To better understand the history of the functional service economy, a few key references of top economists and sociologists are useful.
Clarence Edwin Ayres was an American university economist and sociologist (1891-1972). He was the first to denounce the fake proportionality between growth and material resource consumption.
“The historical trend of proportionality between economic growth and material, energy consumption must end. In fact, this proportionality does not exist, it is simply supposed. The laws of nature do not impose any minimal needs – nor mass, nor energy – to reduce a unit of GNP.”
Walter Stahel is the risk management director at ‘’The Geneva association’’ and the founding director of ‘’The Product Life Institute’’; he was a member of the working group on functional service economics during the Grenelle Environment Bill.
The functional service economy, that aims to optimize usage – or the function – of goods and services, focuses on existing wealth management, in the form of products, knowledge or natural capital. The economic aim is to create the highest possible value of usage for the longest time possible, whilst consuming the least energy and material resources possible. The goal is to reach a better competitiveness and increase company income (…). » (2006)
Michel Godet, professor at CNAM (National Conservatory for arts and trade) and member o the economic analysis committee: « We have switched from and destruction based economy on to an economy based on functionality, goods optimization and search for well-being.”
Ulrich Beck, German sociologist, in “Risk society” 1986:
« We are switching from an expensive production based society to an economical production based society”.
« We do not only exchange goods, but also wrongs”. (Explanatory note : the extensive resource consumption causes various pollutions)