As we head towards opening Britain’s first 4IR public hub portal, it is probably a good time to reflect on what 4IR – The Fourth Industrial Revolution – may actually mean.

The phrase Fourth Industrial Revolution was first introduced by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, in a 2015 article in Foreign Affairs (Wikipedia).

“We are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another” (Klaus Schwab)

The impact of the next industrial revolution is likely to be seismic, affecting every person on the planet to some degree. There are opportunities and challenges, offering both advancement and risk. No one really knows how this will all play out, and we may struggle to consider the future fully if we rely solely on history from previous Industrial Revolutions’ for context.

“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.” (ibid)

The 4IR is much more than just a new smart app on the phone, medical innovation or identifying photo locations, it will create fundamental change over the next 20 years, from building and urban design to the way we learn, communicate and travel.

The Haphazard Business 4IR portal will address some of the key themes of this coming age, with live events, symposiums and demonstrations, and will offer for sale some of the more novel breakthroughs.

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Schwab, Klaus. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, 2017. Online.

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