The Fourth Industrial Revolution has arrived, now what?

Humanity has experienced profound changes over the last few centuries, which have significantly affected all spheres of our lives. In summary, many researchers have been dedicated to understanding all these transformations. In particular, how this new revolution will impact us in the short, medium and long term.

Among scholars, Klaus Schwab is surely one of the names that deserves to be highlighted. After four decades studying global issues, the German economist is convinced that we are at the beginning of a revolution capable of fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to each other.

In short, all these transformations are themes that he explores in his recent book  The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2017).

Just to illustrate: in a purposeful historical leap Schwab recalls that the emergence of the steam engine and its subsequent improvement gave rise to the First Industrial Revolution , allowing us to use the motive force instead of the muscular force of animals.

Then electricity and mass production brought significant improvements to society, bringing about the Second Industrial Revolution . More recently, the rise of microprocessors and computing made possible a new leap in efficiency and productivity, leading to the Third Industrial Revolution .

Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

According to Schwab, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is already underway . The book describes that this new revolution is characterized by the fusion of technologies and the consequent narrowing of boundaries between physical, biological and digital worlds, generating opportunities and challenges.

In summary:

  • Genetic engineering;
  • unmanned vehicles;
  • 3D printers;
  • Nanotechnology;
  • Biotechnology;
  • Internet of Things;
  • robotics; and
  • Artificial intelligence.

These are just some of the evidences of this radical change, which is expanding at exponential speed.

Just to illustrate: Klaus Schwab talks about the book at the World Economic Forum (Credit: The Huffington Post)

In the book, Schwab not only presents the changes that have developed in the last few centuries. But it fundamentally describes the main technologies that drove this revolution, seeking to understand how such advances will impact governments, companies and society in the future.

Although the world has the potential to connect billions of people to digital networks in the coming years, dramatically improving the efficiency of organizations, the author expresses his concern that organizations are unable to adapt to the new technological context, and that all digitization could fragment our societies.

In short, the world is changing with surprising speed. And every decision made by us humans will affect the lives of generations to come .

The Fourth Industrial Revolution looks at the future that is unfolding today. And how can we take collective responsibility to ensure a better world for all of us.

Anyway, the following video can help you understand more about the significant changes we are facing: