The Etsy Blog

Meet Jeremy Rifkin, the 2013 Hello Etsy Keynote Speaker

This Friday, March 22, 500 people will descend upon Pratt Institute’s 25 acres in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn for the 3rd annual Hello Etsy. This year’s theme, Reimagine the Marketplace, explores building the creative economy of the future — one that is connected, human-scaled, joyful, and lasting. We hope to prove that business does not have to be brutal to be successful and fulfilling.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Jeremy Rifkin, Hello Etsy’s keynote speaker. Through his work as the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and in his many books, including The Empathic Civilization and The Third Industrial Revolution, Mr. Rifkin offers a powerful, pragmatic and inspiring strategy for tackling the triple challenge of the global economic crisis, energy security, and climate change. While our conversation was sobering at times, I walked away feeling optimistic. This video captures a bit of our talk.

While Hello Etsy tickets are sold out, we will be sharing the interview we filmed with Mr. Rifkin as well as full archive of his lecture at Hello Etsy, so stay tuned for more.

This is important stuff, and it will be up to us, the people, the makers, to make it happen.

Editor’s note: For more information on The Third Industrial Revolution, check out this articleFor a 20% discount on either The Empathic Civilization or The Third Industrial Revolution, use code WorldPalgrave20 at checkout. 

3 Featured Comments

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  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams says: Featured

    Should be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming years. I personally like the concept of a collaborative economy, provided that the individual still has autonomy in choosing how and when to collaborate. I'm keeping in mind that there are wealthy corporations (and shareholders) who have a vested interest in staying large and in-charge, deeply entrenched in our culture. They will likely find ways to either counter the trends or find a way to manipulate them to their advantage...but if we have a dynamic and growing economy perhaps there will be room for all of us. One of my favorite sayings is "The only constant is change" and as generations pass new normals will arise. Some changes are pretty hard to predict!

    1 year ago

  • ArtyDidact

    Sharon Parker from ArtyDidact says: Featured

    Jeremy Rifkin is terrific, I really appreciate his thesis. What he's saying sounds just like the co-op movement of the 1970s, the idea of a cooperative economy, mutual aid, people bypassing the corporate-controlled economy and forming their own alternatives. It's real and it's been happening for decades now, at least here in Minneapolis.

    1 year ago

  • dizhasneatstuff

    deb fearon from dizhasneatstuff says: Featured

    I look forward to viewing more of Hello Etsy. I agree ,question everything, but trust your instincts. the direction our society has taken is not sustainable and can only be changed by us, the individual. I believe each little step taken by each person can add up to a huge cultural revolution. Just look at Etsy and the global community that it's created. each artist and seller has an opportunity to create their own economy. those branch out into communities, regional and national. it's exciting to be part of this venture and I think , looking back on this, it will have a profound effect on our views of business and commerce.

    1 year ago

  • nat1489

    Natalie Jacob from EtymologyJewelry says:

    Very cool, wish I could go to the event!!

    1 year ago

  • IlluminatedPerfume

    Roxana from IlluminatedPerfume says:

    How fabulous, wish I still lived in Brooklyn!

    1 year ago

  • maggiesraggedyinn

    Mary Robertson from MaggiesInn says:

    Yes.. I so agree with this way of doing business.It is so encouraging, collaboration is what will make the difference.

    1 year ago

  • BemusingBaubles

    Sarah Laguna from BemusingBaubles says:

    I don't know how confident I am that this "collaborative economy" can push past big businesses. Sure, the internet provides a lot more opportunity for individuals to create and sell, but the big businesses are on the internet too, as well as the competition from other individuals. I guess I'll have to do some more research to see how much and in what ways things are changing.

    1 year ago

  • GizmoandHooHa

    Martha from GizmoandHooHa says:

    Fascinating and wonderful – looking forward to hearing the whole talk.

    1 year ago

  • BlueSquiggle

    Monique Flannagan from BlueSquiggle says:

    I am looking forward to hearing more of this interview as well as anything else from Hello Etsy!

    1 year ago

  • buhnon

    Shantel Nielson from ThePinkRaffy says:

    Interesting!

    1 year ago

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams says: Featured

    Should be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming years. I personally like the concept of a collaborative economy, provided that the individual still has autonomy in choosing how and when to collaborate. I'm keeping in mind that there are wealthy corporations (and shareholders) who have a vested interest in staying large and in-charge, deeply entrenched in our culture. They will likely find ways to either counter the trends or find a way to manipulate them to their advantage...but if we have a dynamic and growing economy perhaps there will be room for all of us. One of my favorite sayings is "The only constant is change" and as generations pass new normals will arise. Some changes are pretty hard to predict!

    1 year ago

  • fieldtrip

    Amy from fieldtrip says:

    Very enjoyable preview of the Keynote! That's it - I need to move to New York :) :) I'm going to see if I can find other videos from the speaker on Youtube.

    1 year ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    What a wonderful interview!

    1 year ago

  • jessgreenleaf

    Jess Greenleaf from GREENLEAFblueberry says:

    Really interesting. The complex networks created by social media seem really mysterious to me a lot of the time, but more and more it seems like it's making anything possible. Exciting.

    1 year ago

  • MrPimm

    Meghan P from BustinCaps says:

    very interesting. Wish I could go to the Hello Etsy event.

    1 year ago

  • CathodeBlue

    Chris Ferebee from CathodeBlue says:

    sorry to be the one party pooper here, but.... As the oh so boring, but very true, bumper sticker proclaims, "Question Everything", especially before drinking the kool aid. Always best to get both sides of a debate. In a Time Magazine article, The Most Hated Man In Science: JEREMY RIFKIN, he himself says "Scientists are not gods; they're just technicians. They're just human beings, with all the good and bad intentions of everyone else." So, does that also include "climate change" scientists that he sides with, and all those who declare "the debate is over"? Huh, really? When exactly does scientific debate EVER really end? Science is always updating itself. Always disproving and/or improving. Why then is it that the scientific data is 100% pure and 100% accurate, and 100% 'FINAL' when it comes to global warming/the environment? And to DARE question any part of it, to question these scientists, these "human beings, with all the good and bad intentions of everyone else" as Rifkin says, somehow makes you an evil """flat earther""". To me that just smacks of total ignorance. Or, that under the surface of so much of it, it's an agenda aimed solely at dismantling "big business/corporations" (which, yes, need to be held accountable for poor standards/wrong doing, etc.) - the debate is used as a tool to subvert big business and somehow usher in something else (some enviro-utopian-socialism?). I'm all for being environmentally responsible, all for being good stewards of the earth, but there's something to be said for those who use the 'green movement' to bully you into a particular political mindset when maybe, jusssst maybe, the science isn't quite 100% there, only an agenda. And to put that aspect under scrutiny is not being a "flat earther" or an evil republican or whatever the typical accusation is. I just really would like to know the TRUTH about it all - solid science vs. political prosthelytizers hijacking of scientific data, and emotion. All I'm saying is question EVERYthing. Even if it's not popular/fashionable. (I guess this is the point where the ridicules come flying in at me....)

    1 year ago

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts says:

    Oooo interesting! Some very cool concepts

    1 year ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    Interesting! Especially for a man of his generation.

    1 year ago

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits from OuterKnits says:

    A brave new world.

    1 year ago

  • ACESfinds

    Alison Herr Scates and Chuck Scates from ACESFINDSVINTAGE says:

    Sounds like an interesting event! I wish I could go!

    1 year ago

  • cacique

    cacique says:

    Good points Chris Farebee. I have been following Rifkin for many years. I have found him to be actually quite ignorant of many of the scientific principles he claims to understand. I don't believe in censorship, everyone has the right to speak their views, but question everything. When people get emotional and hysterical, and politicize something that should be calmly discussed and debated, makes me wonder what they're trying to pull over on me and why.

    1 year ago

  • cacique

    cacique says:

    Found this on Wiki and I included it because it says what I wanted to say better."Rifkin's work has also been controversial. Opponents have attacked the lack of scientific rigor in his claims as well as some of the tactics he has used to promote his views. The Harvard scientist Stephen Jay Gould characterized Rifkin's 1983 book Algeny as "a cleverly constructed tract of anti-intellectual propaganda masquerading as scholarship".[24]"

    1 year ago

  • ArtyDidact

    Sharon Parker from ArtyDidact says: Featured

    Jeremy Rifkin is terrific, I really appreciate his thesis. What he's saying sounds just like the co-op movement of the 1970s, the idea of a cooperative economy, mutual aid, people bypassing the corporate-controlled economy and forming their own alternatives. It's real and it's been happening for decades now, at least here in Minneapolis.

    1 year ago

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery says:

    Definitely food for thought!

    1 year ago

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts says:

    Interesting! Wish I could go.

    1 year ago

  • Runningpuma24

    Felicia Plunkett from Runningpuma24 says:

    I completely agree with the "question everything" philosophy-- uninformed people who think they know what they're talking are more dangerous than those trying to learn the truth. That being said, I'm not sure anyone can predict how creative people coupled with the internet will shape the future of business and manufacturing at this point, but I bet we all agree we are standing on the cusp of something that will be in history books one day as a great makers revolution of sorts. I love that there's a good debate over the speaker, lively discussion makes for a fun conference!

    1 year ago

  • richardlithgow

    Richard Lithgow from RichardLithgow says:

    Sounds like an awesome event and Clinton Hill is a great area!

    1 year ago

  • cocolitaboutique

    Marie-Claude from CocolitaBoutique says:

    This is really interesting and I like the example with couch-surfing that is currently part of my nomade life. Can't wait to hear the interview filmed with Mr. Rifkin and his lecture at Hello Etsy!

    1 year ago

  • dizhasneatstuff

    deb fearon from dizhasneatstuff says: Featured

    I look forward to viewing more of Hello Etsy. I agree ,question everything, but trust your instincts. the direction our society has taken is not sustainable and can only be changed by us, the individual. I believe each little step taken by each person can add up to a huge cultural revolution. Just look at Etsy and the global community that it's created. each artist and seller has an opportunity to create their own economy. those branch out into communities, regional and national. it's exciting to be part of this venture and I think , looking back on this, it will have a profound effect on our views of business and commerce.

    1 year ago

  • PinkPianos

    Hilary Hahn from PinkPianos says:

    fantastic! music to my ears....

    1 year ago

  • irinisklavounou

    irini from IrinisWorld says:

    Hi Chris...I think there is a point where we go beyond stoking 'this or that attitude' or supporting 'this or that camp' and simply use whatever opportunities exist, to do the good thing..... Forty years ago i was a 'social freak' selling hand made leather goods on the streets. Twenty years ago under the tax status of a 'small industry' i was selling handmade goods out of my studio. During the last ten years we sunk an inheritance into a creative educational project in which we self built, along with upwards of three hundred amateur volunteers from all over the world, The 'Handmade Hotel and Gardens', which is now beginning to operate as an educational arts center. Free of this i am now again a metal smith and have discovered Etsy, a global market place for makers.... My point is that, for the time being, there is the growing opportunity to get on and do what you believe in. We dont need to ask permission from scientists and politicians. There is a definite groundswell and as Rifkin says this inevitably becomes infrastructure and as long as it retains a certain integrity will inevitably amplify the goundswell. We have Etsy, WWOOF, Couchsurfing, Transition and Permaculture movements etc, all powered by individual will and dedication, and shared via the web. Of course we need to question, but this should not stop us from following on with action. Indeed the most important question is "how long am i going to wait before i get up and do it"

    1 year ago

  • irinisklavounou

    irini from IrinisWorld says:

    Certainly in my opinion, the fact that someone is deemed controversial by the mainstream establishment makes their ideas all the more worth looking at albeit with a deliberative frame of mind. It is not enough to quote other peoples opinions of someones views as an evaluation. I prefer opinions like 'handmade goods' to be properly self made.

    1 year ago

  • irinisklavounou

    irini from IrinisWorld says:

    Excuse me Chris, that was not a barb aimed at vintage sellers.....Vintage is a great way to go....I was thinking more of some handmade sellers who are clearly misleading customers.

    1 year ago

  • SpaceMauve
  • irinisklavounou

    irini from IrinisWorld says:

    Excuse me Chris, i was not referring to vintage goods, Vintage is a great way to relate to handmade. I was thinking more of some Handmade Sellers who make misleading statements......

    1 year ago

  • catchaleaf

    eve from catchaleaf says:

    What a fascinating debate already, I shall stay tuned for Hello Etsy . . .

    1 year ago

  • DeepSilence

    Sonja Bikić from DeepSilence says:

    Interesting.

    1 year ago

  • Octavi

    Sarah Matthews from EthicalLifeStore says:

    Great stuff - can't wait to see the video!

    1 year ago

  • KnitByCoutureStudio

    Rachida Selvidge from KnitByCoutureStudio says:

    interesting!!! big talk... but are we acting big?

    1 year ago

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger says:

    I too wish I were able to go to these types of events...Interesting...

    1 year ago

  • CheyAnneSexton

    CheyAnne Sexton from CheyAnneSexton says:

    wonderful and can't wait to hear what he has to tell us, thank you

    1 year ago

  • Sleepwellfamily

    Rachael Kozielec from SleepwellFamily says:

    This IS hope for the future!!

    1 year ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says:

    What a complete load of tosh that man speaks. For a start, he should have history lessons to learn where the money for the industrial revolution really came from. I wonder when was the last time he did anything practical & actually got his hands dirty with real work instead of making a fortune being a celebrity guest speaker with dubious knowledge at various events. Money for old rope, get a job Rifkin!

    1 year ago

  • TheDulceVida

    Mireya Pizarro from Ibelieveinsugar says:

    sounds good. I want to know more about the economy and etsy target market.

    1 year ago

  • letemendia

    Victoria from letemendia says:

    Interesting....

    1 year ago

  • irinisklavounou

    irini from IrinisWorld says:

    Mazedasastoat- The money was pirated colonial loot, but that is hardly the point. It financed european industry from the top down like the man said.

    1 year ago

  • newhopebeading

    newhopebeading from newhopebeading says:

    I am so excited to be attending this event this weekend

    1 year ago

  • crystalallegra

    Chiaro Allegra from ThePolishedHippie says:

    last year i took a sociology course & while i like the term "3rd industrial revolution" used by this speaker, sociologists already recognize that some countries have gone beyond industrial and are now being referred to as "post industrial countries" in academia... it'll be interesting to see how this period of time is referenced in the future... eventually we have to go from being post industrial to contributing something of value... i'm glad to see that many people of the "post industrial nations" are becoming bastions for human rights consumerism through this "3rd industrial revolution

    1 year ago

  • yummyandcompany

    Jennifer from yummyandcompany says:

    will this be live-streamed anywhere?

    1 year ago

  • KatieMarieHorn

    Cat Horn from CatMHorn says:

    Very interesting and thought provoking. I want to look into his books and hopefully see his presentation from Hello Etsy. I wish I could be there in person. I believe we are already seeing and have been seeing a subtle but deep rooted change toward in our society. There has been a definite shift (at least here in the Mid Atlantic cities) toward a culture based on sharing resources and supporting local and small business with the growth of car share companies, food co-ops,business incubators/office shares, urban gardening, and online companies like Etsy and Kickstarter. Granted I think it does not have as wide of a spread as optimists would like but it is growing and I hope it succeeds.

    1 year ago