It seems to me that we have a new normal among consumers in North America. The traditional "luxury" economy that provided high end good and services to well-heeled consumers shows signs of weakening. And, it is giving way to new forms of economies, such as the "green" movement, the "experience" economy, and the "simplification" consumer. And, this could spell tough news for independent education, which has historically positioned itself as a luxury good, providing high quality and limited access in exchange for a high price. Over the next couple of weeks, we will explore these emerging new economies, consider what consumer groups and attitudes they comprise, and investigate the potential impact and opportunity for independent education.