Slide Imagine THE FUTURE Understand
Explore THE LACES Corset Economy is a theory
about our global future.
We provide tools and resources
to help you navigate turbulent change.

Slide Put yourself in the picture PARTICIPATE Want to make this practical? We run regular events and workshops helping you to understand how a Corset Economy could affect your life and livelihood and the tools to do something about it. Learn More STAY INFORMED Keep on top of how the Corset Laces and Corset Futures are unfolding. Get the latest news, insights and event details straight to your inbox. Use Corset Economy thinking to become more resilient and adaptable.


    Slide Looking at the futures The Corset Economy dynamics will unfold in different ways, in different places, at different rates. We envisage four Corset Futures, stories that take us along divergent paths. TECHNOCRACY A world where tech interfaces mediate and monetise every human action and interaction INFORMAL A world where informality has become the inevitable destination for many entrepreneurs SURVEIL-STATE A world where governments monitor and control the actions of every citizen ReMAKER A world of resource limitations, with recycling and craftsmanship increasingly important Learn more

    Slide Explore the laces There are five corset laces that together are causing the inevitable squeeze of the global economy.

    Each of these global trends is a complex wicked problem in its own right, but it is the dynamics between them that create the inevitable corseting effect.

    Monopolies Monopolies and Network Effects Traditionally, monopolies were localised and usually regulated, but not so in a digital economy.

    Digitalisation lends itself to extreme winner-takes-all network effects that ‘lock in’ consumers and other businesses, effectively blocking competition. These monopolistic network effects are at a global level making them both impossible to regulate or unlock.
    Debt Debt and the Social Contract The world is awash with debt. Levels of private and public debt have soared since the global financial crisis, now amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Consumer debt is the lifeblood of the economy, so if and when debts are repaid, money will be diverted from production or consumption of the goods and services that keep the global economy in motion.
    One Planet Earth One Planet Earth There is only one finite Planet Earth. Industrialisation has been extremely successful at improving the quality of life for a few billion people in the industrialised world, at the expense of our planetary health.

    10 billion people now have similar aspirations, creating the risk of a perfect storm by 2030, when demand for critical resources – water, food and energy – exceeds supply.
    World of Work World of Work Today’s jobs are increasingly part-time, on-call or ‘non-standard work’, with uncertain work and fluctuating income. Skills required for the workplace are fast becoming obsolete, with many tasks undertaken by a non-human workforce.

    These changes to the world of work create economic precarity and psychological self-esteem which affects individual’s ability to contribute to the economy and society.
    Misrules of the Game Misrules of the Game Regulations create the rules of the game for business. When they work well, they support a level playing field. When there is no ‘fair play’, or an equal opportunity to succeed, regulations risk becoming misrules that can be gamed.

    Many regulations have been designed for a national physical economy, which makes them inadequate and inappropriate for the realities of the 21st century globalised digital economy. This perceived unfairness undermines trust in the system.

    Slide Corset theory The mass middle is the lifeblood of our economy. When it is squeezed it creates a vicious cycle of reduced consumption, increased debt, a shrinking tax base and growing inequality. This undermines not only the economy, but also politics and society. Learn more Corset Economy News We are already seeing evidence of a Corset Economy unfolding around us. If it continues, our futures will look materially different than they do today. We need to understand the corseting and act now to reverse its squeeze. Learn more

    Trendwatch: how predictable is that trend? Trendwatch: how predictable is that trend? Trends take many forms. Some trends can be predicted, while others are fundamentally uncertain. It is not always easy to identify levels of predictability, and sometimes when one looks more widely, or looks at a trend from another angle, it no longer seems as predictable as it once did. Read more to learn how to start seeing trends where you didn't before. Published on 24 September 2021. Posted in Corset Economy News, Laces, Upskilling Read more

    Trends for 2022: what to pay attention to in the New Year Trends for 2022: what to pay attention to in the New Year A ritual that takes place at the end of each year is that countless experts and forecasters predict their key trends for the coming year. We don’t like predictions, which tend to focus on the immediate at the expense of the more subtle but important longer-term drivers of change, yet it is always useful to keep an eye on the horizon. Here's what we think you should be taking notice of in the New Year. Published on 17 December 2021. Posted in Corset Economy News, Theory Read more

    Exploring 3H, Climate Change and the Future Economy Exploring 3H, Climate Change and the Future Economy As global leaders meet for COP26, we've been thinking about climate change and what is needed for a sustainable future. We've turned to the Three Horizons model as a useful model to think about critical junctures and moving into a new future. Published on 4 November 2021. Posted in Corset Economy News, Futures Read more