Ready for the 4th technological revolution?
Our expert's opinion
"The new technological revolution is here and it is here to stay. While some of us see the future opportunities this revolution can offer, others are afraid of the digitisation going too fast.
The progression in cybersecurity and the socio-economic changes revolutionized by artificial intelligence are moving fast, but are you keeping up with it?"
- Munmun Rayamajhi, Associate Consultant
The Future Is Tomorrow. Are You Getting Ready For It?
Internet will move beyond being a network of computers and become a network that connects everything to everything else
the adaptation of currently demonstrated automation technologies could affect 50 % of the world economy,
The world we know is fast changing. We are already within a technological revolution that is reshaping the way we interact with each other, the way labor market organizes its production and even the way human being think.
In the coming years, the Internet will move beyond being a network of computers and become a network that connects everything to everything else : cars, machines of all sorts, household appliances, energy meters, windows, lights, people, businesses, personal and medical data.
According to the Executive Briefing of McKinsey Global Institute on ‘Technology, jobs, and the future of work", on a global scale, the adaptation of currently demonstrated automation technologies could affect 50 % of the world economy, or 1.2 billion employees and $14.6 trillion in wages. Around a 60 % of all occupations have at least 30 % of activities that are technically automatable. This means that most occupations will change, and more people will have to work with technology.
This so-called 4th technological revolution based on innovation is bringing a whole panorama of future opportunities, and the European Union is well aware of it. In a recent public exchange of views with the industry and the civil society, Commissioner Bieńkowska responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs highlighted how there is a global race toward innovation that we must not fear. New business model, new jobs and new relationships are being created, and we should treat this process as an opportunity while minimizing the possible negative side effects that every change also entitles.
A new EU Industrial Policy Strategy has been put in place aiming at empowering European industries to continue delivering sustainable growth and jobs. Circular economy, renewable biological resources and their conversion into bio-based products and bio-energy as well as new proposals for clean, competitive and connected mobility supporting the deployment of charging infrastructure, and actions to foster autonomous driving are hot priorities to ensure that the industrial EU sector becomes the world leader in decarbonization and sustainable innovation. With digitalization as a cornerstone pillar for the industry of the future, the modernization of the Intellectual Property Framework, the strengthening of cybersecurity, and the extension of the Skills Agenda to new key industry sectors are also big priorities that are been promoted.
Fostering a leadership role among the global actors and fully aware of the flaws of a regulation that is never as fast as innovation required, the EU is, however, working fast to empower citizens, revitalize regions and have the best technologies for the smart, innovative industry of the future. Around 500M€ has been allocated for the development of a network of Digital Innovation Hubs that with technical universities or research organizations at the core, will allow companies to get access to technology-testing, financing advice, market intelligence, and networking opportunities. The same way, the Commission is increasing its annual investments in artificial intelligence by 70% under the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 that will reach 1.5 billion euros for the period 2018-2020, fostering the materialization of an EU ahead of technological developments while addressing the socio-economic changes brought by artificial intelligence and ensuring an appropriate ethical and legal framework.
Despite all these efforts, there would not be a workforce prepared to feed this industrial leadership unless individuals will also adjust to it. Currently, society is divided mainly into two big branches. Those who ignore the fact that revolution has already arrived to stay and those who fear it so much that would waste their energy trying to kill a reality that should be just addressed for the common good. The Digital Education Action Plan has been designed to ensure that a third branch of digital natives is arising and attracting all those ignorant and fighters into the digital era.
At the policy level, governments and institutions are already implementing the tools to evolve education systems for a changed workplace, to determine how the private sector can drive the training that the education system is not able to provide, to explore public-private partnerships that will stimulate investment for enabling the needed infrastructure, to focus on job creation or to innovate the way how humans work alongside machines.
Change is happening today and the future is a matter of tomorrow. Short-term is shaping next month, medium-term will place us in summer and long-term will catch up in 2020. We cannot wait to get ready because our time is now. But there are three basic steps to take and some very good recipes to help us adjust our mindsets at the speed of the changes that are materializing.
Imagine a world of science-fiction and get used to it. The first step to embrace the change is to play with its different scenarios. If you have a great imagination, do not be afraid to use it. This will open your mind and make you ready for the up-skilling process that you will have to go through. If you have lost it all after a whole 9 to 5 life of accumulated days, play with your kids. Listen to them and take their dreams very seriously.
Accept that in the very near future your refrigerator will be providing you with the best nutritional menu to offer your family and this will not make a worst mother. Accept that your personal and professional development is a lifelong learning process that did not end at school. Accept that coding and playing piano should be qualities for the same person. Accepting that the world is changing is the only way to prepare yourself to also change according to the needs of the new realities. Accept that being afraid of something does not directly mean you should avoid it. Accept that the time to get ready is now.
Take action. Make your development plan and fix your learning objectives. They do not need to be big but they should be consistent. Step by step, make the list of priorities that will skill you in order to rock this science-fiction world you have imagined. It is not a matter of how much time can you invest in recycling your skills but about the conscious decision of doing so.
The future is happening now and it will wrap us all. Are you getting ready for it?
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