In 1999, B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore published their now famous book, The Experience Economy, which provides insight into the future of building loyalty by winning the hearts of consumers. Twenty years later, the Experience Economy has permeated all aspects of culture. Now, with a global pandemic, 40 million Americans without jobs, and the event ecosystem on hold, where can humanity turn to find contentment?
THE OUTER WORLD EXPERIENCE The Experience Economy evolved from traditional spectator events into immersive, shareable experiences. With the proliferation of these outer world experiences, we began to lose sight of the moment we were actually in. We became obsessed with curating, creating and sharing content in hopes of receiving social currency to validate our outer selves, without understanding the nature of our true self.
This is not to say that outer world experiences are bad. They provide us with the ability to connect with others, share passions, and celebrate life’s pleasures. Experiences should and will always be a cornerstone of our culture, but recent events have shown us just how dangerous relying on the outer world to bring us happiness can be. Now as the economy starts to reopen, before rushing out to seek what was, it’s important we use this time and focus our attention inward to find truth, meaning, and purpose.
THE INNER WORLD EXPERIENCE The inner world might feel daunting at first, but ultimately it allows us to experience more peace and joy in a chaotic, unpredictable world. We cannot seek to control the external conditions of life, only how we show up in the world regardless of life’s circumstances. Will we choose to be gripped by fear, worry and anger, or embrace new realities as opportunities to learn, grow, and evolve? All we truly need to be content is already inside of us, but our fixation on the outer world has blocked that reality. When we invest in “The Inner Experience Economy”, we take an active role in our own evolution by raising our consciousness, rather than being unconsciously directed by outer forces and media to believe our life is somehow deficient.
THE ACT OF DOING VS. BEING Humanity has been unconsciously programmed to believe that life is about doing things. Brands and event producers have turned what were once organic discoveries into social media staging areas. Some of the most beautiful, remote places in the world have become overcrowded destinations where influencers line up to use nature as a step-and-repeat, posing for just a moment to capture a false sense of being there.
However, in the act of being, the reward is the moment. When we’re in the moment, we are truly with ourselves and the people around us, appreciating the present instead of worrying about the past or future. Being in the moment is attainable for anyone; you don’t have to travel anywhere to do it and it costs very little, but the reward is priceless.
THE CURRENCY OF CONSCIOUSNESS Our minds have created the illusion that meaning exists through our identification with objects and outer experiences. As a result, we have placed the most value in social currency through likes, engagement, and followers. Now, as more humans look inward and connect with their true self, a new currency will emerge as the driving force of “The Inner Experience Economy.” The Currency of Consciousness is the ability to direct our minds to invest in the type of world we want to create. Consciousness comes from a universal intelligence that runs through all living things. Unlike other forms of currency, it’s boundless, plentiful, and available to everyone.
INVEST NOW Investing in “The Inner Experience Economy” and exchanging the Currency of Consciousness is the key to our evolutionary survival. As the outer world begins to reopen and we consider how to spend our time, we can’t lose sight of investing in ourselves.