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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Technology disruption is predicted to be of a scale so great that it is described as the fourth industrial revolution.


The following is taken from World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report, 2016-2017 (PDF 11.9MB), Geneva, 2016. It was adapted from Klaus Schwab's 2016 book titled The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Find out more on the World Economic Forum website.

"We are at the beginning of a global transformation that is characterized by the convergence of digital, physical, and biological technologies in ways that are changing both the world around us and our very idea of what it means to be human.  The changes are historic in terms of their size, speed, and scope.

This transformation – the Fourth Industrial Revolution – is not defined by any particular set of emerging technologies themselves, but rather by the transition to new systems that are built on the infrastructure of the digital revolution. As these individual technologies become ubiquitous, they will fundamentally alter the way we produce, consume, communicate, move, generate energy, and interact with one another.

And given the new powers in genetic engineering and neurotechnologies, they may directly impact who we are and how we think and behave. The fundamental and global nature of the revolution also poses new threats related to the disruptions it may cause – affecting labour markets and geopolitical security as well as social value systems and ethical frameworks."