A deep crisis is paralyzing the societies of the West. The outsourcing of low skilled manufacturing to emerging economies has created a ‘precariat’ excluded from economic, social and political life. The middle classes, already under pressure from stagnating real wages, are afraid of suffering the same fate in the digital economy. More and more people are asking if democracy in its current form still gives them any say, or is in fact one of the drivers of disenfranchisement.
Little has been done to rein in casino capitalism. Under the pressure of financial markets, the seminal project of European unification is about to collapse because of an economic policy driven by European institutions that narrowly focuses on austerity measures in already weak economies. They have undermined that European project’s social contract. And, still, the disciples of market radicalism continue to sing the gospel of supply side economics, willfully ignoring the fact that it is the very lack of aggregate demand that lies at the root of the crisis. Our fears and obsessions seem to contradict the rational Homo Oeconomicus of economic textbooks.
Did we build the pillars of the modern order – the state, the market and democracy – upon unrealistic assumptions about our very nature? The old certainties start to crumble.
Digitalization, robotization, and Artificial Intelligence will change the way we work and live. Genetic engineering and nano technology are changing what it means to be a human being. The revolution of information technologies has shown how quickly disruptive innovations can turn over entire industries.
The next industrial revolution will once again come from the garage. Digital tools like 3D printers allow us to manufacture everything from a cup of coffee to vital organs with the click of a mouse. The household of tomorrow will be a micro factory and a micro power plant the same way social media turned it into a micro broadcaster. The developers and makers, sellers and buyers are now connected worldwide through the Internet of Things.
Read more: Shaping The Great Digital Transformation