In 2014, Gartner coined the term “programmable economy” to refer to “a natively ‘smart’ economic system that supports and/or manages the production and consumption of goods and services, enabling diverse scenarios of exchange of value (monetary and non-monetary).”  So what would would a programmable economy look like and how would function? In a nutshell, a programmable economy is a vision for how the current economy would operate if aspects of it were driven by automation. It anticipates a new standard for both in the way value can be exchanged and what the actual currency is for exchanging said value. In this case, currency could mean something other money. When considering new technologies built on machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, AI and blockchain, it is easy to see how an economy in this new context will include more than just traditional financial transactions.

Technological innovation has been both the driver and beneficiary of changes in the economy throughout most of human history. Technologies deeply influence how we interact with our world and with others. They change how we imagine our own possibilities and how we generate new ones.

The “economy” is omnipresent throughout our daily actions and interactions. We create goods, services, and concepts. We assign a value to them, exchange them, and manage the finite resources at our disposal—resources that technology helps us harness.

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