Weekend Roundup: Advent of the Third Industrial Revolution
The WorldPost strives every day to chronicle the ongoing contest between two competing futures. One future is a world coming together through the convergence of new technologies that promise ecological stability, the empowerment of diversity and opportunity for all. The other is a world falling apart through bitter partisanship, religious warfare and the return of geopolitical blocs.
This week we begin a new series that takes sides. Futurist Jeremy Rifkin lays out a vision of “the Third Industrial Revolution” that, through digital connectivity, clean energy and smart transportation all tied together through the “Internet of Things,” can lead to breakthrough instead of breakdown. In an introduction to the series, Arianna Huffington invites us to join the conversation on climate change, technology and the growing global movement toward solutions that can provide a unifying purpose to all our connectivity.
In a related post, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim explain how carbon pricing can lead to the first generation of investments that will “build a competitive future without the dangerous levels of carbon dioxide emissions that are now driving global warming.” Mohamed El-Erian warns the path ahead won’t be easy. “Western political and economic structures are, in some ways, specifically designed to resist deep and rapid change,” he writes. “When major structural and secular challenges arise, as is the case today, the advanced countries’ institutional architecture acts as a major obstacle to effective action.” Taking a view from the bottom up, World Reporter Charlotte Alfred writes about the solar entrepreneurs emerging from the rural cellphone revolution in Kenya and one innovation that could save countless lives.