The research and assistance assignment 'economy of the future', executed by the University of Antwerp, is commissioned by The Shift, a platform that stimulates partnerships between its members and helps with co-creation of a more sustainable society and economy. The assignment builds on vision-developing work in 2015, under the auspices of ARGUS, the environmental think tank of KBC.
The goal of this assignment is double. First and foremost, the report 'Economy of the future. Visions and opportunities for a sustainability transition' aims to contribute to envisioning how the sustainability transition will look like in the economic sphere. Because of the massive use of expert language on the economy of the future (circular economy, sharing economy, social innovation, next economy…), people seem to lose their orientation. Getting a sharp focus in the discussion on the vision we need for the economy of the future, is important for that reason. Secondly, the report aims to identify so-called 'wharfs': concrete ideas and starting points to stimulate multi-actor collaboration on the obstacles for the economy of the future. These 'wharfs' are situated in the domains of (1) awareness-raising, also within firms; (2) support for firms, e.g. via financing and liability arrangements, (3) spatial planning aspects of the economy of the future, e.g. via distribution and logistics in cities and (4) legal-fiscal barriers.