Every day in Britain, £100m worth of potential economic activity doesn’t happen. There is no marketplace efficient enough. The transactions are so small, complex and variable. That figure is much higher in other countries.
This is the market for “Ad hoc services”: slots of time for babysitting, helping out during a cafe’s lunchtime rush, renting out your bike this afternoon, lending £20 for a week, showing tourists round your town. There are thousands of sectors like this. At the moment, the market works through hundreds of thousands of bulletin board websites.
Yes. But it needs more than websites. Modern markets require sophisticated settlement mechanisms, pump-priming buying commitment and all sorts of verification tools. Governments control these facilities. If they will align them with a new generation of markets, the private sector will build those markets.
That could start a revolution. New models of banking, investment in up-skilling, a national parallel economy, large transactions assembled from dozens of micro-traders: all this could be routine with the right markets at the bottom of the economy.
We are the Beyond Jobs project. We grew out of Slivers-of-Time Working, funded by the UK government. Now we are building the partnerships, knowledge and networks to help any government wanting to support citizens towards the widest possible range of economic opportunity.-
There is a TED talk about our vision from January 2013.