A model followed in smart cities and precision agriculture, the yellow economy is mainly about innovation for a better use of resources and greater productivity.

In colour psychology, a field of study that focused on how colours influence our feelings and behaviour, yellow is the colour of critical thought, creativity and inspiration. Because it also signifies intelligence, expertise and other human capabilities, it is associated with research and innovation. In recent years, science- and tech-driven production has been coined as the yellow economy. While the green economy promotes sustainability and the blue economy nature-inspired production, the yellow economy is about using technology to optimize industry and make it more profitable.

What is the Orange Economy?

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The Orange Economy is a production model where goods and services have intellectual value because they are the product of the ideas and expertise of their creators. It includes business activities relating to the arts, culture, research, science and technology. 

How does the yellow economy work?

Basically, optimizing industry means doing more with less: reducing costs and boosting production to make businesses more competitive. Technology is the best means to that end. New techniques and machinery can do things like cut wait times, make processes more precise, narrow the margin of error and boost security.

Just by looking back in time and considering how work used to be done in farming, transport, communications and other sectors, we can appreciate the extent of what technology has done for industry. Farmers used to plant, harvest and perform maintenance by hand or with animals; by the end of the 19th century, they started using the first tractors, which then made way for combine harvesters and reapers Now, because of technology in so-called “precision agriculture”, self-driving tractors with global positioning systems (GPS) can plant and harvest and drones can fertilize crops and spay for insects.

In transport, technology has made way for vehicles with more amenities for drivers — there are even self-driving cars that need no one to operate them. In communications, a sector that technology has innovated most in recent years, the Internet, social media, smartphones and other inventions have revolutionized how we communicate and consume information.

The yellow economy means industrial innovation and competitiveness. However, using its productive model excessively or improperly could jeopardize jobs if only technology is used as a substitute for manual labour.

An example of good use of the yellow economy

To make sure machines, computers and apps do not replace actual workers, certain responsible practices must happen in the yellow economy not only to automate processes and cut costs but also to invent new goods and services that are mindful of people’s well-being and add value.

A major example of the yellow economy is found in the so-called “smart cities”. Smart cities use technology to boost standard of living. They also give corporations and SMEs the business opportunity to create the solutions they need to work. Computer programmes to monitor and direct street traffic, CCTV systems to increase security and applications to reduce energy consumption in buildings are some things in smart cities that create the need for new career profiles and businesses.

Pros and cons of the yellow economy

In addition to boosting industrial competition, the yellow economy drives economic growth. Countries that are producing more goods and services can explore other markets to export to. Also, the focus on innovation boosts learning in countries needing to train and attract specialized workers.

However, reliance on technology and poor management in the yellow economy can lead to job loss, plus large-scale technical and computer failure. Also, some countries and regions cannot get enough technology to build up a yellow economy because of high costs and insufficient infrastructure.

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