Success does not just depend on surmounting the technical barriers to building such a system, though, says Rifkin. "What's missing is changing human consciousness."
He thinks there needs to be a global community spirit if buying and selling power across international borders is to succeed, and science could justify that spirit. He cited the 2007 neuroscience work that provided the first direct evidence for mirror neurons in humans, which are believed to underpin empathy.
"The science shows we're predisposed to empathy," says Rifkin.
SHOOT: Important project. One of the major flaws in people today is that they don't care about themselves or others, much less the environment. Respect, empathy and caring needs to be discipled back into communities.