Klaus Schwab’s view on the Megatrends of today have brought an interesting insight for me. The three clusters he mentioned – physical, digital and biological, are closely interrelated, more so than you can ever imagine. Think about science and research! Technology has been a problematic issue as many view it beneficial or detrimental towards the globalisation of a new era. Sharan Burrows, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) of Belgium has raised an interesting debate. She said that the prediction of five million jobs that would be lost to technology by 2020 is not the main question but how they proceed in the future and improve. I believe that with digital technology, the world has open access to learning to empower people. It is not so much about increasing the growth of the people but it is more on maximising the strength of humans in innovation. Ellen MacArthur in the World Economic Forum mentioned that the industrial revolution is working with “mankind’s goal to be innovative and always progress.” It simplifies our lives to become more efficient with the collaboration of human and technology.
In the readings, Uber and AirBnB were a great example of gaining profits digitally. To justify the reasons of mankind heading towards innovation, crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter have also increased the possibility of individuals creating and innovating better technology. With the help of 3D printing, innovators are given the opportunity to show prototypes to their consumers, allowing them to have a better picture of their products. That just proves Schwab’s point of technology-enabled platforms are “lowering barriers for business and individuals to obtain wealth.” It’s also just as MacArthur had mentioned, it’s about innovating with the unlimited resources and materials and then giving back to the economy.
As we’re always progressing, there is not much certainty on what is to come in the future. Will technology be the end of humans or will it maximise our strengths as we move forward? I would agree that technology and humans co-exist to maximise our strengths and enhance them to create a better future. It’s definitely debatable and only time will tell.
Klaus Schwab, 2016, The Fourth Industrial Revolution (World Economic Forum), pp.14-26, 47-50, 67-73, 91-104