DATE POSTED | 26 Sep 2019

Are leaders ready to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution?

Not only are we going to survive the 4th industrial revolution (4IR), we’re going to thrive like never before. If we’re smart. If we’re informed.

The future of employment is under great scrutiny as 4IR dawns and more jobs are taken over by machines and programs daily. The future of society is also under scrutiny as the nature of communication changes and disconnects people as much as it connects them. While the global economy faces a volatile and complex climate which may be puzzling, we are in fact at the cusp of a truly bright future for all. As South African futurist Pieter Geldenhuys says, “I believe that the next decade will be unbelievably exciting.”

Designing To Flourish

As humanity becomes more informed every second on an abundance of subjects, we no longer have the excuse of not knowing better. It’s not only the technological advancements that are improving society but also the application of insights into mental, emotional and physical health. Holistic approaches to work and education are being implemented to accommodate thriving.
We are learning how to design systems of operation and modes of being that are intended for flourishing in every aspect as we understand more the importance of wellness and flexibility in peoples’ productivity and information retention. This is assisted by technology available to us such as meditation apps, smart watches that monitor your health and the spreading of useful, positive information across platforms such as podcasting and social media. The more knowledge we have the more we can understand how to thrive, and the 4IR will only continue to bring knowledge and insight-revealing systems to help us flourish.

Humanity’s biggest Surprise

We need less stuff to do more, which means we’re using fewer resources but still growing. Andrew MacAfee, co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy has revealed in what he calls “humanity’s biggest surprise” that “We have finally figured out how to give ourselves more and more while taking less and less from the planet.” This is owed a lot to dematerialisation, exemplified in devices such as smart phones, which integrate a variety of tools in one, and the “sharing economy,” which will play a pivotal role in 4IR. Uber and AirBnB are examples of sharing economy models that are enabling less ownership and more accessibility.

The Main Challenge

The biggest challenge of the evolving digital economy is that it risks greater inequality and social tension as many jobs will be replaced by automation, leaving unskilled people facing even tougher challenges. This is why it is imperative for us to ensure people are being skilled and educated in a way that will enable employment and valuable contribution to society. It is imperative that we take seriously the necessity of mastering digital citizenship. KLM Empowered in playing their role in the social responsibility towards education by offering MasterClasses geared towards thriving in 4IR. By bringing leaders together to share ideas and learn collaboratively on how to master digital citizenship, we create a resonance of change carried forward through each individual who engages with the subjects of leading, innovating and adapting in this disruptive time.

Explore the MasterClasses we offer at our new evolutionary Knowledge X-Change Centre of Leadership Excellence to become an impactful collaborator of the 4IR.


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