Interview on the Future of Capitalism for

Interview on the Future of Capitalism for

Rohit Talwar – CEO, Fast Future Research


October 11th 2011


Has capitalism run its course?

I think we are seeing a number of fault lines in the current system. It is beginning to look unsustainable – whether that be the accumulation of state, corporate or individual debt, major anomalies in taxation systems, the rising disparity between rich and poor or the increasing proportion of wealth that is accruing to the richest in society. The model as it stands today just isn’t working efficiently or providing a stable platform for economic and social development.

Effectively the market operates under an extreme model of capitalism with few real restraints – until something goes wrong – when the states individually and collectively step in and apply a more socialist model to fund the bail outs.

Concerns over future possible shocks are paralysing corporate and individual spending and citizens in major economies such as the USA and Germany are seeing their incomes decline in real terms. The current protests on the streets of the USA suggest that there is a growing proportion of society who support capitalism – but think it needs to be reworked.

There will be growing calls to rethink the system and come up with capitalism 2.0. This will not be an overnight fix – it will take 10-20 years or more to define, test and roll out a new model globally. I also don’t believe we’ll have a single model globally – we don’t today.

What other ideologies could shed light on the crisis?

There’s a lot of very interesting research going on into complex systems in the biological, physical and mathematical worlds that could provide much deeper insights into how financial systems work than our current rather limited economic models.

In defining a new economic system we will need to take into account a wide variety of factors including the goals of the economy, social aspirations, the purpose of work and the role of money in a digital world. We will also need to draw on a much deeper understanding of human behaviour and motivations.

It will take real courage to undertake a root and branch rethink – but not as much as to do nothing and run the risk of a total and painful system collapse – which is looking like an increasingly plausible scenario.

Rohit Talwar is the CEO of Fast Future Research – a global research and consulting company that helps governments and global companies to explore and respond to the ideas, trends and forces shaping the next 5-20 years.


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