Democratizing Innovation for The Fourth Industrial Revolution

from The Stillman Disruption Journal

One of the highlights in Professor John Shannon’s Disruption course at Seton Hall University was when Frank Diana came in to speak. Frank is the lead futurist for Tata Consultancy Services, and he makes his living speaking to leaders and executives around the world about the ways that technology will likely disrupt the foundations of the way we live. These changes have been labeled appropriately as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which invites comparison to the three previous technology driven transformations of the same name. Frank’s presentation begins with a walk-through history, how transformation has impacted society previously, and followed up with an explanation of how it will change what we are seeing today. His presentation is what inspired me to write this piece. Looking back to the past is sometimes one of the best ways to understand the future. It is also an invaluable resource for ensuring that the same mistakes are not repeated.

More here.

Posted in Future Thinking, Ideas, Innovation and tagged , , .

One Comment

  1. I really enjoyed reading this response as it made me think about how quickly society is changing every day. We are in the 4th Industrial revolution, and we are experiencing major rapid changes every day. Our technological progression is occurring at speeds so fast, that the labor market is not ready to respond. Hearing that around 40% of workers will lose their jobs because of technological innovation, is terrifying statistics and it is a cause for very serious concern. This type of mass reduction to the workforce will increase our societies stratification exponentially. A future were robots do all of our jobs might sound nice. However, who can afford to have robots pamper them, when most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and are worried about paying off a mortgage, paying for their children’s college education, and saving for retirement. The rich will get richer, and the poor will be unemployed in this hypothetical capitalist dystopia. The rich will not only not have to work in this future, but they will have robotic servants. The poor will live on welfare in this two-caste society. A WALL-E style socialist utopia could ensue after so many Americans are laid-off because of technological advancements. This would be another bad alternative as humans would become extremely lazy if robots did all of there jobs and pampered them every day. Humans become extremely stupid and fat in the 2008 Disney film called WALL-E, and I believe the same outcome would occur if robots did all or most of our jobs and allowed humans to be free of any obligations. However, technological advancements can still be extremely beneficial for society as they can make workers more productive as well as making companies more efficient. It’s just important that we as a society plan for the ways which displaced workers can become productive again. The small caveat of mass job loss after larger societal advancements, is a factor which if managed appropriately can allow society to avoid forming two castes. If programs are developed which allow unemployed workers to gain skills which can be implemented in high demand jobs, then we can avoid panicking about the increased stratification of society. However, if technology continues to accumulate in the hands of those who have the means to pay for it, and if this technology becomes a necessity for life, then society will still become increasingly stratified, even if unemployment is low. Making society more equal and less stratified is the best scenario as it allows everyone a fair chance at succeeding, in addition to allowing everyone to have increased productivity. This is achievable when technology is open source and crowdfunded. When people have the opportunity to contribute to the development of technology, they can reap the benefits of buying an advanced product. Whereas if the technology were close sourced, people would not buy the best product initially, and they would have to keep buying future generations of the product in order to get the best product which is reflective of all of the issues everyone had encountered. Overall, this article was a great primer for discussion about how our lives will be affected by technological advancements in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *