Welcome To the 4th Industrial Revolution

The year draws to an end as we get used to the idea of Brexit in the UK and a Trump White House in the US. But the biggest change is yet to come as the 4th Industrial Revolution starts to disrupt our lives.

Feeling less secure

Many people in today’s economy feel apprehensive about their jobs, as companies experience intense competition from the effects of technology.

Technology is changing lives, work patterns and local communities in more ways than it has in hundreds of years and will do so even more as we enter a new year.

The type of change we will experience is different than before as technology infuses machines with intelligence and decision-making powers that herald the introduction of a 4th Industrial Revolution.

The upheaval feels uncomfortable because it is happening extremely fast and affords little time to get used to the new before saying goodbye to the old.

Entrepreneurs, however, are good at managing in such fluid environments and have the ability to find opportunities and start new businesses regardless of their surroundings.

But this is not the case for everyone.

Not everybody can do what entrepreneurs do which is to create jobs, not only for themselves but also for the people they employ and the companies they trade with.

A new environment

In a post-Brexit, pre-Trump, politically uncertain, globally connected, technology-driven economy entrepreneurs will need to create millions of jobs and enliven the economy in a way that generates the taxes that pay for public services.

And in the 4th Industrial Revolution technology will shape the world more than ever before as we enter a profound and prolonged digital revolution.

The world will look very different in a year from now and in five years who knows what it will look like given the degree of change taking place in every part of society.

New ‘collar’ jobs in computing, data, education, finance, health, media and software are appearing; and we will have to learn new skills.

New business models are taking hold with Airbnb for accommodation, Uber for taxis, Amazon Go for supermarkets; and we will have to manage the threat to jobs.

New technologies are appearing with the advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics; and we will have to understand them.

New issues are facing communities too, as part-time jobs, falling incomes and unaffordable housing cause severe pain; and we will have to find answers.

Whatever initial solutions are found will be temporary because disorder will dominate the digital decade as it accelerates beyond imagination.

But our ability to slow down, pause and reflect on what is happening will remain our best defense to finding a way through a period that will challenge everything we know.

So, the 4th Industrial Revolution is already reshaping the world around us and we will have to learn to slow down in order to catch up.