Advancing the Next System with Advanced Manufacturing

Nina Gregg, Max Ogden, Doug Gamble, Andrew Dettmer, David Schweickart, September 2016

We are thinkers and practitioners from the United States and Australia1. Our views principally reflect where we come from, but we are confident that our themes are an important part of a global discussion.

We are arguing here for the singular importance of advanced manufacturing. Our emphasis on advanced manufacturing is not because we love advanced manufacturing, but because we think it is necessary to achieve a next system that is democratic, equitable, sustainable, and restorative. If we thought free beer would be as important or as necessary, we would be advocating for free beer instead of for advanced manufacturing.

Our argument for a key role for advanced manufacturing in the next system is grounded in opposition to three currents of thought:

  • We oppose the current of thought that does not see the need for systemic change in order to build a productive, inclusive, and sustainable society;

  • We oppose the current of thought that sees the “market,” “market forces,” and corporate structures as inherently corrupting

  • And we oppose the current of thought that sees the state as the only vehicle for progressive change.

We believe, on the contrary, that the movement for the next system must institutionalize its values and achieve its objectives within the market, the state, and civil society.

1The authors wrote this paper as a contribution to The Next System Project to propose a concrete application of next system values and principles. We are grateful to colleagues whose thinking and experience helped shape the ideas expressed.

telechargement advanced_manufacturing.pdf (340 KiB)


We will need other crucial components as well. We encourage people who read this to think about and share ideas especially about changes in education, investment, trade, and public policy that can advance this work. For any of this to occur, we also need to develop the political will to achieve these seemingly impossible objectives. We welcome your comments on and responses to this essay, which can be emailed to us at:


Advancing the Next System with Advanced Manufacturing