Image: Flickr / India Kangaroo

Image: Flickr / India Kangaroo

Finally, I managed a formal recap of the Informal Economy symposium held in October in Barcelona by the great Claro Partners. This recap and analysis appears in the Winter 2012 edition of Current Intelligence from Thesigers. In it, I try to highlight some of the key themes: the diminishing separation of the formal and informal, the search for legibility and the need to find new ways to map and reveal these economies, and the imperative that we begin to function more, not less, like the informal. One last thanks to all who made it possible. An excerpt:

Growth is problematic in a world of finite physical resources and limited ability to absorb the byproducts of endless growth. So is resilience, which too often becomes a defensive strategy. Rather than try to recapture either of these, I proposed we refocus on functional innovation as a lesson from informal economies, building what we need, when we need it, in ways that are locally sustainable. Bookending Hart’s call to break down the barriers between formal and informal, I posited that this is where we increasingly stand, in a zone of traffic between the two demarcated by disappearing boundaries. Only those with a stake in keeping such boundaries intact seem to notice.

Read more. Comments and feedback welcomed.