The Industrial Revolution was the economic, technological and social transformation that began in the second half of the eighteenth century in Great Britain, ranging decades after to other parts of Europe and the United States. That time witnessed the largest set of economic, technological and social transformations in the history of humanity, moving from a rural economy based mainly on agriculture and trade, to an urban, industrial and mechanized economy.
Then transition began a which ended with centuries of labor based on manual labor and the use of animal traction replaced by industrial machinery of manufacturing and transportation of goods and passengers.
Agricultural production and industry which emerged was multiplied while the production time decreased. Wealth and income per capita multiplied as never before in history which had remained virtually stagnant for centuries.
Interestingly, all this we’ve been seeing since a long time ago as the Industrial Revolution, was not seen the same way at that moment. It was lived as a crisis, really. Changes are difficult for the human being and whenever these occur, and especially of such magnitude, they call it a crisis.
Nowadays the same thing is happening. We are ahead of what will be studied some day, in some places it is already being done, as it happens with the Digital Revolution. We are facing a paradigm in which we must not expect everything to be fixed because there is nothing to fix. We will not create jobs and prosperity if we follow the patterns of the old economy. Because we will live in a completely automated environment that will need less workforce in which machines will be at the service of efficiency.
How are we going to create jobs in the new economy?
We must innovate, reinvent everything, design and generate a whole new world that will take us to the new economy and a paradigm shift: the digital economy.
The main invention that has produced this transformation from an industrial to a digital economy is the Internet. Everything happens online and is here to stay. It even evolves into another revolution that we can not imagine yet, at least I myself fail to clarify what will come after this digital revolution.
Who would have thought a few years ago that the main retailers in the world would not have points of sales, Amazon or Alibaba. Or the world’s largest taxi company would not have taxis, Uber. Or the largest accommodation company would not have hotels or even a single building, Airbnb. Or music was going to be sold online iTunes and not in record stores. Or one of the most disruptive of all, eZOO, which is committed to a new way of showing animals in zoos without captivity by the use of fascinating audiovisual technologies.
All these changes are unstoppable. We have seen how some governments, under pressure from shortsighted and not very visionary lobbies have tried to regulate or directly bann the activity of companies in the new paradigm as those just mentioned. But this is like putting the tide. Impossible! Times change, want it or not, like it or not. Or we board the boat and flow in the new current or the current will drag us and then most likely it will already be too late.
Jose Antonio Fernandez – Creator of Experiencies
Member of the Innovation, Communication and IR Commissions at Andorran Business Confederation