Third Industrial Revolution


The Third Industrial Revolution is a process that is defined by the changes that have taken place in sectors so present in the daily lives of many people, such as communications or energy.

The Third Industrial Revolution was a multipolar process, led by the United States, Japan and the European Union. Its beginnings date from the middle of the 20th century. It is linked to the term "Information Society". There is no consensus on a specific date to determine its end.

This concept was launched by the American sociologist and economist Jeremy Rifkin. Subsequently, it was collected and endorsed by entities and institutions, such as, for example, the European Parliament in 2006. Its basis is the confluence and complementarity of new communication and energy technologies.

Digital revolution

The foundations of the Third Industrial Revolution

The First Industrial Revolution was based on elements such as the use of coal and the concentration of capital, among others. The Second Industrial Revolution did it on the development of the railroad and the introduction of other fossil fuels, such as oil. On the other hand, the Third does it on the basis of very different technologies, in such a way that the link with the previous ones is much less.

The Third Industrial Revolution is based on new information and communication technologies, as well as on innovations that allow the development of renewable energies. As a consequence, the potentialities of these two elements acting together, great changes are foreseen in various areas. Never before have such high levels of interactivity and intercommunication been reached, while innovations in energy could mean such a substantial change as is envisaged with the development and exploitation of renewable energy sources.

The innovations of the Third Industrial Revolution

Third Industrial Revolution

The strong potential for change that is achieved through the convergence of new communication and energy technologies has been having important repercussions. In a document published by Jeremy Rifkin himself entitled "The Third Industrial Revolution: how the internet, green electricity, and 3D printers are ushering in an era of distributed capitalism," he states that the five pillars of this Revolution are:

  • The transformation of renewable energies.
  • Use the buildings of each continent in micro-power plants to generate renewable energy.
  • Expand hydrogen and other storage technologies in each building, as well as throughout the infrastructure to store energy.
  • Use the internet to transform the world's electrical grid into an energy network that acts as the internet connection.
  • Transition from fossil fuel vehicles to fuel cell and plug-in electric vehicles that can buy and sell green electricity through an interactive continental smart grid system.

These pillars, on which the process has been based, have obtained some fruits, taking shape in some innovations that are present in people's daily lives and that are of great importance from an economic perspective. Among them we can point out the Internet, fiber optics, fiberglass or advances in nanotechnology.

Challenges, dangers and opportunities

Like all changes of a socio-economic nature, there are favorable, unfavorable or challenging aspects for the societies in which they occur. Previous industrial revolutions altered the social and economic reality, but also political, cultural and institutional aspects. One of the main risks is, therefore, that inequality increases, as a result of imbalances in access to new technologies.

These imbalances can occur internally within societies, but also between societies. With this, without proper management of the new reality, the social differences between the members of a certain society can increase, but also the differences in power between different nations.

Notwithstanding these dangers, an optimal form of management can serve to better alleviate crisis situations and improve general well-being. For example, with the development of these new technologies, innovations have been achieved in the field of medicine. Effective forms of communication have been developed like never before. Also in the configuration of less polluting and sustainable energy tools. You can invigorate an economy or get new jobs and reduce unemployment. And even progress can be made towards achieving optimal management of limited resources, without putting the future of future generations at risk, or at least minimizing it. In addition, it has valued the importance of developing intelligent R & D & I policies.

In short, it seems necessary to be aware that technological advances are not good or bad in themselves, but depending on what can be achieved with this, the way in which they are managed and on whom or who affect the improvements achieved. .

Fourth Industrial Revolution

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