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Jane Jacobs - 2023 speech: economies of the future

Jane has reached out from the beyond to speak about economies of the future! We are so honoured to share the script from her recent talk.

Spoof alert. This speech is made up.**

If you're caught up on our blog posts, you know we've been working to shift the narrative so that artists are seen as economic drivers, not drains. And we're keen to remove siloes between arts, tourism and economic development so we can realize our full potential as an inclusive Creative Economy ecosystem.

The other day I found myself wishing I could ask Jane Jacobs to weigh in. Her opinions would offer so much gravitas to our Creative Coast conversations. Her final book (before her death in 2006) - Nature of Economies, suggests that economies should be ruled by the same principles as natural ecosystems.

So I invited her to weigh in from behind the veil. You can read her speech, below.


Jane Jacobs on economies of the future It's an honour to be here today to talk about the economies of the future. As we move forward, it's becoming increasingly clear that our current economic system isn't sustainable in the long term. We need to start thinking about new models that can help us create a more equitable, prosperous, and environmentally sustainable society.

The economies of the future will need to be built on a foundation of innovation, cooperation, and inclusivity. This means creating systems that promote entrepreneurship, creativity, and risk-taking, while also ensuring that everyone has access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.

One of the key features of these new economies will be a focus on localism. We need to move away from the idea that economic growth is only possible through globalization and the exploitation of natural resources. Instead, we should be looking to build strong, resilient local economies that are grounded in the unique needs and strengths of our communities.

At the same time, we need to recognize the importance of the environment and natural resources in shaping our economic systems. We cannot continue to ignore the impact of climate change and other environmental challenges. We need to develop new technologies and approaches that prioritize sustainability and resilience.

Another key aspect of the economies of the future will be a greater emphasis on collaboration and cooperation. Rather than viewing each other as competitors, businesses, governments, and individuals need to work together to create a more prosperous and equitable society. This means developing new models of partnership and collaboration that allow us to share resources, knowledge, and expertise in order to achieve common goals.

Ultimately, the economies of the future will be shaped by our ability to adapt to changing circumstances and to embrace new ideas and approaches. We cannot continue to rely on outdated models and systems that no longer serve us. Instead, we need to be bold and visionary in our thinking, and work together to create a future that is sustainable, prosperous, and just for all. Thank you.


IMAGE CREDIT: Jane Jacobs speaking in New York City in 1966. Photographer Fred W. McDarrah (Getty Images)


** This made-up speech was generated using chatGPT. As a plain language writer, I had to see what the AI fuss was about. Probably my first and last time using this AI tool, but I had fun playing around with strings of prompts such as:

  • What if Jane Jacobs and EF Schumacher had a dinner party?

  • Write a short story where Jane Jacobs explains decolonizing economics

  • Jane Jacobs gives a speech in 2023 about economies of the future

The third prompt resulted in the speech, above.

What do you think of Jane's speech? I only had to correct one typo. Can you spot it? Let me know:


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