Antonio Saba/Getty Images

Leiding geven aan de toekomst

SAN FRANCISCO – Nieuwe technologieën duiken nu zo snel op dat we moeite hebben om hun invloed op de samenleving goed in te schatten. Doordat ze alles raken, van de aard van ons werk tot wat het betekent om mens te zijn, kunnen technologische veranderingen ons overweldigen als we niet met elkaar samenwerken om ze te begrijpen en in goede banen te leiden.

Hele bedrijfstakken worden op de schop genomen en vanuit het niets in het leven geroepen, dankzij baanbrekende ontwikkelingen op het gebied van de kunstmatige intelligentie, de robotica, het Internet of Things, autonome voertuigen, 3D-printen, nanotechnologie, biotechnologie, de materiaalwetenschappen, energie-opslag en quantum-computers. Wij van het World Economic Forum hebben deze innovatiegolf de “Vierde Industriële Revolutie” genoemd, omdat hij de manier waarop we leven, werken en ons tot elkaar verhouden fundamenteel verandert.

Nieuwe technologieën zoals de stoommachine en de katoenspinnerij hebben de Eerste Industriële Revolutie in gang gezet, die vergezeld ging van historische sociaal-politieke ontwikkelingen zoals de verstedelijking, het massa-onderwijs en de gemechaniseerde landbouw. Dankzij de elektrificatie en massaproductie kon de Tweede Industriële Revolutie geheel nieuwe sociale modellen en vormen van werk introduceren. En door de komst van de digitale technologie en geavanceerde telecommunicatie heeft de Derde Industriële Revolutie, die zich de afgelopen vijftig jaar heeft afgespeeld, de planeet verbonden en tijd en ruimte doen krimpen.

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