What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
Understanding history can reveal possible bumps in the road that can hinder or slow your success and since knowledge is power, knowing the history of things can help you make better choices for your future. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has already begun and I want to do my part to help others to survive and prosper, and that only takes a little preparation, and training to bridge any learning gaps.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is in the most simple of terms the blurring of the real world with the technological world. I know you are probably shaking your head and saying to yourself, “this is old news we have already blurred the lines. I use my cell phone to check email, I have a Smart TV, and we analyze data at work and use what we have learned to make decisions.” Yes, all of those things will aid you in moving forward in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but it is more complex than that.
Alex Gray writes in her article, The 10 Skills You Need to Thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, “By 2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have brought us advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics.” Fear not, because if you are reading this then you are 3 years ahead of the competition in the job market because you will do something to prepare.
Before I Tell You How to Prepare…
We must have a quick history lesson before I move on any further. Goncalo de Vasconcelos interviewed Dr. Brown, an entrepreneur coach at Cambridge University, and shared the highlights of the interview in his article for Forbes.com, “The Third Industrial Revolution.” Dr. Brown had this to say about the previous industrial revolutions:
- In the First Industrial Revolution, which came out of England, the new energy source was the change from wood power to coal power, a much more energy-dense source, leading to steam powered boats and trains. In fact it led to industrialisation via machines and fast mass travel opportunities. The new communication system was the steam-powered printing press which gave cheap papers and magazines delivered rapidly via trains to homes and shops. And it enabled mass education for the first time.
- In the Second Industrial Revolution, driven by technological advances in the UK, USA and Germany, oil replaced coal, again much more energy-dense. Electricity was developed from breakthroughs in basic physics out of UK universities which led to the new communication system, the telegraph then the telephone, and electrification of cities and homes driven by Thomas Edison in the USA. Together, oil and electricity led to development by Daimler and Benz in Germany of the internal combustion engine, then highways and all the transport we take for granted today. And the new financial breakthrough was the limited liability corporation which reduced risk to individuals engaged in entrepreneurial activities.
- We clearly have the new communication system, the internet, and I suggest we can reasonably date the beginning of this industrial revolution to the mid 1990s when desktop PCs became linked for the first time by Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web and Marc Andreesen’s Mosaic/ Netscape system. The internet is well ahead of the other two factors. The new energy source looks very likely to be predominantly solar power. The new financial system is less advanced, but internet-driven breakthroughs such as crowdfunding and peer-to-peer finance are indicating a democratisation of finance. People-driven finance is beginning to catalyse progress in other Third Industrial Revolution technologies.
After reading and analyzing (using my IMar Critical Thinking Academy skills here) Dr. Brown’s comments I noticed that with each revolution came new jobs and these new jobs required new skills, for example he said, “the new energy source was the change from wood power to coal power, a much more energy-dense source, leading to steam-powered boats and trains.” With the addition of the steam-powered boats and trains, the horse-drawn railway conductors had to rush and acquire new skills if they wanted to continue to feed their families. This is exactly what many will have to deal with when the Internet of Things completely takes over, Google self-driving trucks are delivering Christmas packages, Dominos’ customers prefer to have a drone deliver their pizza instead of a delivery driver or I have to order a McDonald’s double quarter pounder through a kiosk. When the above-listed changes completely occur some will lose their jobs others will adapt and learn new skills. It is Darwinism at its finest, survival of the fittest. Boy, the times really are a changin…but that is why IMar is here for you.
How Can I Prepare for The Fourth Industrial?
Klaus Schwab states in his report for The World Economic Forum that, “Today, we are at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. Developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and biotechnology, to name just a few, are all building on and amplifying one another. This will lay the foundation for a revolution more comprehensive and all-encompassing than anything we have ever seen. Smart systems—homes, factories, farms, grids or cities—will help tackle problems ranging from supply chain management to climate change.” I’m sorry to admit to some of you that it is too late for you to return to school to study nanotechnology, but if that is your dream then shoot for the moon. But, for most of us, that is only wishful thinking and we have to look at other ways and methods to improve our chances at success. Schwab mentioned in his quote that the different forms of technology that will be ushered into our daily lives are laying the foundation for everything that is to come. The term laying the foundation is key because that is where we need to start.
We have to analyze our own personal foundation and decide if we have the necessary skills needed to be successful in the near future. The key to preparing for what is to come is first to stay ahead of the changes. Our best selling course, IMar Learning Solutions Critical Thinking Academy, was created based on the skills that are needed in 2020, and we are looking towards the future to be there for our customers and students moving into 2025 and beyond. Just like the horse drawn conductor had to learn how to handle a steam-powered locomotive to keep up with the technological advancements of his time, the pizza delivery driver with a Carol Dweck growth-mindset will learn how to pilot a drone.
Will you Survive and Prosper During the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
Klaus Schwab also states in his report that, “The rise of the sharing economy will allow people to monetize everything from their empty house to their car,” and “while the impending change holds great promise, the patterns of consumption, production, and employment created by it also pose major challenges requiring proactive adaptation by corporations, governments and individuals.”
According to Schwab’s quote, individuals will need to be proactive. Individuals will need to seek out new learning experiences to make themselves more marketable to employers. IMar Learning Solutions is doing our part to help you by offering Critical Thinking Skills training through our online and live workshops, but we are just one resource available. IMar’s Critical Thinking Academy is a great foundation to help jump start your journey to self-exploration that will help you improve your resume to show potential employers that you are proactive and willing to learn the new skills so you can thrive and prosper in The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Below you will find 3 GREAT videos that talk about what changes are happening and what is still ahead in The Fourth Industrial Revolution: