Economic growth: inclusive, green, no-cost.

5-minute read

Inequality of opportunity. Powerlessness. Climate abuse. So much that’s resented about today’s capitalism is underpinned by new, one-sided, markets. History shows how benefits of new marketplace technologies could be made widely accessible.


Here’s this website in 5 minutes:

1) THE PROBLEM: Modern Markets for Some

Powerful new technologies for buying and selling are used differently at the top and bottom of the economy:

Gig-work apps are just the most visible aspect of “fake markets” which now destabilize millions. About 50% of workers will be scheduled and managed in one-sided platforms in 2021, crushing each person’s multifaceted potential.

Unequal access to deep, fair, modernized, markets is a fault line in the economic foundations. Every day it holds regular people down, centralizes power, inhibits resilience, stunts growth, and wastes resources.    → Details


2) THE GAMECHANGER: A legal framework

Left to itself, the private sector can’t solve market inequality. It’s easily overlooked, but occasionally potent new technologies need an officially initiated “public option” to make sure they benefit everyone equally.

Electricity, rail, canals, roads, money, water supply, postage, and telephones are examples. Modern Markets technologies meet the criteria that justified political intervention in the formative stages of each.

Any legislature has unique ability to aggregate demand in key micro-economic sectors. (As one example: public agencies are huge buyers of all sorts of labor.) That heft could be leveraged to initiate a system of fair, fully-featured, markets across countless sectors.

The no-cost way to do this involves a concession. Government would commit facilities it can uniquely bestow on a new system of markets. Facilities might include: (a) channelling public spending through those markets (b) allowing direct interface into official databases and processes, including the courts (c) official promotion (d) perhaps, tax incentives for use.

In return, a consortium operating the new markets for profit would have to legally commit to 5 fundamentals of public service:

  1. The operating consortium fund everything: Not just the technology, they also finance the official interfacing and – if needed – internet access for the population.
  2. Fixed transaction charge: A fixed mark-up on each transaction is the only source of revenue for operators. Competitive bidding could lead to a flat charge of around 2%.
  3. Small transactions mandated: This is a system to boost any transaction in the micro-economy; it focuses on barbers not biochemists, rental of bikes not bulldozers.
  4. Decentralized operations: The consortium are independent of government. They must have a local franchisee running each sector; one person growing window cleaning, another focused on rental of welding equipment, a third driving the market for wedding celebrants, and so on. Anyone can launch an app that interfaces to the platform.
  5. Neutrality, privacy, open-data and accountability: Anyone can register and sell or buy anything on equal terms if legal. Anyone can drill into supply/demand/pricing data for any sector. Prices are set by the market. Users own their data and can wipe or export it.

Government concessions deliver official lotteries, major civil engineering projects, and other ambitious public utilities. We call the platform initiated by the above concession “POEMs”: Public Official E-Markets.  → Details


3) THE SOLUTION: Modern Markets for All

It’s hard to convey how radical “POEMs” could be. Expectations of new market technologies are so distorted by today’s siloed, buyer-centric, overhead-laden, data-hoarding, poorly-featured, platforms.

POEMs would seamlessly trade; accommodation, beauty treatments, cash loans, deliveries, electricians, food servers, garment rental, home storage, industrial equipment operators, journeys, kale harvesters, luggage transfers, medical device rentals, nannies, office rentals, parking slots, road maintenance crews, security guards, textbook rentals, ushers, window repairs, x-ray slots, yoga lessons, zoo tours, and countless other sectors.

POEMs’ operators would be incentivized to constantly increase activity and earnings across the economic base; their only return is a tiny, fixed, percentage of each worker or seller’s earnings. Official pump-priming should drive their markets to enormous scale. They could then exploit only-now-possible tools that give each user control while constructing pathways, and attracting investment – or official interventions – that develop each person’s economic potential.

Like other public utilities, no-one would have to use POEMs. But if you chose to, it could be working constantly to unlock your Total Economic Potential across skills, potential functions, and tradable assets that remain dormant in today’s mishmash of uninformed, one-sided, “markets”. →  Details


4) RECOVERY: 25 impacts

If well executed and widely adopted, these markets could quickly expand today’s economy. New resources would be unleashed from those at the economic base. Earnings and productivity should increase while public assistance costs decline. Innovative safety-net schemes could become uniquely cost-effective to target, administer, and audit.

Specifically, that would create impacts in:

  1. Crisis response: People, resources, and stimulus can be mobilized through the markets exactly as required in seconds.
  2. Lifting the left-behinds: Unemployed? A scheme such as “Guaranteed Work” might get you on a first rung of the economic ladder. Prove reliability in that work, POEMs’ data and progression tools can quickly kick-in to find your steppingstones up.
  3. Green growth: These markets could atomize services, away from centrally controlled operations to more efficient localized activity. Local rental might replace purchases.
  4. Precision government: Government can be big or small. But POEMs could very efficiently devolve public services, welfare, and tax administration.
  5. Regional competitiveness: A country or region with POEMs would have serial advantages when it came to attracting investment, tourism, or new residents.  → Details


5) ABOUT: Three decades of preparation

“Modern Markets for All” started in 1994 at the UK think tank Demos. The concept has generated books, policy papers, a highly rated TED talk, and countless articles.

But it has always been fringe. An assumption global financial institutions and technology companies should be left to shape the vision for market technologies is the norm. Yet, history shows better markets are inevitable. Once one country realizes how new technologies can upgrade their economy, the others always follow. Post-Covid could be the moment. Distaste for today’s lopsided, tech-mediated, economies runs deep.

We are a British, non-partisan, non-profit built by the people who originated this thinking. Our recent work has focused on a taster for the overall vision: markets for gig workers overseen by public employment agencies. The technologies for that were funded in British government programs. Enabled by US philanthropies, the resulting platform was also launched by public bodies in Los Angeles County at the start of the Covid pandemic. Their preparations for launch won US Conference of Mayors’ prize for best economic development initiative in America. The program is expanding in 2021.

What now for the wider policy? Our hope is to find a first government that will just fully ask “Do we have an inequality of markets problem? If so what could be done?” If you can help; with finance, contacts, analysis, or just sustained tenacity in starting a regional dialogue, it could be transformative.  → Details



Flip through this site to see how vital market equality has become. And how it could quickly promote rapid, sustainable. inclusive, growth. All at no cost to taxpayers, while widening everyone’s choices.


THE PROBLEM: Modern Markets for Some



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