned." By working on ourselves (with the right tools), we can develop the skills necessary to rise and conquer new challenges.
Keep reading Show less

3 reasons for information exhaustion – and what to do about it

How to deal with "epistemic exhaustion."

Photo by Filip Mishevski on Unsplash
Mind & Brain
An endless flow of information is coming at us constantly: It might be an article a friend shared on Facebook with a sensational headline or wrong information about the spread of the coronavirus.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists find 'smoking gun' proof of a recent supernova near Earth

A supernova exploded near Earth about 2.5 million years ago, possibly causing an extinction event.

Credit: NASA/ESA/G. Bacon, STScI
Surprising Science
  • Researchers from the University of Munich find evidence of a supernova near Earth.
  • A star exploded close to our planet about 2.5 million years ago.
  • The scientists deduced this by finding unusual concentrations of isotopes, created by a supernova.
Keep reading Show less

Top 5 theories on the enigmatic monolith found in Utah desert

A strange object found in Utah desert has prompted worldwide speculation about its origins.

Credit: Utah Department of Public Safety
Culture & Religion
  • A monolithic object found in a remote part of Utah caused worldwide speculation about its origins.
  • The object is very similar to the famous monolith from Stanley Kubrick's "2001: Space Odyssey".
  • The object could be work of an artist or even have extraterrestrial origins.
Keep reading Show less