Start with the individual terms:
Here’s how I define it:
the lifelong process of transforming information and experience into knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes. (from A Definition of Learning)
I had to piece together Merriam-Webster and Oxford to get a definition that I felt was truly accurate:
a system of “interaction and exchange” (M-W) that governs the “the wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services.” (Oxford)
In a Learning Economy, the process of learning is the fundamental driver of the system. Learning fuels innovation; it fuels change; it enables participants in the system to adapt so that they can sustain wealth and create new wealth.
Without learning, the system atrophies.
You could argue that every successful economy is a learning economy – and you would be right. What is different now, though, is the sheer speed, scope, and scale of learning – and, by extension, change – that is possible.
Technology – in the broadest sense – has made this possible. And learning continues to drive the advancement of technology. Both knock down economic barriers and borders.
A flywheel effect. A virtuous – or is it vicious? – circle.
That is the Learning Economy.
P.S. – What the Learning Economy is relates directly to what the Learning Revolution is.