Business School for the Masses

The fact is, the younger generation of business professionals and global decision makers are inheriting a tricky situation because the best practices for Capitalism have been undergoing radical changes. That flux is a vacuum, in which new standards of profitability and responsibility toward growth are forming. Meanwhile, the participatory audience of commercial development, the public, is seizing a more direct engagement with everything from marketing to the viability of packaging to a company's social contract.


New Forms of Capital

Capitalism is ceasing to be a grand program by powerful organizations, governments, corporations and tycoons. It is becoming a craft, an art, a practice, a social language that does not dominate society but which can be allowed to enhance its creativity in ways other than mere consumerism. This is the challenge. And this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

At the moment when free markets are struggling to stay free, a new model of commerce (opened up in part by the Internet's effects upon cultures) is emerging, which promises a more organic, responsive and decentralized type of growth and maintenance. People themselves are learning how to be capitalists without exploitative tactics since that is what they are demanding from corporations — and, for once in history, common tools exist for this new participatory model to take root.


How We Relearn Business

Interestingly, most people contributing to this moment in history (including the birth of a new global constitution for doing business) are not necessarily graduating from top schools to prepare for it. Non-experts everywhere are gaining the expertise and experience they need through unofficial courses of action, self-education and by utilizing so many financial tools, for example, that used to be the domain of financial gurus.

Now, anybody can be a publisher. Anybody can become an online retailer and then market directly to a niche. Anybody can be a lender. Anybody can create a brand using similar technologies as the biggest firms. And, such grassroots enterprises have the power to do things as well as or better than conventional actors.

How that tide is rising may not seem logical since the skills needed by everyday entrepreneurs can come through unusual or unlikely means. There is a new blending between commercial activity and everyday life that does not saturate and overstimulate — casting too much as economic — but rather it gives people ways to balance the exigencies of developing revenue channels with ways to stay humanistic.


Out of the Boxes

Obviously, the Web and certainly things like online banking, e-wallets and merchant services for small businesses (or even individuals) are making a big difference toward this bottom-up economic regime. Another significant sign of the times involves generally increasing proficiency at using new media. Social networking is one example, in which normal people engaged with doing business or smaller brands can claim definite advantages over corporate efforts to mine online customers.

On the other hand, many industries and sources of desirable products and services are going where the buyers and audiences are (the Web) rather than making them flock to brick-and-mortar sites. If it is feasible to replace cumbersome things like land-based casino complexes with robust online communities then the public could begin to demand that more in the realm of entertainment, for example, is delivered in virtual formats that correct the excesses and waste of their conventional modes. UK casinos online today, especially, represent this shift in a dramatic way. The economic paradigm shift is taking shape by such steps — and Capitalism is adapting.


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