Geographies in Depth

What can we expect from the next industrial revolution?

Murray Nicol
Global Leadership Fellow, World Economic Forum
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You can watch Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2015 session on Navigating the Next Industrial Revolution below or follow this link. Highlights of the session can be found further down the page.



Humankind is at the threshold of a new industrial revolution, driven by an absolutely staggering range of emerging technologies. It’s not only the sheer number of innovations that we’re seeing that is so impressive, it’s also the speed at which they are being developed. The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies recently released a list of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2015, and entries like neuromophic technology and emergent artificial intelligence are a clear sign of the incredible advancements being made.

So what can we expect from this next industrial revolution? While the most recent revolution was marked by incredible advancements in electronics, information technology and automated production, the next revolution will build on that thanks to advancements in mobile internet, smaller, cheaper and more powerful sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

industrial revolution

As this new technological revolution takes off, the questions remain: how will it transform politics, economies and societies? And do we truly understand what is to come, and if so, are we ready for it?

Author: Murray Nicol is Digital Project Lead at the World Economic Forum

Image: Impressions at the World Economic Forum – Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, People’s Republic of China 2015. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

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Related topics:
Geographies in DepthGeo-Economics and Politics
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