Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

We are a global multi-stakeholder platform focused on inclusive technology governance and responsible digital transformation. We deliver on-the ground impact at global scale by leveraging the efficiencies of network-based collaboration, shared learning and accelerated time-to-impact.

Composed of 15 centres with a combined staff of more than 200 technology and policy experts, the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network (C4IR Network) is unique in its ability to embrace shared principles in the use of emerging technology and apply them locally in an agile and interoperable manner.

Most centres are (co-)hosted and (co-)funded by national public and/or private entities. The centres in India and Japan are co-hosted with the World Economic Forum and their respective governments. The centre in San Francisco is a Forum entity and serves as a catalyst, curator and coordinator to the overall network.

The Forum provides operational support to the Network, and leverages its communities, initiatives, convening power, digital infrastructure, brand recognition and trusted status as an international organization to advance the Network's mission and programs.

The Network

Fourth Industrial Revolution Centres (C4IR) are the nodes of the network. They serve as:


  • trusted spaces for public-private cooperation, dedicated to exercising foresight, breaking silos and co-designing solutions which advance sectoral and industry transformation

  • mission-driven "do-tanks", equipped with the mandate, stakeholder communities, and technical capabilities to rapidly prototype, iterate and scale-up solutions

  • champions for inclusivity and sustainability, pursuing a human-centric approach to technology adoption to promote shared prosperity within planetary boundaries


In alignment with the working principles of the World Economic Forum, they commit to:

  1. representing multiple stakeholders and are founded on the conviction that an organization is accountable to—and a responsible citizen in—society at large.

  2. acting in the global public interest by using their network affiliation to promote and share insights, policies and tools that advance responsible technology.

  3. public service and mission-orientation to accelerate the development of policies and frameworks that advance technology governance and sectoral transformation.

  4. projecting intellectual integrity by making sure that no corporate, government or private patronage holds disproportionate influences over its focus.

  5. contributing to the greater good by disseminating their work broadly, publicly, and non-commercially, in a manner consistent with open source principles.

Learn about the Centres

Our Partners

The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is partnering with business, government and civil society at the network, centre, and initiative level. The C4IR Network benefits from the generous support of Motsepe Foundation, Reliance Industries, as well as its Founding Partner Salesforce.

Each independent Fourth Industrial Revolution Centre is (co-)hosted and (co-)funded by dedicated public and/or private organizations. Our 30+ initiatives benefit from the active support and leadership of 250 business, government, and civil society leaders.

Learn about our partners

Governance

The World Economic Forum’s independence and integrity is paramount to the preservation of its distinct status and the status of the C4IR Network. All individual centres commit to:


  • Adhering to these principles at all times

  • Upholding the Forum’s mission in all its initiatives

  • Protecting the C4IR Network’s reputation and that of its stakeholders

Each Fourth Industrial Revolution Centre is governed by an Executive Committee, composed of representatives from across sectors, which is collectively responsible for:


  • Ensuring it adheres to the above principles

  • Setting its vision and strategic direction

  • Hiring, evaluating and supporting its leadership

  • Ensuring adequate resourcing and exercising financial oversight

Executive Committees are guided by a global C4IR Advisory Board which offers strategic guidance to the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Fellows

Fellows are an integral component of the C4IR Network. Seconded for 9-18 months to the C4IR by governments, businesses, civil society, and academic institutions, they are the intellectual backbone to connection and collaboration between initiatives, teams, and key public-private stakeholders. The focus and drive of our 50+ C4IR Fellows is to push new concepts forward and to advance their real-world application.

Method

Fourth Industrial Revolution Centres drive fast-paced, iterative institutional design to narrow the widening gap between exponential technological change and mostly linear institutional change. With its Global Future Council on Agile Governance, it frames the impact method behind most initiatives in three white papers:

The global network of Fourth Industrial Revolution Centres (C4IR Network) is building trust, lowering transaction costs, and facilitating collaboration between "catalysts"—who shape innovative technology governance principles, frameworks and toolkits—and national or sub-national "champions" who adopt and iterate these instruments in local settings, and share back their learnings. The institutions of the C4IR Network support this dynamic by:


  • connecting individual catalysts and champions of scalable high-impact initiatives

  • committing a critical mass of champions to leverage scale and network effects

  • supporting and helping grow local ecosystems of technology enablers and adopters

  • attracting awareness and resources to proven practices

Learn about our impact

History

In 2017, the World Economic Forum launched the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) at the Presidio in San Francisco for leaders in government, business and civil society to better understand and effectively influence the development of technological change for good.

In 2018, the C4IR Japan—a collaboration of the Forum, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Asia Pacific Initiative—joined as the first member of the C4IR Network; it was followed in the same year by the C4IR India — a collaboration between the Forum, the Indian government, the States of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and national business leaders.

In 2019, the United Arab Emirates became the Network's first independent Centre. Since then, another thirteen independent centres joined the Network giving rise to a unique global, multi-stakeholder network dedicated to technology governance and sectoral transformation.

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