What is an economy? A form of management. The terms comes from ancient Greece. It concerns the management of an estate. What is an agricultural economy? Management of agricultural resources. Like this, perhaps:
A Failed Economic Model
or… what happens when the economists turn their back on the household and leave it to the staff to figure it out for themselves, or not. An economy of ignorance has destroyed the knowledge latent in this scene.
What is a knowledge economy? Management of knowledge. What is a knowledge economy in the Okanagan? Ah, take a look:
The Failure of a Government Knowledge Economy in the Okanagan Orchards
In the 1980s, the British Columbia government set out to provide knowledge to Okanagan orchardists, that would set them on the road to independence, by financing the removal of old orchards and their replacement with new modern ones. Thirty years later, only the advertising sign remains. It can hardly be called a knowledge economy when the knowledge is actually ignorance.
A smarter way to apply knowledge would be to have it grow from the ground up. Take this, for example:
Okanagan Centre (Uphill)
Almost half of the farmland in this picture is under utilized or fallow.
A simple urban management change could see underused farmland being made available to young people at low rates, coupled with support for them through microloans. Work and community consultation would deliver knowledge to the young, about how to grow food on the land, knowledge to the managers, about how to reconfigure their urban-rural interface economies, and knowledge resources to our university, which it could develop into a knowledge product unique in the world.
Yes, knowledge economies are about packaging data, but you have to take care of the house. Otherwise it falls down, and becomes too expensive to maintain by any economy, a knowledge one or otherwise.
Tomorrow: What we can learn from weeds.