What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Hi, my name is Ilona Solinska, and welcome to my article. As a Futurist and Business Growth Specialist, I am consistently exploring new avenues to share my research with the world, and what would be a better way than utilising Podcasts as a platform to spread the word. I would like to invite you to check out my new Podcast page or listen to my recordings with Peter Salerno (Happy Business Radio from Radio Italia Uno) on my SoundCloud platform.

My first Podcast series is dedicated to Micro Businesses as they are the most vulnerable in a world full of change. Let’s start with an extract from Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum: ‘We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.’ Now that I have your attention, let’s delve into the subject of what is an industrial revolution before we find out what the Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about.

When we are talking about an industrial revolution, we are talking about industrial developments that fundamentally changed our lives. For example, the 1st industrial revolution lasted from the mid 18th century to about 1830 and was mainly driven from Britain, and spread to central Europe, North America, and Japan. The main invention during this period was using water and steam power. However, Britten also started exporting machinery, skilled workers, as well as manufacturing techniques.

The 2nd industrial revolution was between the late 19th – 20th century and was the invention of electric power and mass production. It was also the era of using natural & synthetic resources to create lighter metals, new alloys, synthetic products like plastic as well as new energy sources where developed. Naturally, this gave rise to building larger machines, better tools, and computers. Factories began automation.

The 3rd industrial revolution used electronics and information technology to automate production even further. The 4th industrial revolution is building on the 3rd and is also known as the Digital Revolution.  So, what makes the 4th Industrial Revolution special?

Well, first of all, we just entered the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is a fusion of technology that combines the physical, digital, and biological spheres. As soon as Covid-19 disrupted our lives on a global scale, we were catapulted into the 4th industrial revolution if we were ready or not. As the 4th industrial revolution was built on the 3rd industrial revolution, we had already the technology in place to build on it but thanks to the pandemic, we had to dive head over heel into a world evolving at an exponential speed utilising modern technology to communicate, invent, and change the way we used to live, work, and communicate.

6 years ago, Prof. Klaus Schwab from the World Economic Forum wrote: ‘The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.

By now we are all familiar with talking to an incredibly patient artificial intelligence trying to assist us with our inquiries either via phone or chat. Drones are already used by the military but also commercially and privately. Self-driving cars are also in the production line and improving daily. It is the increasing computer power that enabled us to create new software that can be used to develop new drugs but also to provide us with information that is tailored to our needs.

Is Big Brother watching us – Yes, he is but like everything in life there are always two sides. Everything can be exploited and used in a negative way, or it can be used in a positive way. It is up to us humans to ensure we use modern technology and advancements for our good.  Let’s welcome the 4th industrial revolution and explore the endless opportunities, and challenges, it will give us

Is your business ready for this new world?  Not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, nothing is as complicated as it looks.

Work With Me  or drop me a line and I will try to help you or know somebody who can.