Jeremy Rifkin

Jeremy Rifkin

Economist, Futurist, Author, Government Advisor
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Program Descriptions

  • The Third Industrial Revolution: Leading the way to a green energy era and a hydrogen economy
  • The Global Environmental Crisis: The path to sustainable development
  • The European Dream: How Europe's vision of the future is changing the global economy
  • The Age of Access: Understanding the historic shift in economic models, from traditional capitalist markets to emerging global commercial networks
  • The Future of Work: Rethinking the nature of employment in an increasingly automated, borderless and highly mobile global economy
  • The Hi-tech Revolutions of the 21st Century: Harnessing the scientific and technological fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, advanced IT, and cognitive science in ways that advance the process of globalization
  • Rethinking the Global Health Paradigm: Making the shift from managing disease to promoting wellness
  • Living in a Three Sector World: Building new partnerships between the global business community, civil society, and governments to create a sustainable approach to globalization
  • Deep Globalization: Deepening and expanding the global economy by bringing the remaining 60% of the human race into the 21st century marketplace
  • Educating Youth for a Global Era: Introducing service learning and experiential education into schools and colleges to prepare youth for working and living in a diverse, multicultural world
  • Immigration in a Globally Connected World: Addressing the challenges of migration in an era of cultural diasporas 
  • Beyond the Nation State: Examining the future prospects of transnational political spaces in Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa 

Why Book Jeremy Rifkin?

  • He Illuminates the Impact of Scientific and Technological Changes on the Economy and Society.

  • He Has Been an Advisor to The European Union.

  • Videos

    Biography Read more

    Mr. Rifkin has been advising the leadership of the European Union over the past 14 years, and more recently, has been advising the leadership of the People’s Republic of China.

    Mr. Rifkin is a principal architect of the European Union’s long term Third Industrial Revolution economic vision and development plan to usher in an internet of things digital infrastructure across the European Union and its partnership regions to create a smart post-carbon economy and the world’s largest single integrated economic marketplace. The plan is called "Smart Europe."

    The Smart Europe Third Industrial Revolution long-term economic development plan will be formally announced by the European Commission in February 2017. Mr. Rifkin's global consulting consortium, TIR Consulting Group LLC, is currently advising the European Commission on the deployment of the Smart Europe initiative and will be working with the 350 formal regions of the EU in the creation of road maps to deploy the new economic narrative and vision across Europe.

    To grasp the enormity of the Smart Europe transformation taking place, we need to understand the technological forces that have given rise to new economic systems throughout history. Every great economic paradigm requires three elements, each of which interacts with the other to enable the system to operate as a whole: new communication technologies to more efficiently manage economic activity; new sources of energy to more efficiently power economic activity; and new modes of transportation to more efficiently move economic activity.

    In the 19th century, steam-powered printing and the telegraph, abundant coal, and locomotives on national rail systems gave rise to the First Industrial Revolution. In the 20th Century, centralized electricity, the telephone, radio and television, cheap oil, and internal combustion vehicles on national road systems converged to create an infrastructure for the Second Industrial Revolution.

    Today, the European Union and China have taken up Mr. Rifkin's economic vision and are laying the groundwork for a smart digital Third Industrial Revolution. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, has introduced a new long-term economic vision and development plan called "Smart Europe," while President Xi and Premier Li of China have introduced a similar vision called “China Internet Plus.” In both the EU and China, the digitalized communication Internet is converging with a digitalized renewable Energy Internet, and a digitalized automated Transportation and Logistics Internet, bringing communication, energy, and mobility into a new nexus. These three Internets ride atop a platform called the Internet of Things. Sensors are being embedded into every device and appliance, allowing them to communicate with each other and Internet users, providing up to the moment data on the managing, powering, and moving of economic activity in a smart digital society.

    In this expanded digital economy, enterprises connected to the Internet of Things can use Big Data and analytics to develop algorithms that speed aggregate efficiency, increase productivity, and dramatically lower the ecological footprint and marginal cost of producing and distributing goods and services, making European and Chinese businesses more competitive in an emerging postcarbon global marketplace. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing an additional unit of a good or service, after fixed costs have been absorbed.)

    For the past fourteen years, Mr. Rifkin has advised the three presidents of the European Commission - Romano Prodi, Jose Manuel Barroso, and currently Jean-Claude Juncker - as well as the European Parliament, and EU heads of state, including Germany's Angela Merkel, on the ushering in of a smart green Third Industrial Revolution economy. According to EurActiv, Jeremy Rifkin is an American economist and author whose best-selling Third Industrial Revolution arguably provided the blueprint for Germany’s transition to a low-carbon economy, and China’s strategic acceptance of climate policy."

    Mr. Rifkin has also been advising the leadership of the Peoples Republic of China in recent years. The Huffington Post reported from Beijing on October 29th that "Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has not only read Jeremy Rifkin's book, The Third Industrial Revolution, and taken it to heart. He and his colleagues have also made it the core of the country's thirteenth Five-Year Plan..." The Huffington Post goes on to say that "this blueprint for China's future signals the most momentous shift in direction since the death of Mao and the advent of Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening up in 1978."

    There are currently 500,000 copies of Mr. Rifkin's book, The Third Industrial Revolution, in print and 100,000 copies of his new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, in print in China.

    Mr. Rifkin has taught in the Executive Education program at the Wharton School since 1995.

    Mr. Rifkin is ranked 123 in the WorldPost / HuffingtonPost 2015 global survey of "The World's Most Influential Voices." Mr. Rifkin is also listed among the top 10 most influential economic thinkers in the survey.

    I’m enclosing a 24 page memorandum that Mr. Rifkin prepared recently for Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and his leadership team and the leadership of the People’s Republic of China. The enclosed memorandum entitled, "Smart Regions, Smart Cities: A Digitally Interconnected and Ecologically Sustainable Third Industrial Revolution Across the European Union and China" lays the groundwork for the new “Belt and Road” vision that will connect Eurasia in a common digital commercial space over the course of the next half century.

    Finally, I am enclosing a list of commentaries and reviews on Mr. Rifkin’s newest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society from government leaders, scholars, and leading financial magazines and journals for you perusal.

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