Guided by the belief that we are in the midst of an economic transformation on par with the Industrial Revolution, the Roosevelt Institute’s Next American Economy project identifies the trends and challenges that will shape our economy in the next 25 years in order to better inform the policy decisions we must make today. We are particularly focused on the potential impact of new technologies on productivity, employment, and economic security.

To help glean insights on these topics, we convened a diverse group of economists, technologists, union leaders, and entrepreneurs, and framed a series of conversations aimed at identifying the key concerns of today and projecting how they might evolve, dissipate, or intensify over the next 25 years.

The resulting briefs take on some of the most promising and challenging issues that our expert working group came up with, including the promise and perils of the gig economy, smarter cities, and better modes of finance, as well as the need for new worker bargaining platforms and improved, lifelong education.

The Good Economy
Bo Cutter provides an overview of the “good economy” of 2040.
Urban Platforms in 2040
Julia Root of NYU’s Governance Lab explores how cities will become urban platforms for innovation.
Challenges In SME Access to Capital
Richard Swart of U.C. Berkeley looks at challenges in access to capital for startups.
Where Will Work Come From in the Era of the Cloud and Big Data?
John Zysman of U.C. Berkeley and Martin Kenney of U.C. Davis examine where work will come from in the era of big data and cloud service.
Barriers to Growth in the “Sharing Economy”
Denise Cheng, affiliate researcher at MIT’s Center for Civic Media, looks at barriers to growth in the sharing economy.
Pathways to Prosperity in the 21st Century
Chelsea Barabas of MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative examines the future of workforce development and educational credentials.
The Union of the Future
Michelle Miller, co-founder of, asks what the union of the future will look like.
Creative Schools for a Thriving Economy
Roisin Ellison and Joe Hallgarten of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts call for a new model of education that emphasizes creativity.