What the Fifth Industrial Revolution is and why it matters

love 2019

(Rochelle Brown, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Pratik Gauri, India President, 5th Element Group PBC & Jim Van Eerden, President, 5th Element Group PBC


Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore posed a piercing question to us at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Oslo.

“Will our children ask us why we didn’t act?”, he asked.

“Or will they ask us how we found the courage and rallied the resources to rise up and change?”

Gore is focused on the looming global climate crisis, and is frustrated about the world’s neglect of a catastrophic problem. But a still larger – and related – issue is illustrated by the march of successive industrial revolutions that the modern world has witnessed. Each has intensified the risks of dehumanizing economic progress, to the point that we now face an existential threat in both environmental and humanitarian terms.

The advance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and the like) has produced a developing scenario in which the service of humanity seems too often eclipsed by the momentum of technology and commerce. This challenge has been highlighted recently, as some of the leading innovators of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have begun to relinquish their intellectual property because of the risks to them as the owners of it. These captains of the Fourth Revolution surmise that the new technologies have the capacity to be an Orwellian “enemy of the people”. Meanwhile, our economic engines continue to roar and belch proverbial smoke into the air, as the world’s population grows and the ideals of human flourishing are left wanting.

Indeed, in many ways we are unprepared to meet the challenges ahead. According to The Future of Jobs Report 2016, 65% of children entering education today will end up in careers that don’t yet exist, and much of this will be attributable to the rapid advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, there are now five “beacons of hope”.

1. Profit with purpose

First, there has been an unprecedented connection of business to purpose. In an ironic way, at the moment that capitalism is more derided than ever in many circles, business is emerging as the world’s most powerful and active force for doing good. Consumers are demanding it, and many businesses are responding, with sustainability-minded brands winning market share.

2. 5IR

This is the driving factor in the second beacon, which is the rise of the Fifth Industrial Revolution. In contrast to trends in the Fourth Revolution toward dehumanization, technology and innovation best practices are being bent back toward the service of humanity by the champions of the Fifth.

Image: 5th Element

Forbes contributor Lawrence Wintermeyer highlighted this recently, with reference to the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the fintech markets.

“Most of the conferences I attend focus on ‘the next big tech thing’ and what it can do”, Wintermeyer observed, “often to the exclusion of the utility and impact the technology will have on society.”

“I am most often asked what the next ‘smart money’ tech trend is in fintech. I am now happy to report it is not blockchain, bitcoin, or AI. It is humanity.”

In the Fifth Industrial Revolution, humans and machines will dance together, metaphorically. At Davos 2019, an event sponsored by Forbes, MIT and Tata had the theme “Blockchain+AI+Human = Magic”. This equation seems impossible to some, but it can, and will, prove true. AI will help increase human labour productivity. Blockchain will help give access to banking (and intangible forms of capital) to the unbanked. Robots will help humans align returns on investment (ROI) with purpose. But it will require intentionality and moral clarity.

Image: UNCTAD, World Investment Report

3. Targets for progress

The third beacon of hope is the increasing prominence of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs provide history’s first universal matrix for achieving a flourishing future. Adopted by the heads of governments from 193 UN member states, the SDG framework addresses the key physical facets of life in our global village – social, environmental and economic.

According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s World Investment Report 2014, an estimated annual investment of $3.9 trillion is required to achieve the SDGs. Currently, there is an estimated $2.5 trillion annual gap. But businesses are rallying. This is evident in advancing public-private partnerships (PPPs) that are gaining momentum as a model for sustainable impact initiatives. Helpful frameworks for leadership are being widely adopted by various sectors, such as this one in the impact investing community:

One apparent way to fund the gap is by targeting private capital in a manner that requires businesses to be SDG-aligned. Larry Fink, CEO of investment community leader Blackrock, wrote an open letter to CEOs that sets the standard in this regard.

“Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them”, he wrote. “Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose – in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked.”

Beyond investing, businesses will need to think outside of the box to engage more than $2 trillion in brand marketing budgets to help advance the common good. One example of this gaining global attention is Fifth Element Group’s Good Exchange model. A Good Exchange is a marketing framework by which a brand engages its consumers with content activation that unlocks a donation to a cause that matters to both the brand and the consumer. The consumers become the media beacons for brand and cause-connected content, so that a growing portion of brand funds can flow to cause, rather than to media intermediaries.

Companies like Fifth Element are creating traffic on the bridge between key performance indicators (KPIs) and SDG-aligned social impact. These “omniwin” models, when supported by clear and compelling case study data, are changing the traditional marketing mix at many companies, and producing PPP opportunities.

4. Closing the gender gap

The fourth beacon sits at the centre of the SDG framework as the fulcrum to lifting all the others. SDG5 is about the empowerment of women and girls worldwide. There is no hope for achieving the SDGs unless SDG5 is central to the agenda. If women and girls are empowered to lead campaigns for human flourishing, all the other SDGs will rise.

 

Open platform movements such as the SDG5 Global Alliance have been created to promote aspirational examples of women who are leading the way in getting things done. The Fifth Industrial Revolution must include the strategic voice of women in leadership. Businesses, through best practices in hiring and development and other kinds of support, will be essential facilitators.

5. Scaling and spreading

The fifth beacon of hope is that these kinds of cross-sector, SDG-aligned movements are going global and becoming increasingly democratized. SDG-aligned leadership is emerging in countries such as India, which is experiencing an historically unprecedented demographic dividend of young people with a keen desire for a better world.

Forward-thinking companies are taking note. Tech leader IBM, for example, is recruiting 200,000 girls into STEM learning programmes in India to help change the gender imbalance in the tech sector. Tata Trusts, the philanthropic arm of the Tata conglomerate, is spearheading solutions to the country’s water and sanitation crisis through PPPs.

New platforms are reflecting the democratized nature of the push toward the SDGs. The People’s Prize, for example, was recently announced at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford. It’s a new series of SDG-focused social entrepreneurship prizes offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to incentivize innovation teams that demonstrate to people around the world why their project should be funded to scale. Like other crowdfunding platforms, this is just one of several prizes that are moving beyond “black box” judging panels, shifting decision-making instead to an emerging class of micro-donors. It’s an encouraging and important trend.

 

At Fifth Element Group, we work to help businesses move from a “for-profit” to a “for-benefit” operating model. Collectively, our stakeholders are our shareholders, but our stakeholders are also our employees, our customers and more broadly the people and planet impacted by our work.

The challenges are clear. But so is the opportunity. We can create a new socio-economic era that closes historic gaps in last mile inclusion and engages the “bottom billion” in creating quantum leaps for humanity, and for a better planet.

The world needs a Fifth Industrial Revolution to flower like a new Renaissance Age. It will be marked by creativity and common purpose, as we together work to bend progress and profits toward purpose and inclusivity. Are you a part of it?

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This Chinese tech giant’s latest gadget is… a bus

Conflict of interest and misuse of EU funds: The case of Czech PM Babiš

How to build a model for human security in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

European Commission kicks off major EU trade policy review

5 ways cities can use emerging technologies to fight climate change

UN chief praises impact of Palestine refugee agency as ‘our common success’, at key pledging conference

Data and the future of financial services

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

Political solution ‘long overdue’ to protect the children of eastern Ukraine

Road crash deaths and injuries in the world’s cities can be stopped. Here’s how

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

First full satellite survey of devastated ancient Aleppo raises recovery hopes

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

Coronavirus: 4 tips for parents who are homeschooling

Terrorism ‘spreading and destabilizing’ entire regions, Guterres warns States, at key Kenya conference

Yemen conflict: ‘Fragile’ hopes rise, as violence decreases and life-saving humanitarian funding surges

Africa’s shrinking lake shows the impact of climate change on women and indigenous people

Why digital inclusion must be at the centre of resetting education in Africa

Independent rights experts sound alarm at Iran protest crackdown, internet blackout

Gender equality: Parliament strives to be frontrunner among EU Institutions

Despite progress, companies face gender equality ‘backlash’: UN business body

The historic female struggle in medicine

Here’s how we can make innovation more inclusive

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: prizewinning journalists freed in Myanmar, new tracking tool for suspected terrorists, and a global bid to stop snakebite deaths

We are witnessing a revolution in genomics – and it’s only just begun

Hydrogen power is here to stay. How do we convince the public that it’s safe?

Migration surge leaves children stranded, begging on Djibouti’s streets

Amsterdam is developing a fleet of autonomous boats to reduce city traffic

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

Sustainable transport can’t just depend on batteries. Here’s why

Mental health and suicide: when the alarm bells are faced with deaf ears

In Chad, top UN officials say humanitarian response must go ‘hand in hand’ with longer-term recovery

Taj Mahal closes as European Union considers non-essential travel ban – Today’s COVID-19 updates

China has announced ambitious plans to cut single-use plastic

7 ways the ‘biological century’ will transform healthcare

Nowhere is safe to hide in war-torn Yemen, say UN-appointed rights experts

Mergers: Commission refers acquisition of newly created joint venture by Telefónica and Liberty Global to the UK competition authority

Tackling youth unemployment through the eyes of a European entrepreneur

VAT Gap: EU countries lost €137 billion in VAT revenues in 2017

This is how climate change is impacting the ocean – and what we can do about it

Supply chains have been upended. Here’s how to make them more resilient

How Europe’s green tech ‘scale-ups’ can help tackle climate change

How nudge theory can help empty our plastic-filled ‘drawers of shame’

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Busting the myth by looking at the facts

We are stronger than this pandemic (COVID-19)

The gender gap of medicine in 2018

Obese people more likely to smoke, says new gene research: WHO

Seeing through the mist of myths of Coronavirus

COVID-19: MEPs debate how to best protect cross-border and seasonal workers

From Graduation to professional career: has medicine, in Brazil, become more feminist?

What can be done to avoid the risk of being among the 7 million that will be killed by air pollution in 2020?

Millions of people eat octopus- here’s why we shouldn’t

These Dutch microgrid communities can supply 90% of their energy needs

Trump ‘used’ G20 to side with Putin and split climate and trade packs

After the George Floyd protests, what next for racial justice in the US?

To end deforestation, we must protect community land rights

New round of bargaining for the 2014 EU budget late in autumn

UN agencies call for more resettlement and end to detention of asylum seekers in Libya

Turkey: Commission continues humanitarian support for refugees

Why ‘floating wind’ is key to the energy transition and how to get it onto the sea quickly

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Industrial Revolution totally matter.You made some good points here. I did a search on the industrial revolution topic and found most people agree with your blog. An impressive share.

  2. How will it affect the market and economy also new generation

Trackbacks

  1. […] I am now happy to report it is not blockchain, bitcoin, or AI. … At Fifth Element Group, we work to help businesses move from a “for-profit” to a … Source link […]

  2. […] What the Fifth Industrial Revolution is and why it matters […]

  3. […] expect the 5th revolution to be built over the 4th revolution, but it will go one step further. An article developed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum puts it this way: “In contrast to trends […]

  4. […] à ce que la 5 ème se construit sur la 4 ème révolution, mais elle ira encore plus loin. Un article développé en collaboration avec le Forum économique mondial le dit ainsi: «Contrairement aux […]

  5. […] the march forward to progression always seems to leave an element of dehumanization behind. The 5th Industrial Revolution aims to reintroduce the human factor into rapidly advancing technological progression. After all, […]

  6. […] focus on humanity to be in confluence with artificial intelligence (AI) can be the start of the fifth industrial revolution. One research even described to neuralink’s innovations “order of magnitude leaps” owning to […]

  7. […] in daily life. This is a part of The Fourth Industrial Revolution—a change in everyday life. The Fifth Industrial Revolution envisions not just change but also the capacity to reveal possibilities for influencing and […]

  8. […] are even touting the fifth industrial revolution, but it is not what you should worry right […]

  9. […] recently read an article published by the World Economic Forum that has been written by two such leaders: Pratik Gauri and Jim Van Eerden. Their company, 5th […]

  10. […] Gauri, P., & Van Eerden, J. (2019, May 16). What the fifth industrial revolution is and why it matters. The European Sting. […]

  11. […] [4] What the Fifth Industrial Revolution is and why it matters, Pratik Gauri, & Jim Van Eerden, May 16, 2019 https://europeansting.com/2019/05/16/what-the-fifth-industrial-revolution-is-and-why-it-matters/ […]

  12. […] What the Fifth Industrial Revolution is and why it matters […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s