Tom Fisher

We can no longer sustain or afford the old economy of mass production and mass consumption. Meanwhile, we have seen the emergence of a new economy – a sharing, collaborative, on-demand economy – that focuses on access rather than owning and mass-customization rather that over-consumption. This new economy promises to wring out the waste and excess capacity that the old economy left in its wake and it presents enormous opportunities for those who seek a more sustainable, equitable, and diverse future.

Thomas Fisher is a graduate of Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he was recognized in 2005 as the fifth most published writer about architecture in the United States. He has written 9 books, over 50 book chapters or introductions, and over 400 articles in professional journals and major publications. Named a top-25 design educator four times by Design Intelligence, he has lectured at 36 universities and over 150 professional and public meetings in the U.S. His newest book, Some Possible Futures, Design Thinking our Way to a More Resilient World (Minnesota) will come out in Spring 2016. His current research involves looking at the implications of the “Third Industrial Revolution” on architecture and cities in the 21st century.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at