What is a Flat White Economy?

 Or: Why you should stop hating on hipsters

The term 'Flat White Economy' is named after the increasingly popular coffee drink, which has been adopted by hipsters all over the globe

It was coined by economist Douglas McWilliams in his book 'The Flat White Economy: How the digital economy is transforming London and other cities of the future'

McWilliams suggests that hipsters and their ecosystem represent the future of British prosperity

They tend to be greener and more ethical...

and work in the industries beginning to drive our economy, such as ecommerce and marketing

Where these creative, internet-driven businesses start to gather, independent retailers and restaurants spring up around them - particularly coffee shops

This forms a kind of symbiotic relationship, where independent businesses thrive and compete with one another, boosting the local economy

A good example of this is Old Street in East London, where cheaper rental spaces attracted internet-based start-ups, and subsequently more bars, coffee shops and restaurants.

'Millennial' spending habits also play a part. Because of the high cost of living, Millennials are less likely to save money. Instead they spend disposable income on experiences - such as brunch

This mixture of creatives in close proximity and more lifestyle spending results in a kind of Renaissance effect, where businesses, as well as consumers, encourage and influence each other to be excellent and innovative

This is usually good for the economy, and we're starting to see this effect take place in cities across the UK, like Cardiff

But it has its drawbacks...

Flat White economies can contribute to problems such as gentrification. As middle-class workers move into cheaper areas, they may price-out locals as property value goes up

Good or bad, flat whites are coming for you...