The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Leveraging Nanotechnology Applications In Manufacturing


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The Fourth Industrial Revolution has made for big strides in manufacturing, especially with the additions of robotics and 3D printing. But one field has been advancing the notion of thinking small. Nanotechnology, or the study and application of manipulating matter at the nanoscale, has uncovered the existence of a world that’s a thousand times smaller than a fly’s eye. It has also led to the development of materials and techniques that have enhanced production capabilities.

Nanotechnology continues to have a broad impact on different sectors. In fact, the worldwide market will likely exceed $125 billion by 2024. Ranging from stain-resistant fabric to more affordable solar cells, nanotechnology applications have been improving our daily lives. As research continues, advances in this space are opening up possibilities for more promising innovations.

A Closer Look at the Nanoscale

In the metric system, “nano” means a factor of one billionth—which means that a nanometer (nm) is at one-billionth of a meter. Forms of matter at the nanoscale usually have lengths from the atomic level of around 0.1 nm up to 100 nm.

What makes the nanoscale extraordinary is that the properties and characteristics of matter are different on this level. Some materials can become more efficient at conducting electricity or heat. Others reflect light better. There are also materials that become stronger. The list goes on. For instance, the metal copper on the nanoscale is transparent. Gold, which is normally unreactive, becomes chemically active. Carbon, which is soft in its usual form, becomes incredibly hard when packed into a nanoscopic arrangement called a “nanotube”. These characteristics are crucial for numerous nanotechnology applications.

a photo quote of Dr. K. Eric Drexler in relation to nanotechnology applications

Dr. K. Eric Drexler weighs in on the uses of nanotechnology and on understanding where nanotechnology will lead.

The reason why chemical properties alter in the nanoscale is that it’s easier for particles to move around and between one another. Additionally, gravity becomes much less important than the electromagnetic forces between atoms and molecules. Thermal vibrations also become extremely significant. In short, the rules of science are very different at the nanoscale. It’s one of the factors that make nanotechnology research and nanotechnology applications so fascinating.

Creating lighter, sturdier and safer materials are possible with nanotechnology. Many of those materials can also withstand great pressures and weights. Nanomaterials, or structures in the nanoscale, enable the advanced manufacturing of innovative, next-generation products that provide higher performance at a lower cost and improved sustainability.

Exploring the Nanotech Space, One Atom at a Time

A few well-known companies have been exploring the substantial profit potential of nanotechnology applications.

IBM has invested more than $3 billion for the development of semiconductors that will be seven nanometers or less. The company has also been exploring new nanomanufacturing techniques. Additionally, IBM holds the distinction of producing the world’s smallest and fastest graphene chip.

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Uses of nanotechnology in relation to metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have cost-advantage production economics.

Samsung has also been active in nanotechnology research. The electronics giant has filed more than 400 patents related to graphene. Such patents involve manufacturing processes and touch screens, among other nanotechnology applications. Moreover, Samsung has funded an effort to develop its first generation graphene batteries.

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Read More: Electric Aircraft And The Future Of Aviation

One of the notable startups that has been gaining traction in this space is NuMat Technologies. The company creates intelligently engineered systems through the integration of programmable nanomaterials. NuMat is also the first company in the world to commercialize products enabled by metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). These are nanomaterials with vast surface areas, highly tunable porosities, and near-infinite combinatorial possibilities. Nanotechnology applications of MOFs involve products with improved performance and otherwise-unachievable flexibility in form factors. Additionally, they have cost-advantage production economics.

Founder Benjamin Hernandez believes that one of the most important uses of nanotechnology is solving challenges related to sustainability.

“I think conceptually that’s kind of the wave of the future, using atomic-scale machines or engineering to solve complex macro problems,” Hernandez said.

Moreover, NuMat uses artificial intelligence to design MOFs. The company has total funding of $22.3 million so far. NuMat continues extensive research to develop more nanotechnology applications for the future.

a photo quote of Markus Antonietti in relation to nanotechnology applications
For something so small, it’s understandable that few fully grasp the uses of nanotechnology.

Making a Difference with Nanotechnology Research

The ones mentioned above are just a few of the thousand uses of nanotechnology. Achievements in the field seem to be announced almost daily. However, businesses must also place greater importance on using nanotechnology for more sustainable manufacturing. After all, advantages include reduced consumption of raw materials. Another benefit is the substitution of more abundant or less toxic materials than the ones presently used. Moreover, nanotechnology applications can lead to the development of cleaner and less wasteful manufacturing processes.

Professor Sijie Lin at Tongji University is optimistic about the prevalence of sustainability in nanotechnology applications.

“Designing safer nanomaterials and nanostructures has gained increasing attention in the field of nanoscience and technology in recent years,” Lin said. “Based on the body of experimental evidence contributed by environmental health and safety studies, materials scientists now have a better grasp on the relationships between the nanomaterials’ physicochemical characteristics and their hazard and safety profiles.”

According to Markus Antonietti, director of Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, more work needs to be done in increasing awareness on nanotechnology applications or uses of nanotechnology. “But there also needs to be a focus on education and getting information to the public at large,” he noted. “The best part is that all of this could happen immediately if we simply spread the information in an understandable way. People don’t read science journals, so they don’t even know that all of this is possible.”

Article Re-Posted from Bold Business

For more on Bold Business’ examination of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, check out these stories on 3D Printing and Supply-Chain Automation.

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How brand new science will manage the fourth industrial revolution – “Managing the Machines”


It’s about artificial intelligence, data, and things like quantum computing and nanotechnology. Australian National University’s 3A Institute is creating a new discipline to manage this revolution and its impact on humanity.

Image: Diagram by Christoph Roser at AllAboutLean.com (CC BY-SA 4.0))

Diagrams explaining the fourth industrial revolution, like this one by Christoph Roser, are OK as far as they go. Apart from the term “cyber physical systems”. Ugh. What they mean is that physical systems are becoming digital. Think of the Internet of Things (IoT) supercharged by artificial intelligence (AI).

But according to Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell, these diagrams are missing something rather important: Humans and their social structures.

“Now for those of us who’ve come out of the social sciences and humanities, this is an excellent chart because of the work it does in tidying up history,” Bell said in her lecture at the Trinity Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin in July.

“It doesn’t help if what you want to think about was what else was going on. Each one of those technological transformations was also about profound shifts in cultural practice, social structure, social organisations, profoundly different ideas about citizenship, governance, regulation, ideas of civil and civic society.”

Another problem with this simplistic view is the way the Industry 4.0 folks attach dates to this chart. Steam power and mechanisation in 1760-1820 or so. Mass production from maybe 1870, but the most famous chapter being Henry Ford’s work in 1913. Then computers and automation started being used to manage manufacturing from 1950.

“That time scheme works really well if you’re in the West. It doesn’t hold if you’re in China or India or Latin America or Africa, where most of those things happened in the 20th century, many of them since 1945,” Bell said.

Bell wants to know what we can learn from those first three revolutions. She heads  the 3A Institute at the Australian National University, which was launched in September 2017 and is working out how we should respond to, and perhaps even direct, the fourth revolution.

Take the steam engines of the first industrial revolution. They were built by blacksmiths and ironmongers, who knew what they needed to build the engines. But they didn’t know how to shape the industries the engines could power, or how to house them, or about the safety systems they’d need. These and other problems generated the new applied science of engineering. The first school of engineering, the École Polytechnique, was established in Paris in 1794.

The large-scale factories and railway systems of the second industrial revolution needed massive amounts of money. Raising and managing that money literally led to capitalism, and concepts like common stock companies and futures trading. And the first business school with funding from industry.

Early in the computer revolution, the US government had a problem. Nearly all of its computers relied on proprietary software from companies like IBM and Honeywell. So it asked Stanford University mathematician George Forsythe to create an abstract language for all computers. Two years later, his team developed a thing called computer science, and issued a standard 10-page curriculum. An updated version is still used globally today.

“So, engineering, business, and computer science: Three completely different applied sciences, emerging from three completely different technical regimes, with different impulses,” Bell said.

“Each starts out incredibly broad in terms of the ideas it draws on, rapidly narrows to a very clear set of theoretical tools and an idea about practice, then is scaled very quickly.”

With this in mind, Bell said that the fourth industrial revolution needs its own applied science, so that’s exactly what the 3A Institute is going to build — as the website puts it, “a new applied science around the management of artificial intelligence, data, and technology and of their impact on humanity”.

And the 3A Institute plans to do it by 2022.

Nine months into this grand project, it’s identified five sets of questions that this new science needs to answer.

First is Autonomy

If autonomous systems are operating without prewritten rules, how do we stop them turning evil, as so many fictional robots do? How do different autonomous systems interact? How do we regulate those interactions? How do you secure those systems and make them safe? How do the rules change when the systems cross national boundaries?

Or, as Bell asked, “What will it mean to live in a world where objects act without reference to us? And how do we know what they’re doing? And do we need to care?”

Second is Agency, which is really about the limits to an object’s autonomy. With an autonomous vehicle, for example, does it have to stop at the border? If so, which border? Determined by whom? Under what circumstances?

“Does your car then have to be updated because of Brexit, and if so how would you do that?” Bell asked.

If autonomous vehicles are following rules, how are those rules litigated? Do the rules sit on the object, or somewhere else? If there’s some network rule that gets vehicles off the road to let emergency vehicles through, who decides that and how? If you have multiple objects with different rule sets, how do they engage each other?

Third is Assurance, and as Bell explained, “sitting under it [is] a whole series of other words. Safety, security, risk, trust, liability, explicability, manageability.”

Fourth is Metrics

“The industrial revolution thus far has proceeded on the notion that the appropriate metric was an increase in productivity or efficiency. So machines did what humans couldn’t, faster, without lunch breaks, relentlessly,” Bell said.

Doing it over again, we might have done things differently, she said. We might have included environmental sustainability as a metric.

“What you measure is what you make, and so imagining that we put our metrics up at the front would be a really interesting way of thinking about this.”

Metrics for fourth revolution systems might include safety, quality of decision-making, and quality of data collection.

Some AI techniques, including deep learning, are energy intensive. Around 10 percent of the world’s energy already goes into running server farms. Maybe an energy efficiency metric would mean that some tasks would be done more efficiently by a human.

Fifth and finally are Interfaces. Our current systems for human-computer interaction (HCI) might not work well with autonomous systems.

“These are objects that you will live in, be moved around by, that may live in you, that may live around you and not care about you at all … the way we choose to engage with those objects feels profoundly different to the way HCI has gotten us up until this moment in time,” Bell said.

“What would it mean to [have] systems that were, I don’t know, nurturing? Caring? The robots that didn’t want to kill us, but wanted to look after us.”

As with computer science before it, the 3A Institute is developing a curriculum for this as-yet-unnamed new science. The first draft will be tested on 10 graduate students in 2019.

Bell’s speech in Dublin, titled “Managing the Machines”, included much more detail than reported here. Versions are being presented around the planet, and videos are starting to appear. This writer highly recommends them.

Materials for (ALL) the Ages ~ Nanomaterials and the (coming) Fourth Industrial Revolution


nano-vacince-28432767823_7110f5293b_oThis nano-vaccine can stimulate an anti-tumour response in patients with cancer. Brenda Melendez and Rita Serda, NIH Image Gallery/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

HUMAN PROGRESS HAS LONG BEEN DENOTED BY THE DOMINANT MATERIAL OF THE PERIOD. WILL WE SOON BE LIVING IN THE NANOMATERIAL AGE?  

The kind of material used by a society has often served as a yardstick for how developed that society is. From the stone wheel to the iPhone, a bronze axe to a Boeing 747, materials technology has been our constant companion throughout the millennia, and a driving force for continued progress and societal change. Now it is believed that we may be on the cusp of another great materials revolution, this time powered by nanotechnology. With implications for fields ranging from clean energy to medicine, nanotechnology has the potential to have far-reaching impacts on many aspects of our lives, and may earn itself naming rights to the next age in the process.

Sticks and stones and metals

During the Stone Age, our ancestors used natural materials such as animal skins, plant fibres and, of course, stones. These materials were our bread and butter before bread or butter, until humans began to experiment with metalwork. Copper, alloyed with a bit of tin, had such superior properties to stone implements that if a society failed to use the new material, they found themselves in danger of being conquered. Thus, the Bronze Age was born. Bronze had its heyday for millennia, until bronze itself was surpassed by another stronger, more versatile metal.

 

Further advancement in metalwork allowed the production of iron tools and weapons, followed by ones crafted from steel. These implements were stronger and sharper than their bronze counterparts, without a significant increase in weight. There is actually some contention among historians about what constitutes the end of the Iron Age. A common demarcation uses an increase in the survival of written histories, which reduced the burden previously placed on archaeology. However, some believe the Iron Age may have never really ended as iron and steel still play a substantial role in contemporary society.

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 Tools from the Stone age (left) gave way to those required for metal work in the Bronze and Iron ages (above). Patrick Gray/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) and Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

While naming time periods after their defining material has fallen somewhat out of vogue, the progression of society is still driven by advances in materials science and technology.

The industrial revolution, globalization and the Information Age

Coal and the steam engine literally and figuratively fueled the industrial revolution, moulding us into our modern consumer culture. Before the industrial revolution, a high percentage of the population had to farm the land to provide enough food for everyone to survive.

Mechanized farming practices reduced the burden on manpower, while also producing higher yields. As a result, few farmers were required to feed the growing urban populace. This freed up large sections of the population to pursue work in other fields, such as manufacturing, commerce and research. The importance of this transition is still evident today, including our tendency to group countries based on how industrialized they are.

Advances in lightweight materials, such as composites and light metals, facilitated the development of aircraft that fly us around an ever-shrinking globe, and allowed us to be propelled beyond our planet’s life-supporting atmosphere. In the final decades of the 20th century, the world got even smaller following the rapid development of silicon processing chips and personal electronics. The revolutionary impact these silicon products have had on modern society can’t be overstated. Indeed, this article was written, and is likely being read, on devices powered by what is effectively processed sand.

Much to the chagrin of silicon atoms everywhere, we are not currently in the silicon age, but the information or digital age. However, we are likely on the verge of another significant advance in materials technology.

The promises of the nanotechnology age

Scientists have been heralding the Nano Age, proclaiming “nanotechnology will become the most powerful tool the human species has ever used”. This is engineering on an atomic scale, the stuff of science fiction only decades ago. Now, some experts believe nanotechnology will prove to be the foundation of our wildest dreams (or darkest nightmares).
While such claims may seem sensational or outlandish, the inherent potential of nanotechnology is apparent in current research. The University of Queensland (UQ) boasts a nanomaterials research centre with a multidisciplinary team that is working to implement nanomaterials in three key research areas: energy, environment and health. If there can be consensus about issues that are integral to the survival of humanity, the shortlist must surely include these three.

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Read About: Why Everyone Must Get Ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

 
Professor Lianzhou Wang is the director of the UQ Nanomaterials Centre, and his work is focused on the first two areas: energy and environment. Prof Wang’s group aims to use nanomaterials to improve the efficiency of solar cells. Due to Australia’s abundant sunshine, the country has a vested interest and solid track record in solar cell research. However, much of that research focuses on improving the efficiency of solar cells, and usually involves increasingly expensive materials and manufacturing techniques. Prof Wang has a more egalitarian approach and is focused on developing renewable energy technology that will be more accessible to the population at large. In his lab, nanomaterials such as metal oxides and quantum dots are used to create cheap, efficient solar cells with the hope of encouraging more widespread utilization of this green power source.

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 Solar panels on rooftops allow residents to take advantage of the Australian sun. Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

 
Using nanotechnology, Prof Wang’s group can make solar cells that are cheaper than currently available commercial silicon and thin film solar cells. They are able to do this because nanomaterials have a much lower processing temperature than conventional materials, which corresponds to a decrease in manufacturing costs. Nanomaterials also impart flexibility during processing and design, as they can be printed on both flexible and rigid substrates.

 
“This is where nanomaterials can play a role: performance, of course, but also cost,” said Prof Wang. By reducing the cost of the solar cells, he hopes to lower the barrier to entry of the market and thereby introduce the technology to a greater proportion of the population. In the case of nanotechnology, it turns out that less really is more.

Solar Shades

 Flexible solar panels have greater utility than their rigid counterparts, and can be used in a wider variety of scenarios, such as on tents. Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Flexible solar panels have greater utility than their rigid counterparts, and can be used in a wider variety of scenarios, such as on tents. Wikimedia Commons (public domain)
However, not content to call that a good day’s work, Prof Wang is also working toward a solution for another issue plaguing the green energy sector: power storage. Although not particularly nuanced, a common argument against green energies asks what happens when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. As frustratingly reductive as this may seem, it still presents a serious challenge. The uptake of green energy sources, including solar, is severely limited by inadequate or expensive batteries. The inability to easily and effectively store unused power for a rainy day (pardon the pun) is a limiting factor for many renewable energy technologies.

 
In an effort to address this issue many research groups, including Prof Wang’s, intend to improve batteries with nanotechnology. As with solar cells, the advantage stems from their increased surface area. Nanoparticles, particularly nanocrystallites, have a higher surface area ratio than conventional battery materials, which allows shorter ion diffusion length and faster charge transfer. This not only increases the storage capacity of the battery, but also reduces charging time. Using this technique, Prof Wang’s group believe they have developed new cathode materials for lithium ion batteries that would potentially improve the mileage of electric cars from 450km/charge to 600-700km. “This is an increase of almost a third, and will make these cars competitive with most petrol-powered cars,” said Prof Wang.

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 Electric cars such as the Tesla model S are only as good as their battery life, and nanomaterials have the potential to extend driving time on one charge. Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

 

Exploring how to harness nanomaterials for the betterment of the environment is another key research area for the UQ nanomaterials group. There are a variety of ways nanomaterials can assist in environmental management, but artificial photosynthesis is arguably one of the most innovative. Using nanoparticles as a photoactive catalyst, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reacts with water to produce by-products including carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen gas. Prof Wang sums up how remarkable this is: “We can not only remove the CO2 from the atmosphere, we [also] get something useful in the process.” All of the by-products mentioned (carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen) are potential fuel or power sources. Consequently, artificial photosynthesis not only provides a useful tool for combating climate change, it also generates alternative fuel sources in the process.

Finally, nanotecnology may prove useful for health applications in fields as diverse as targeted drug delivery, gene therapy, diagnostics and tissue engineering, demonstrating its broad potential in medicine. It is thought by some that nanotechnology may hold the key to curing cancer at the genetic level, while also providing insights about immortality.

 

Whether the next great age of humanity is officially labelled the Nano Age or not, nanotechnology will almost certainly play an instrumental role in future innovations and will shape societies for decades to come. Whether it be tackling cancer or climate change, it appears that anything is possible, if we just think small enough.

11 must-reads on the ethics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution


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Contributed by: Ceri Parker: WEF

From artificial intelligence to virtual currencies, it’s a complex and contentious trend. You can read over 100 expert views on different aspects of the revolution here, while below are 11 articles that will help you get to grips with the ethical issues at hand.

 

1. “A winner-takes-all economy that offers only limited access to the middle class is a recipe for democratic malaise and dereliction.” Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

 

 

2. The top ten emerging technologies of 2016. Find out about the promise and perils of innovations including self-driving cars, a brain-stimulating technique called optogenetics and the “internet of nanothings”.

3. “Since these technologies will ultimately decide so much of our future, it is deeply irresponsible not to consider together whether and how to deploy them.” Mildred Z. Solomon, President of the Hastings Center.

4. “Advances in brain science are enabling us to cross the farthermost frontiers of what it means to be human.” Nita Farahany, Professor, Law and Philosophy, Duke University.

5. “The AI revolution is coming fast. But without a revolution in trust and transparency, it will fail.” Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.

6. “Failing to understand why some people are concerned about emerging technologies, and how those concerns might be effectively addressed, can spell disaster.” Andrew Maynard, Director, Arizona State University.

7. “In the past 50 years, 60% of the earth’s ecosystem has been depleted. The Fourth Industrial Revolution provides some of the solutions for a more sustainable future.” Sarita Nayyar, Managing Director, World Economic Forum, USA.

8. “We have a choice: to build an amazing future such as we saw on Star Trek, or to head into the dystopia of Mad Max.” Vivek Wadhwa, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering at Silicon Valley.

9. “A focus solely on short-term financial impact misses the discoveries that improve quality of life for millions.” Alice Gast, President of Imperial College, London.

 

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“Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid”

~ A. Einstein

10. “Should we build robots that feel human emotions?” Pascale Fung, Professor of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

11.

For everything is just so,
optimized
into tyrannical perfection,

a thousand decisions and revisions,
all the humdrumness of life
outsourced

to things far smarter than I.

 

Brian Bilston, Poet

 

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Genesis Nanotechnology ~ “Great Things from Small Things”

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The Tenka Energy Story – Nano Enabled Thin-Form, Flexible, Energy Dense – Super Capacitors and Batteries

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Nanotechnology and the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’: Solving Our Biggest Challenges with the Smallest of Things


Fourth IR 051416 AAEAAQAAAAAAAATfAAAAJGEzY2E0NWViLWU4OGItNDZkZi1hYmZiLTA1YTY1NzczNGQzNAThe Fourth Industrial Revolution: The 7 Technologies Changing Our world: When Will the Future “Arrive”?

From intelligent robots and self-driving cars to gene editing and 3D printing, dramatic technological change is happening at lightning speed all around us.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is being driven by a staggering range of new technologies that are blurring the boundaries between people, the internet and the physical world. It’s a convergence of the digital, physical and biological spheres.

It’s a transformation in the way we live, work and relate to one another in the coming years, affecting entire industries and economies, and even challenging our notion of what it means to be human.

So what exactly are these technologies, and what do they mean for us?

Read the Full Article Here: The Fourth Industrial Revolution: The 7 Technologies Changing Our world: When Will the Future “Arrive”?

Four Ways 051416 AAEAAQAAAAAAAAS7AAAAJDgyY2FlNGQ1LWUzY2EtNDQzNS04ODkwLTRmM2MxNWI4YmI1MAFour Ways Innovation Will Drive Change and Business – “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”

Innovation. In today’s business environment, there’s no word more powerful and all-encompassing. Finance, education, healthcare, retail and transportation: No sector is immune. Every day, new companies are introducing technologies that have the potential to reshape entire industries and how people conduct their day-to-day transactions.

All you need to do is look at the success of companies like Uber to realize the scale and scope of the transformation enveloping our world.

The World Economic Forum calls this era of innovation the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In January government and business leaders met in Davos, Switzerland to discuss how to navigate these unprecedented changes. It is a monumental discussion, because the reality is that these regular and system-wide innovations will continue to crack the foundations of traditional industries for years to come. Businesses need to recognize this and make sure that they will be nimble enough to succeed wherever change takes them.

Read the Full Article Here: Four Ways Innovation Will Drive Change and Business – “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”

Fourth Why All 051416 AAEAAQAAAAAAAAg8AAAAJDZiYTBjM2JlLTBlZGMtNDdmYy1hNjdkLTk0NzUyZDFjMGM0MgWhy Everyone Must Get Ready For The 4th Industrial Revolution

First came steam and water power; then electricity and assembly lines; then computerization… So what comes next?

Some call it the fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0, but whatever you call it, it represents the combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Systems.

In short, it is the idea of smart factories in which machines are augmented with web connectivity and connected to a system that can visualize the entire production chain and make decisions on its own.

And it’s well on its way and will change most of our jobs.

Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, has published a book entitled The Fourth Industrial Revolution in which he describes how this fourth revolution is fundamentally different from the previous three, which were characterized mainly by advances in technology.

In this fourth revolution, we are facing a range of new technologies that combine the physical, digital and biological worlds. These new technologies will impact all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenge our ideas about what it means to be human.

These technologies have great potential to continue to connect billions more people to the web, drastically improve the efficiency of businessand organizations and help regenerate the natural environment through ….

Read the Full Article Here: Why Everyone Must Get Ready For The 4th Industrial Revolution

 

Nanoparticle 2 051316 coated-nanoparticlePreparing For and Embracing the Future

At Genesis Nanotechnology, Inc. it’s been a busy few years! But really … we have only ‘scratched the surface’ of the tidal wave of discoveries being made everyday at leading Nano-Universities around the World! And as exciting as the new technologies and discoveries are … as anyone who has been working in “Nano” recognizes and acknowledges, new Financing Structures, Synergistic Collaborations, Private Industry and Government Partnerships have had to be created to “bring the promise of the new technologies” into our everyday world. And that … that is why we at GNT™ are so excited about our relationships with our Partners, our Technologies and our Approach to sustaining developing “game changing” technologies to Commercial Viability. 

Genesis Nanotechnology shares the vision of those who believe that “nanotechnology” will change the way we innovate everything!

Dr. Richard Smalley, (Nobel Laureate, Smalley Institute – Rice University) asserted over 30 years ago, quote:

“… Most of the BIG problems we now face and will face in the future [Energy, Water, Food Supply and Health] will be solved by the application of “nanotechnology … Expecting Big Things from Small Things.”

We (GNT) also believe, as Dr. Smalley did and as Geoffrey Moore asserted in his book “Crossing the Chasm”

“… that we are now 30+ years into a developing technology (maturation) representing a paradigm shift in technology.” The “Innovators” and the “Early Adopters” are already in the marketplace, engaging new technologies into existing market sectors and industries.”

Fourth Industrial 041516 GWvqS6TuZDSUwlO6uZ8RUNjHjFxtgz0o3MSaRlhp5_oWe believe we are now transitioning from the cycle of The Early Adopters to the cycle of the Early Majority. We believe the explosion of technological capabilities represents an enormous “once in a lifetime” opportunity to be part of the fundamental and revolutionary changes that will redefine and reshape the physical and financial world we live in. Truly then …. “A Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

 

 

cropped-9-disruptive-technologies.jpgHow We Do What We Do

Genesis Nanotechnology actively seeks and evaluates emerging nanotechnology opportunities for Joint Venture Partners and Strategic Alliances that will create ‘enterprise value’ by identifying, developing, integrating and commercializing, nanotechnologies that demonstrate significant new disruptive capabilities, enhance new or existing product performance and/or beneficially impact input cost reductions and efficiency and therefore will achieve a sustainable and competitive advantage in their chosen market sector.

Market and Industry Applications Much like the changes plastics and polymers brought to our world, (making things stronger, cheaper, better) applied Nanomaterials are being integrated into existing markets and are also facilitating emerging products and technologies that are being developed by a very deep field of mature and financially capable companies: Examples: Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Tokyo Electron, IKEA, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline. Literally Nanomaterials will change the way we innovate everything. They will touch almost every aspect in our everyday lives from Nano-Medicine and Consumer Electronics to Energy Solutions and Advanced Fabrics.

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Genesis Nanotechnology, Inc. ~ “Great Things from Small Things”

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Video


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Published on Apr 13, 2016

Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Artificially-intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed. How will the “Science of the Very (Very) Small” – Nanotechnology – impact our every day life?

Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people.

This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.

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The 7 Technologies Changing Our world: When will the Future “Arrive”?


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Fulvia Montresor, Director, World Economic Forum ~ From intelligent robots and self-driving cars to gene editing and 3D printing, dramatic technological change is happening at lightning speed all around us.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is being driven by a staggering range of new technologies that are blurring the boundaries between people, the internet and the physical world. It’s a convergence of the digital, physical and biological spheres. It’s a transformation in the way we live, work and relate to one another in the coming years, affecting entire industries and economies, and even challenging our notion of what it means to be human.

So what exactly are these technologies, and what do they mean for us?

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Computing capabilities, storage and access

 

Between 1985 and 1989, the Cray-2 was the world’s fastest computer. It was roughly the size of a washing machine. Today, a smart watch has twice its capabilities.

As mobile devices become increasingly sophisticated, experts say it won’t be long before we are all carrying “supercomputers” in our pockets. Meanwhile, the cost of data storage continues to fall, making it possible keep expanding our digital footprints.

Today, 43% of the world’s population are connected to the internet, mostly in developed countries. The United Nations has set the goal of connecting all the world’s inhabitants to affordable internet by 2020. This will increase access to information, education and global marketplaces, which will empower many people to improve their living conditions and escape poverty. Imagine a world where everyone is connected by mobile devices with unprecedented processing power and storage capacity!

If we can achieving the goal of universal internet access and overcome other barriers such as digital illiteracy, everybody could have access to knowledge, and all the possibilities this brings.

Big Data

 

Each time you run a Google search, scan your passport, make an online purchase or tweet, you are leaving a data trail behind that can be analysed and monetized.

Thanks to supercomputers and algorithms, we can make sense of massive amounts of data in real time. Computers are already making decisions based on this information, and in less than 10 years computer processors are expected to reach the processing power of the human brain. This means there’s a good chance your job could be done by computers in the coming decades. Two Oxford researchers, Carl Bendikt Frey and Michael A Osborne, estimated that 47% of American jobs are at high risk of automation.

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A survey done by the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & Society shows people expect artificial intelligence machines to be part of a company’s board of directors by 2026.

Digital Health

 

Analyzing medical data collated from different populations and demographics enables researchers to understand patterns and connections in diseases and identify which conditions improve the effectiveness of certain treatments and which don’t.

 

Big data will help to reduce costs and inefficiencies in healthcare systems, improve access and quality of care, and make medicine more personalized and precise.

In the future, we will all have very detailed digital medical profiles … including information that we’d rather keep private. Digitization is empowering people to look after their own health. Think of apps that track how much you eat, sleep and exercise, and being able to ask a doctor a question by simply tapping it into your smartphone.

In addition, advances in technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9, which unlike other gene-editing tools, is cheap, quick and easy to use, could also have a transformative effect on health, with the potential to treat genetic defects and eradicate diseases.

 

The digitization of matter

 

3D printers will create not only cars, houses and other objects, but also human tissue, bones and custom prosthetics. Patients would not have to die waiting for organ donations if hospitals could bioprint them. In fact, we may have already reached this stage: in 2014, doctors in China gave a boy a 3D-printed spine implant, according to the journal Popular Science.

 

The 3D printing market for healthcare is predicted to reach some $4.04 billion by 2018. According to a survey by the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society, most people expect that the first 3D printed liver will happen by 2025. The survey also reveals that most people expect the first 3D printed car will be in production by 2022.

Three-dimensional printing, which brings together computational design, manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology, reduces the gap between makers and users and removes the limitations of mass production. Consumers can already design personalized products online, and will soon be able to simply press “print” instead of waiting for a delivery.

The Internet of Things (IOT)

 

Within the next decade, it is expected that more than a trillion sensors will be connected to the internet. If almost everything is connected, it will transform how we do business and help us manage resources more efficiently and sustainably. Connected sensors will be able to share information from their environment and organize themselves to make our lives easier and safer. For example, self-driving vehicles could “communicate” with one another, preventing accidents.

By 2020 around 22% of the world’s cars will be connected to the internet (290 million vehicles), and by 2024, more than half of home internet traffic will be used by appliances and devices.

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Home automation is also happening fast. We can control our lights, heating, air conditioning and security systems remotely, but how much longer will it be before sensors are able to detect crumbs under the table and tell our automated vacuum cleaners to tidy up? The internet of things will create huge amounts of data, raising concerns over who will own it and how it will be stored. And what about the possibility that your home or car could be hacked?

Blockchain

 

Only a tiny fraction of the world’s GDP (around 0.025%) is currently held on blockchain, the shared database technology where transactions in digital currencies such as the Bitcoin are made. But this could be about to change, as banks, insurers and companies race to work out how they can use the technology to cut costs.

 

A blockchain is essentially a network of computers that must all approve a transaction before it can be verified and recorded. Using cryptography to keep transactions secure, the technology provides a decentralized digital ledger that anyone on the network can see.

Before blockchain, we relied on trusted institution such as a bank to act as a middleman. Now the blockchain can act as that trusted authority on every type of transaction involving value including money, goods and property. The uses of blockchain technology are endless. Some expect that in less than 10 years it will be used to collect taxes. It will make it easier for immigrants to send money back to countries where access to financial institutions is limited.

And financial fraud will be significantly reduced, as every transaction will be recorded and distributed on a public ledger, which will be accessible by anyone who has an internet connection.

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Source: Financial Times

Wearable internet

 

Technology is getting increasingly personal. Computers are moving from our desks, to our laps, to our pockets and soon they will be integrated into our clothing. By 2025, 10% of people are expected to be wearing clothes connected to the internet and the first implantable mobile phone is expected to be sold.

 

Implantable and wearable devices such as sports shirts that provide real-time workout data by measuring sweat output, heart rate and breathing intensity are changing our understanding of what it means to be online and blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.

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The potential benefits are great, but so are the challenges. These devices can provide immediate information about our health and about what we see, or help locate missing children. Being able to control devices with our brains would enable disabled people to engage fully with the world. There would be exciting possibilities for learning and new experiences.

But how would it affect our personal privacy, data security and our personal relationships? In the future, will it ever be possible to be offline anymore?

 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What it means – How to Respond – Will You be Ready?


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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. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

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There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.

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.

Already, artificial intelligence is all around us, from self-driving cars and drones to virtual assistants and software that translate or invest. Impressive progress has been made in AI in recent years, driven by exponential increases in computing power and by the availability of vast amounts of data, from software used to discover new drugs to algorithms used to predict our cultural interests. Digital fabrication technologies, meanwhile, are interacting with the biological world on a daily basis. Engineers, designers, and architects are combining computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering, and synthetic biology to pioneer a symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, the products we consume, and even the buildings we inhabit.

Challenges and opportunities

Like the revolutions that preceded it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world. To date, those who have gained the most from it have been consumers able to afford and access the digital world; technology has made possible new products and services that increase the efficiency and pleasure of our personal lives. Ordering a cab, booking a flight, buying a product, making a payment, listening to music, watching a film, or playing a game—any of these can now be done remotely.

In the future, technological innovation will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. Transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective, and the cost of trade will diminish, all of which will open new markets and drive economic growth. Fourth I Revo II Blog-1-Industrial-Revolution1

At the same time, as the economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee have pointed out, the revolution could yield greater inequality, particularly in its potential to disrupt labor markets. As automation substitutes for labor across the entire economy, the net displacement of workers by machines might exacerbate the gap between returns to capital and returns to labor. On the other hand, it is also possible that the displacement of workers by technology will, in aggregate, result in a net increase in safe and rewarding jobs.

We cannot foresee at this point which scenario is likely to emerge, and history suggests that the outcome is likely to be some combination of the two. However, I am convinced of one thing—that in the future, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production. This will give rise to a job market increasingly segregated into “low-skill/low-pay” and “high-skill/high-pay” segments, which in turn will lead to an increase in social tensions.

In addition to being a key economic concern, inequality represents the greatest societal concern associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The largest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital—the innovators, shareholders, and investors—which explains the rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labor. Technology is therefore one of the main reasons why incomes have stagnated, or even decreased, for a majority of the population in high-income countries: the demand for highly skilled workers has increased while the demand for workers with less education and lower skills has decreased. The result is a job market with a strong demand at the high and low ends, but a hollowing out of the middle.

This helps explain why so many workers are disillusioned and fearful that their own real incomes and those of their children will continue to stagnate. It also helps explain why middle classes around the world are increasingly experiencing a pervasive sense of dissatisfaction and unfairness. A winner-takes-all economy that offers only limited access to the middle class is a recipe for democratic malaise and dereliction.

Discontent can also be fueled by the pervasiveness of digital technologies and the dynamics of information sharing typified by social media. More than 30 percent of the global population now uses social media platforms to connect, learn, and share information. In an ideal world, these interactions would provide an opportunity for cross-cultural understanding and cohesion. However, they can also create and propagate unrealistic expectations as to what constitutes success for an individual or a group, as well as offer opportunities for extreme ideas and ideologies to spread.

The impact on business

An underlying theme in my conversations with global CEOs and senior business executives is that the acceleration of innovation and the velocity of disruption are hard to comprehend or anticipate and that these drivers constitute a source of constant surprise, even for the best connected and most well informed. Indeed, across all industries, there is clear evidence that the technologies that underpin the Fourth Industrial Revolution are having a major impact on businesses.

On the supply side, many industries are seeing the introduction of new technologies that create entirely new ways of serving existing needs and significantly disrupt existing industry value chains. Disruption is also flowing from agile, innovative competitors who, thanks to access to global digital platforms for research, development, marketing, sales, and distribution, can oust well-established incumbents faster than ever by improving the quality, speed, or price at which value is delivered.

Major shifts on the demand side are also occurring, as growing transparency, consumer engagement, and new patterns of consumer behavior (increasingly built upon access to mobile networks and data) force companies to adapt the way they design, market, and deliver products and services.

A key trend is the development of technology-enabled platforms that combine both demand and supply to disrupt existing industry structures, such as those we see within the “sharing” or “on demand” economy. These technology platforms, rendered easy to use by the smartphone, convene people, assets, and data—thus creating entirely new ways of consuming goods and services in the process. In addition, they lower the barriers for businesses and individuals to create wealth, altering the personal and professional environments of workers. These new platform businesses are rapidly multiplying into many new services, ranging from laundry to shopping, from chores to parking, from massages to travel.

On the whole, there are four main effects that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has on business—on customer expectations, on product enhancement, on collaborative innovation, and on organizational forms. Whether consumers or businesses, customers are increasingly at the epicenter of the economy, which is all about improving how customers are served. Physical products and services, moreover, can now be enhanced with digital capabilities that increase their value. New technologies make assets more durable and resilient, while data and analytics are transforming how they are maintained. A world of customer experiences, data-based services, and asset performance through analytics, meanwhile, requires new forms of collaboration, particularly given the speed at which innovation and disruption are taking place. And the emergence of global platforms and other new business models, finally, means that talent, culture, and organizational forms will have to be rethought.

Overall, the inexorable shift from simple digitization (the Third Industrial Revolution) to innovation based on combinations of technologies (the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is forcing companies to reexamine the way they do business. The bottom line, however, is the same: business leaders and senior executives need to understand their changing environment, challenge the assumptions of their operating teams, and relentlessly and continuously innovate.

The impact on government

As the physical, digital, and biological worlds continue to converge, new technologies and platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with governments, voice their opinions, coordinate their efforts, and even circumvent the supervision of public authorities. Simultaneously, governments will gain new technological powers to increase their control over populations, based on pervasive surveillance systems and the ability to control digital infrastructure. On the whole, however, governments will increasingly face pressure to change their current approach to public engagement and policymaking, as their central role of conducting policy diminishes owing to new sources of competition and the redistribution and decentralization of power that new technologies make possible.

Ultimately, the ability of government systems and public authorities to adapt will determine their survival. If they prove capable of embracing a world of disruptive change, subjecting their structures to the levels of transparency and efficiency that will enable them to maintain their competitive edge, they will endure. If they cannot evolve, they will face increasing trouble.

This will be particularly true in the realm of regulation. Current systems of public policy and decision-making evolved alongside the Second Industrial Revolution, when decision-makers had time to study a specific issue and develop the necessary response or appropriate regulatory framework. The whole process was designed to be linear and mechanistic, following a strict “top down” approach.

But such an approach is no longer feasible. Given the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s rapid pace of change and broad impacts, legislators and regulators are being challenged to an unprecedented degree and for the most part are proving unable to cope.

How, then, can they preserve the interest of the consumers and the public at large while continuing to support innovation and technological development? By embracing “agile” governance, just as the private sector has increasingly adopted agile responses to software development and business operations more generally. This means regulators must continuously adapt to a new, fast-changing environment, reinventing themselves so they can truly understand what it is they are regulating. To do so, governments and regulatory agencies will need to collaborate closely with business and civil society.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will also profoundly impact the nature of national and international security, affecting both the probability and the nature of conflict. The history of warfare and international security is the history of technological innovation, and today is no exception. Modern conflicts involving states are increasingly “hybrid” in nature, combining traditional battlefield techniques with elements previously associated with nonstate actors. The distinction between war and peace, combatant and noncombatant, and even violence and nonviolence (think cyberwarfare) is becoming uncomfortably blurry.

As this process takes place and new technologies such as autonomous or biological weapons become easier to use, individuals and small groups will increasingly join states in being capable of causing mass harm. This new vulnerability will lead to new fears. But at the same time, advances in technology will create the potential to reduce the scale or impact of violence, through the development of new modes of protection, for example, or greater precision in targeting.

The impact on people

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, finally, will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships. It is already changing our health and leading to a “quantified” self, and sooner than we think it may lead to human augmentation. The list is endless because it is bound only by our imagination.

I am a great enthusiast and early adopter of technology, but sometimes I wonder whether the inexorable integration of technology in our lives could diminish some of our quintessential human capacities, such as compassion and cooperation. Our relationship with our smartphones is a case in point. Constant connection may deprive us of one of life’s most important assets: the time to pause, reflect, and engage in meaningful conversation.

One of the greatest individual challenges posed by new information technologies is privacy. We instinctively understand why it is so essential, yet the tracking and sharing of information about us is a crucial part of the new connectivity. Debates about fundamental issues such as the impact on our inner lives of the loss of control over our data will only intensify in the years ahead. Similarly, the revolutions occurring in biotechnology and AI, which are redefining what it means to be human by pushing back the current thresholds of life span, health, cognition, and capabilities, will compel us to redefine our moral and ethical boundaries.

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Shaping the future

Neither technology nor the disruption that comes with it is an exogenous force over which humans have no control. All of us are responsible for guiding its evolution, in the decisions we make on a daily basis as citizens, consumers, and investors. We should thus grasp the opportunity and power we have to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution and direct it toward a future that reflects our common objectives and values.

To do this, however, we must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural, and human environments. There has never been a time of greater promise, or one of greater potential peril. Today’s decision-makers, however, are too often trapped in traditional, linear thinking, or too absorbed by the multiple crises demanding their attention, to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping our future.

In the end, it all comes down to people and values. We need to shape a future that works for all of us by putting people first and empowering them. In its most pessimistic, dehumanized form, the Fourth Industrial Revolution may indeed have the potential to “robotize” humanity and thus to deprive us of our heart and soul. But as a complement to the best parts of human nature—creativity, empathy, stewardship—it can also lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. It is incumbent on us all to make sure the latter prevails.

This article was first published in Foreign Affairs

Author: Klaus Schwab is Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

Image: An Aeronavics drone sits in a paddock near the town of Raglan, New Zealand, July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Naomi Tajitsu

Essay contest: What does the fourth industrial revolution mean to you?


Fourth IR 2 enter-into-the-4th-industrial-revolution-1-638This article is published in collaboration with Medium.

The eighteenth century’s cotton looms and steam engines overturned the way the world worked in the first industrial revolution. Then came mass production, with the efficient factories of the early twentieth century changing the nature of labour. Then the computer age, as PCs gradually shrank from the size of a room to something that would fit in the palm of your hand.

And now we’re in the middle of the most profound and fast-moving economic shift of them all. Man and machine are converging, digitisation is disrupting everything, new technologies are emerging more quickly than we can imagine them, let alone think up the rules to govern their use. This is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new era where we will be able to 3D-print both livers and guns.

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Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the theme of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2016 in Davos. Before we can master it, we need to define it.

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Here, Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman at the World Economic Forum, explains how this revolution differs from others in its speed, breadth and impact.

What does this change mean to you? Can you provide a concrete example of how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will play out in your community, your industry, or even in your family? What should we do to manage its risks and reap its rewards?

Fourth IR 3 high-tech-girl-hd-13-628x330We are inviting essay submissions of up to 900 words on the theme of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A shortlist of five essays will be published on the World Economic Forum’s Agenda blog platform, which is read by 1.5 million people a month. The winning essay will be shared with delegates at Davos and promoted across our social media channels during the meeting, while the winner will receive a signed copy of Professor Klaus Schwab’s book.

If you would like to enter, please follow these steps:

1. Publish your essay on Medium

2. Tag your essay “Davos essay contest”

3. Email the link to essaycontest@weforum.org

4. The deadline for submissions is December 31st. The shortlist will be announced on Medium and Forum Agenda on January 11th, and the winner on January 18th.

5. The contest is for members of the public. World Economic Forum staff and constituents are not eligible.

Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

To keep up with the Agenda subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Author: Ceri Parker is Commissioning Editor at the World Economic Forum.