Thrivability in the arenas of environmental sustainability, resilience of consciousness and the good of individuals needs to be at the center of new adaptable and equitable economic models. Evolving relational networks have the capacity to change long held behaviors for manifesting value with the potential to upend current static systems of production and exchange. In addition, the economy of meaning and cultural activity are poised to play a more central role in new economic structures.
Upward Spirals: New Economic Models for a Thrivable Future examines how we can make 'more is better' economies obsolete by enabling new sustainable models to flourish. Focusing on innovative projects and ideas for creating macro and micro economic structures to replace the exhausted consumer–based capitalist model, these new theories put the enhanced well being of individuals and the environment in the forefront rather than the acquisition of wealth and possessions. Speakers include Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of Institute for the Future and Neal Gorenflo, co–founder and publisher of Shareable Magazine, a nonprofit online magazine about sharing.
Neal Gorenflo is the co–founder and publisher of Shareable Magazine, a nonprofit online magazine about sharing. As a former market researcher, stock analyst, and Fortune 500 strategist, Neal is perhaps an unlikely voice for sharing. A revelation in 2004 inspired Neal to leave the corporate world to help people share through Internet startups, grassroots organizing, and a circle of friends committed to the common good. During this career shift, Neal worked on several sharing Internet startups including peer–to–peer asset sharing platform Moogul.com, a DVD exchange lead by Sunil Paul, a spinout of Cisco's corporate asset sharing platform, and white label asset sharing platform Divvy.com. Neal also worked for green social network Care2.com and FAS.research. At FAS, he led social network analysis projects to help restructure a leading foundation and develop a sustainability strategy for the agriculture industry. To build community in the space, he co–organized The Abundance League monthly salons about alternative economy in San Francisco for five years. In addition to his work at Shareable, Neal serves on the board of nonprofits Independent Arts & Media and ForestEthics, is a Strategy Fellow at FAS.research and a member of Stanford's Persuasive Technology Lab. Neal earned a masters at Georgetown University's Communication, Culture & Technology program, the first graduate program focused on the impact of the Internet on society. He lives in Mountain View, California with his wife Andrea, a pediatrician, and son Jacob.
Marina Gorbis is Executive Director of Institute for the Future, a 42–year old non–profit research and consulting organization based in Silicon Valley. The Institute is dedicated to helping people think systematically about the future in order to make better decisions today. During Gorbis’ tenure with IFTF and previously with SRI International, she has worked with hundreds of organizations in business, education, government, and philanthropy, bringing a future perspective to improve innovation capacity, develop strategies, and design new products and services. A native of Odessa, Ukraine, Gorbis is particularly suited to see things from a global perspective. She has worked all over the world and feels equally at home in Silicon Valley, Europe, India, or Kazakhstan. Before becoming IFTF's Executive Director in 2006, Gorbis created the Global Innovation Forum, a project comparing innovation strategies in different regions, and she founded Global Ethnographic Network (GEN), a multi–year ethnographic research program aimed at understanding daily lives of people in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Silicon Valley. She has been a guest blogger on BoingBoing.net and writes for IFTF and major media outlets. She is a frequent speaker on future organizational, technology, and social issues. She holds a Master's Degree from the Graduate School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.