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Potential for course adoptions at business schools and social science departments. Mainstream media appeal with a high-profile author.



Publié par
Date de parution 23 mai 2023
Nombre de lectures 6
EAN13 9781915643780
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1250€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


51 Gower Street
London WC1E 6HJ
United Kingdom
First published by University of Buckingham Press in 2023
Stephen Batber, 2023
The right of the author to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data available.
ISBN : 978-1-91564-378-0
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not be resold, lent, hired out or otherwise circulated without the express prior consent of the publisher.
Introduction: Dawn of the Inflection Point
What a Sexist Robot and Suicide Have to Say About Industry 4.0
How Yesterday s Future Became Tomorrow s
Why Disruption Is Inevitable and Why Everyone Matters
How Bill Clinton s Holiday Is to Blame for Today s Fantasy Politics
Why We Must Evolve from Fantasy to Inclusion
What New Political Technology Can Do to Help Us Love Experts Again and the Call for Deliberation
How the Tragedy of Grenfell Shows that Great Leadership Is Rare but Can Be Found Everywhere
Why Rank and Yank Needs to Give Way to Trust
What Leadership Must Grasp to Succeed in Industry 4.0
Conclusion: Reclaiming the Inflection Point
For Patrick, Francis and Marianne
Reclaiming the Revolution
Introduction: Dawn of the Inflection Point
Familiarity with today is the best preparation for the future.
A world in which each of us has a digital twin would offer very different possibilities from today. It would offer extraordinary possibilities. And yet, we are fast approaching a time when everything that exists around us physically can be replicated digitally: you, me, each of us, our homes, societies, towns and cities, workplaces, even the planet itself. Existing in the metaverse, and powered by Artificial Intelligence and deep learning, these replicas can and will experiment, model, and help improve our physical world.
The potential of this technology is transformative. With our organs all replicated digitally, it will tackle disease, making us healthier and longer lived. Our towns and transport infrastructure will be planned to better suit our needs. Organisations will be more efficient, effective and performance strengthened. Products will be designed better and more cost-effectively. Communication will take place on a more immersive level. With a virtual twin who is less easily tired or distracted, our own productivity and creativity will be magnified. It is a step towards what Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, described as a fusion of our physical, our digital, and our biological identities . 1
DestinE (or Destination Earth) is the European Commission s ambitious large-scale development to create a digital Earth. In collaboration with the European Space Agency, DestinE will model and simulate our planet s systems. It will mitigate the impact of natural disasters, manage water, improve food production, and understand the impact of human activity. It will model, forecast, visualise, test scenarios and ultimately help solve the biggest challenge facing the world: climate change. 2
This technology is amazing, of course it is. Not simply owing to the possibilities but because, alongside advances in AI, bio science, quantum computing, the internet of things, the internet of bodies, it represents change so profound, so significant, that it alters the trajectory of our societies, our communities, our workplaces, our economy and our politics. This is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is a moment in history. It is a transformative revolution that needs to be understood and acknowledged as the principal political challenge of our era. It is a challenge that requires transformed leadership and new ways of doing politics. And while digitally driven, it is a challenge that must be reclaimed for humanity.
Reclaiming the Revolution is about this inflection point.
In today s democracies there is a messy tussle playing out. It is a tussle between the forces of mainstream politics - who have existed in a sort of political market place for a quarter of a century and which no longer speak to a significant portion of the electorate - and the destructive forces of populism - which threaten the stability of the system, the economy and society. While progressives cheer at each victory, big or small, the forces of populism prevail, dividing and damaging. Such unexpected polarisation has not only emerged at this inflection point, a specific reality that appears to concern so few commentators of our era, but more pointedly, is a consequence of the period of globalisation through which we have recently lived, a by-product of the third industrial revolution which brought us telecommunications and the microchip. The interconnectedness of globalisation has delivered great prosperity and opportunity. But it has also meant that so many ordinary people, voters, in post-industrial towns and cities of the developed world, feel left behind, abandoned almost by mainstream politics. And so, both sides of the political divide find themselves fighting the battles of the past and generating arguments of frustrating simplicity.
And the point is that neither side seems to have any convincing answers to the questions of the revolution before us. No, politics seems to have barely acknowledged the existence of the challenge. But the challenge is immense. What is this revolution for? Who will use it? Will it overwhelm humanity? Will it be democratic? Will it provide opportunities? Will it address the other challenges of our age? How can we prepare for it so that we can all benefit from its possibilities? How can we ensure this new world is inclusive?
You will see how this should be accepted as central to politics and policymaking, central to decisions we make about the economy, society, education, housing, transport, investment. And yet, it barely features in public discourse. Politics should be discussing and debating, it should be deciding how to harness the transformative power of this so that this, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is not something done to us, but something shaped by our values and ambitions.
But to do this, our politics not only needs to prepare for the dramatic transformations of the future, it also needs to really understand the present and that means appreciating the episodes, stories and developments of our past which have conspired to create today. That is the ambition of this book.
Ethel Merman was born at 359 4th Avenue in Astoria, Queens, in 1908. The daughter of an accountant and a teacher, she would become a performer of stage, screen and audio recordings through the 1930s right up to her death in 1984. In many ways, she was the natural choice to open the 1939 World s Fair. This huge exhibition was built upon a 1200 acre site, once a giant ash dump, just a few blocks away from her maternal grandmother s house where Ethel first entered the world.
The World s Fair was about the future. It was optimistic and ambitious. Physically, its great Trylon and Perisphere structures dominated the site, reaching into the air. But its genesis was in the experiences of the present. The 1930s had been a tough decade for America. The Great Depression had brought hardship and degradation for millions. Now, the Fair s organisers felt, was the time to be entertained and to look into a brighter future.
Admission, for those who wanted to attend the opening on April 30, cost 75c, and over the coming weeks some 44 million people passed through the gates, to gaze at the exhibitions. Merman s job was simple. She sang the Fair s song. Written by George Gershwin, it shared its title with the show, Dawn of a New Day :

Come to the Fair! (To the Fair, To the Fair)
It s the Dawn of a new day!
Sound the drats, roll the drums.
To the world of tomorrow we come!
From the Sun through the gray
It s the dawn of a new day!
Here we come young and old
Here to watch the wonders unfold
And the tune that we play
Is the Dawn of a new Day!
Tell the world (And the Door)
That we don t want to ground anymore
Better times here to stay
As we live and laugh the American way
Listen up one and all
There could be no resisting the fall
But tis the dawn
Of a new day!
Optimistic, cooperative, democratic, and egalitarian, there was a tacit recognition that the world was at an inflection point and it was one which would have to wait for a bloody world war before it could be realised. The new day was to be the space race, the atomic age, the superpowers, digital revolution of the 1960s and 70s, computers and the information age. And it all built upon the first industrial revolution which created the world we recognise today.
The World s Fair Dawn of a New Day pamphlet declared a simple dictum: Familiarity with today is the best preparation for the future, it told its excited readers. That could be the maxim of this book.
We once again find ourselves gazing at the dawn of a new day, or more acutely, the inflection point of a new great adventure. It is one which will mark a change in our world as profound as that from agrarian to industrial society in the seventeenth century and from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the golden age of capitalism, eyed so optimistically from the World s Fair. But it is also a great adventure grounded in the disruption of today.
An inflection point is some significant trans

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