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John Battelle on Changes in our Economy and the Current Vibe in San Francisco

At the first gathering of What’s Now: San Francisco, hosted in partnership with Capgemini, John Battelle discussed the current unease in the city of San Francisco. “Once again, San Francisco is the canary in the coal mine for a bigger story that’s happening around the world,” John said. “I hope that San Francisco will be leading the way as to how we fight our way to a better place.”

John also discussed the implications of recent major shifts in our economy. “I think the fundamental truth north of how we organize our economy is about to shift,” John said, referencing the rampant consumerism and exploitation of resources that has brought us to the precipice of the climate change crisis. According to John, the approach to capitalism that helped us win the Cold War has outlived its usefulness, and must be replaced by a more sustainable iteration, or we’ll be out of a planet.

John also discussed his belief that the Baby Boomers are now in a period of assessing their legacy—an activity which, according to John, Millennials are undertaking at a much earlier age than the Boomer generation did. “They’re asking the same questions,” John said, “and I think there’s this opportunity to bring them together.”