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The Fourth Industrial Revolution: An Era of Transformative Technology

Innovation powered by technology has been drastically altering the way we live, work and interact. Changes are happening at dramatic speed. The breadth and depth of such changes signify a profound societal transformation. We have now entered the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this era, breakthroughs are blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres. The scope, scale, and complexity of the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has ever experienced before—even bringing us to the inevitable of asking about the advantages and disadvantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As Dr. Byron Clayton, CEO of Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing states, it’s about the “connectivity of different types of technology.”

Unlike the innovations of the industrial revolution past, the one we have now is changing more than the way we do things. Its all-encompassing impact is also challenging our ideas about what it means to be human. As such, we need to redesign existing processes and institutions to face it, as well as to leverage the abundance of new opportunities. But first, we need a clear grasp of the transformative force of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Bold Business had the unique opportunity to interview leading experts Dr. Byron Clayton, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing, Dr. Jean-Pierre, Dean of Engineering University of Miami, and Dr. Paul Sanberg, SVP for Research Innovation and Knowledge Expertise at the University of South Florida during the 2019 Synapse Summit.  In this interview and video they discuss the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


Highlighting the Need for Awareness

Today, the adoption of cyber-physical systems—the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Systems—continues to spread across the globe. It’s happening in all disciplines, industries, and economies. Smart technologies are elevating factories and workplaces.

Connected machines in the Fourth Industrial Revolution are able to interact with people. They can also visualize the whole production process. Furthermore, such machines can make decisions autonomously.

As of now, we are still in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But according to the World Economic Forum, we can expect significant technology tipping points by 2025. One trillion sensors will be linked to the Internet. The first transplant of a 3D printed liver will be possible. Driverless cars will make up 10 percent of all vehicles on U.S. roads. These are just a few of the examples of the advancements that lie ahead.

a photo quote of Klaus Schwab in relation to the advantages and disadvantages of the fourth industrial revolution
Klaus Schwab points out a step we can take as the advantages and disadvantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution become more apparent.

Innovations of the industrial revolution happening now have parallels in the Industrial Revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Steam technology, electricity, and cars were some of the transformative technologies back then. For the third revolution, computing was the propeller. Those eras taught us that innovations are not just tools. They are also powerful drivers that can shape civilization. Understanding the power that innovations of the industrial revolution have and the possibilities that come along with it is crucial. For the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such understanding will allow society to harness benefits in the best possible ways.

Innovations of the Industrial Revolution —With Great Promise Comes Great Peril

Innovations of the industrial revolution are a powerful force for good. However, they also pose risks. Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab, of the World Economic Forum, noted how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a double-edged sword. He said, “The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.” Looking at both the advantages and disadvantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is necessary to fully grasp its overall impact.

a photo quote of Birgit Skarstein in relation to the advantages and disadvantages of the fourth industrial revolution
Birgit Skarstein is optimistic at what the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring.

Undoubtedly, the Fourth Industrial Revolution can make lives better. It can help the world better prepare for natural disasters. By leveraging data, precision medicine has been helping medical professionals create treatments and therapies unique to an individual. In underdeveloped regions, connectivity has the potential to redefine global trade and lift people out of poverty.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution can also help organizations manage assets in ways that can help regenerate the environment. Forecasts even suggest that a massive productivity boom is underway. The productivity jump in the U.S. could amount to approximately $2.8 trillion.

On the other hand, the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings pitfalls along with it. Some companies might fail to adapt. Socioeconomic changes can increase social tensions. Shifting power can lead to critical security concerns. Governments might be unable to implement regulations properly. Jobs will become obsolete.

a photo quote of André Kudelski in relation to the advantages and disadvantages of the fourth industrial revolution
André Kudelski speaks of the advantages and disadvantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Moreover, innovations of the industrial revolution can raise problematic ethical situations. For example, geoengineering can alter planetary conditions such as the climate. One country can leverage such technology to make climate changes that are beneficial for itself but detrimental to others.

The Role of Business in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Schwab has also stated that the Fourth Industrial Revolution goes way beyond business as usual. “Going into 2019, it is in businesses’ self-interest and for the greater good that we shape this Fourth Industrial Revolution more actively,” he said. “Left unmanaged, technologies will shape us, and in the age of AI and malicious lone wolves, the risk of harm is greater than ever.” Clearly, the business sector has a great responsibility to help shape the future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

To help business leaders navigate the advantages and disadvantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Schwab proposed four points of action. First, companies must proactively collaborate on new rules. Faster development, adaptation and innovation sum up the second point. Schwab’s third suggestion involves better planning against risks. Lastly, businesses must treat governments, civil society groups, and workers as partners instead of adversaries.

a photo quote of Gary Coleman in relation to the advantages and disadvantages of the fourth industrial revolution
Gary Coleman weighs in on the impact of the innovations of the industrial revolution – specifically, the advantages and disadvantages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Several notable companies are supporting the World Economic Forum as business partners of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Such companies help design and pilot innovative new approaches to policy and governance in this new era. The roster includes Reliance Industries, Salesforce, Accenture, Deloitte, Microsoft, and Netflix, among many others.

Shaping a Positive Trajectory through Urgent Action

According to Dr. Paul Sanberg, Senior Vice President for Research Innovation and Knowledge Enterprise at the University of South Florida, the quest for innovation in this industrial era is driving business migration. But we’re only in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s not too late to shape the revolution in ways that will make it far greater than its predecessors. Global discussions on adopting and harnessing future technologies in conscientious ways are a must. According to Schwab, leaders and citizens must “together shape a future that works for all by putting people first, empowering them and constantly reminding ourselves that all of these new technologies are first and foremost tools made by people for people.”

Moreover, there’s no time to lose. The forces of change naturally develop their own momentum and rules at an unprecedented speed. If we don’t catch up by concretizing processes, regulations, and policies, we will lose the ability to shape a positive trajectory and outcome. As Robert J. Shiller, professor of economics at Yale University and recipient of The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2013, puts it, “We cannot wait until there are massive dislocations in our society to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

In our series on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Bold Business will be covering how companies are adopting and leveraging the transformative technologies of the era.


For more on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, check out this story on 3D printing and its effect on manufacturing.

Venuetize: The Bold Business Behind Smarter Venues

Venuetize: Creating Smart Space Solutions for Consumer Experience

Venuetize was built upon the ideals of making people’s experience in spaces easier, more personal and enjoyable. By providing responsive smart space solutions, Venuetize is taking bold steps in creating exceptional consumer experiences while seamlessly connecting large-scale entertainment venues, shopping complexes, entertainment districts, and sports stadiums in one intuitive mobile application.

Bold Business Associate Publisher John R. Miles and Project Bold Life President Dawna Stone had the opportunity to interview Karri Zaremba, co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Venuetize, during the 2019 Synapse Summit.  In this interview and video, Zaremba discusses the “how” and “why” behind Venuetize’s push to make consumer experiences a “smart” one.

Venuetize, based in Tampa, FL, is only a little over five years old but it has already proven its potential. The company is currently working with Amalie Arena, the PGA TOUR, and Hard Rock Stadium in Florida, LAFC and Banc of California Stadium, Little Caesar’s Arena and The District Detroit in Michigan, and many more world-class sports, hospitality, and entertainment organizations.

In addition to its roots in entertainment venues and with sports events, the smart space technologies of Venuetize has expanded to include hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, and city infrastructure. With the consumer experience at the crux, Venuetize as a smart space solution is, therefore, clearly heading the right direction.

smart space solutions, karri zaremba quoted
For Venuetize, it’s all about smart space solutions enhancing the customer experience.

Discovering the Venuetize Advantage

Ideally, Venuetize aims to create a dynamic, seamless, as well as fluid connection between its user and their space. From booking a ticket to finding their way to their seats, to post-event plans and then getting a ride home – Venuetize is all about helping its clients provide a frictionless and enjoyable experience.

  1. Smart space solutions are highly-dependent on Location Detection Using proximity sensors, Venuetize maps the nearest brands and establishments and presents these options to the consumer.
  2. The Venuetize Mobile Wallet accommodates all major credit/debit cards. Also, Apple Pay, Google Pay, loyalty and membership cards, digital gift cards, and more. Additionally, Venuetize offers a Mobile Ordering function. Users can browse menus, order food, and pay thru mobile wallet. Through smart space technologies, Venuetize can even have the food delivered directly to their seats.
  3. Venuetize integrates public transportation information and ride-sharing apps in one location. By offering multiple transportation options, users can pick how they wish to go and leave the venue. Additionally, Venuetize provides integrations with real-time road traffic alerts and convenient mobile parking systems so you can reach the venue on time and not miss any part of your event.
  4. Venuetize has partnered with major ticketing systems and related services to provide an enhanced Mobile Ticketing solution for the users. With an enhanced mobile ticketing solution, users are able to view, manage, and scan their tickets at the venue.
  5. Safety and security of the event-going public should be paramount to space and venue owners. With Venuetize smart space technologies, security features include live heat maps in high traffic areas. The system can also send mass notifications of evacuation routes and maps, annotate digital floor plans, store and manage emergency plans, and collaborate directly with first responders.
smart space solutions, Karri Zaremba quoted
Venuetize leverages smart space technologies to create a smarter consumer experience.

Smart Space Solutions in Smart Cities: Helping People Live Better Lives

Nowadays, consumers are inundated by a deluge of information and options day in and day out. Being informed is great, and having a wide array of options can be beneficial to a certain degree. But without a way to filter these options, decision-making can be stressful. There is a limit to the amount of information the human brain can process. Anything beyond the acceptable threshold will have an impact on the quality of our responses, decision-making, and ultimately, the quality of our lives.

It is not surprising that a growing number of consumers are turning to apps to help filter information and help curb info overload. Thankfully, Venuetize provides consumers with sensible and data-driven options using smart space technologies. As a smart space solutions application, the Venuetize design will gather and collate the user’s previous activities. Based on this data, Venuetize draws insights in order to curate and provide experiences that are specific to the user.

smart space technologies, raymond fernand loewy quoted
Venuetize wants to enhance the consumer experience, not complicate it.

By 2050, it is predicted that two-thirds of the population will be clustered in urban areas. Inherently, business and trade will gather in the cities where there is a greater concentration of population. With industries competing for consumer attention, smart space solutions can help urban dwellers map options available within the cityscape.