The new economy of attention

4 questions for economic philosopher Anders Indset


Mr. Indset, you say that “we use old models to solve problems of the future.” How can we counteract this conflict?

We need a new way of looking at things. Thinking in itself is exhausting so we place hope in technology. But to understand society, we have to rethink the economy now. However, taking new paths is risky, so out of convenience, we just continue along. We rely on pre-validation through algorithms, i.e. a “knowledge society” as a solution to today’s uncertainty in our “fatal information society.” What we need is a society of understanding. We need to better understand the effects and forces at work in order to avoid radical responses.


What effects does digitization have on our economic model?

There is no doubt that we must limit ourselves and build a perfect circular economy, but the heart of the matter is that we must learn to capitalize on immaterial goods. Vital energy must be added to the economy. Understanding, compassion and love need to become an integral part of the economy. Moreover, technologies remove intermediaries and intermediate links in such a way that we can reduce the distance between the producer and the consumer, so that everything is connected with everything else even in the fine details, just like in the big picture. We live in a global society.


What role does the development of practicing corporate culture play in the future economy?

This project is the new boss. Management makes the technology. And leadership is all around us. There is no up and down. It is no longer important who says something, but what is said and done. This results in smaller baby economies and much more fluid structures, which we like to call agile and flat, but essentially the focus is on the person and not the role. Titles and roles are thereby becoming less important.


What opportunities do companies have to be successful in the future? Do you know companies that have been successful on their path of transformation?

Let us start at the end. There is no “transformation.” There is no state of “from – to,” but rather the economy and leadership is infinite. We must learn to think of everything in an infinite manner. All resources must be made infinitely reusable. So, it is not ab out winning and losing, but about playing as long as possible. Essentially, it is about finding out what I own and what has a high level of credibility or intelligence. What do I have that is unique? What (added) value do I create, what problem do I solve? My advice: Describe the problem, solve the problem, write your invoice. In the new economy of attention, I must also prove that I exist. In other words:

visibility x credibility = reward in the economy of attention.

Read more about Anders Indset and his projects

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