The Fourth Revolution Blog on the institution revolution – a retrospective

As part VI of the manifesto is due to be published this week-end on the “institutions revolution” this blog offers a retrospective on a few blogs published by The Fourth Revolution Manifesto on the transformation of institutions

Perfectly acceptable institutions will become inappropriate beyond the Fourth Revolution

Once established, institutions flight for their survival

Professions are just a type of institutions

A great example of what developing countries can bring to the world



The empathic civilization by Jeremy Rifkin – neuroscience discoveries and the Fourth Revolution

This great animated video by “RSA animate” discusses the empathic civilization, based on a presentation by Jeremy Rifkin.

It shows how very recent neuroscience findings (1990 onwards), using the new technologies of non-invasive brain imagery (a result of the new theories of physics like quantum mechanics that are the precursor of the Fourth Revolution), give incredible insights on the operation of body and mind. That when communication exists between human beings, we automatically empathize.

Thanks to the new long distance interactive communication technology, we can empathize with the whole of humankind, with the whole world. The fundamental consciousness shift that is occurring today as a result will change the world, because our family is extended to the entire humankind and beyond.

We empathize with people at the other end of the globe that are suffering hardship. We give to causes that are entirely alien to our daily life, to fight poverty or hunger at the other end of the globe.

Are you ready to look at humankind as just one single family?


Part 4 of the Fourth Revolution Manifesto is now online!

Today, in our daily life, there are already precursors of the Fourth Revolution that transform deeply our world. Things that don’t fit with the conventional world-view of the Industrial Age. Find out more about FOUR PRECURSORS of the FOURTH REVOLUTION you meet everyday in your life.

Fourth Revolution Manifesto part IV cover

You can access the fourth part of the Fourth Revolution Manifesto – FOUR PRECURSORS of the FOURTH REVOLUTION by clicking on the link. You can also read and share the document on Scribd – it has a great reader and can also be used as a backup if the above link does not work: the Fourth Revolution Manifesto – part IV on Scribd .

Don’t hesitate to comment and bring in suggestions in the comments to this blog post!

Can’t wait to see the follow-up? Next week we’ll dive deep into the consequences of the Fourth Revolution in the organizations – the Organization Revolution!


How our perception of our environment shifted in the 1960's

In the 1960’s for the first time ever, we took pictures of Earth from space. From space!…

The Earth appeared to all eyes like a fragile, small, blue sphere teaming with life in the middle of inhospitable space.
fragile earth

The mindset shift which followed cannot be underestimated.

At the same period there started to be significant pollution scandals, observation of severe health effects of industrial activities, and large scale environmental disruptions. But no event touched humankind globally like these pictures.

For all of previous mankind history, nature was to be exploited. Humankind exploitation capabilities increased dramatically with each Revolution. The Industrial Age was able to lead to global changes in the Earth atmosphere with long term consequences.

Now, for the first time, nature had to be protected. For the sake of Humankind. For this small blue ball in the middle of the void, this miraculous sparkle of life.

This mindset shift is in opposition to Industrial Age mindset and to the mindset of all previous Ages.

It is a true precursor of the Fourth Revolution.


Contraception – a new freedom factor – another precursor of the Fourth Revolution

When cheap, reliable contraception appeared in the 1960’s it was a social transformation. For the first time ever women could choose whether and when to have children.

Social shifts were deep. While they are still not entirely widespread when it comes to equal opportunity between genders, a long way has already been done towards it.

Half of humankind got an unprecedented freedom to decide on their life.

The next generation got an unprecedented opportunity: to be mostly desired children.

Each Humankind Revolution increases the freedom and availability of an increasing proportion of the population.

Since the 1960’s, the freedom and availability of half of humankind got liberated.

That’s another deep precursor of the Fourth Revolution.


When you buy a manufactured item, you buy more and more intellectual work

A manufactured widget today has much more brain content than ever before.

Armies of engineers, designers, market specialists are engineering, designing, optimizing, marketing it.

Manufactured widgets do not come any more as a standard commodity. They have to be different. They have to be unique. They have to have options and be customizable.

It takes today 15 years and billions of dollars of intellectual work to design a new aircraft type, and hundreds need to be sold to get the money of its design back.
Airbus 380

Fifty years ago it took a few million dollars, a handful of engineers and two years. A few dozen of models sold, and that was enough to ensure fortune for the manufacturing company.

The same trend is at work in the automotive industry. Developing a new car type takes billions of dollars of intellectual work.

So, even standard manufactured widgets contain a lot more intellectual work than a few decades ago.

Not only manufacturing industries loose weight compared to the services industry, but even within them, the shift has occurred. When you buy a car, a large chunk of its price is to pay for intellectual work. Not for extracting and refining the raw material, or manufacturing the car. For pure intellectual work.

The Fourth Revolution is already at work in the economy.


How value has shifted to the service economy in less than a decade

In the Industrial Age, extractive and manufacturing companies were the largest and the most powerful.

They were the absolute majority of the top companies until 1985.

They were the absolute rulers of the economy.

Then, in less than a decade, they became a minority. They got overtaken by service industries – banks, insurance companies, internet companies. Today they represent less than 30% of the top companies.

We still don’t realize how this shift is deeply transforming the economic landscape. We don’t realize how pure extractive and manufacturing value has decreased relative to the value of services and creativity.

When will we start realizing that the economic system has already started its Revolution? When will we start to realize that the bumps of the economy we are going through are but the painful adjustment of our economy to the Fourth Revolution value production system?

When will we start leaning into this new value system instead of trying to revert to the Industrial Age view of the economy?


Chaos theory – a deep change in our understanding of the world

Chaos theory is a new finding. It dates back to the 1960’s.

The best known example is the research by Lorenz on predicting the weather. Lorenz found, much to his astonishment, that the result of his computer calculations to predict the future weather could be completely different if minute changes were introduced to the initial values. He only used some basic laws of physics!
This led Lorenz to the famous “butterfly effect’: the flap of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil could foster a tornado in Texas!
butterfly effect chaos

Too bad for Newton and his successors, the world is not any more determined by the application of the laws of nature!

This is a message of hope, because it shows that our future is not determined.

We can make the choice to change and to create a beneficial effect to achieve the future we want.

We can make the choice to give that tiny flap of our wing and create tremendous change to the world.

When do you start your blog? When do you start telling the world what you have deep in yourself? You might create a far-reaching transformation of the world… for the best!


Quantum physics – A precursor of the Fourth Revolution

Since the beginning of the 20th century we know that Newton’s mechanistic approach is not sufficient to explain everything we can observe.

EinsteinEinstein came out with the Theory of Relativity. Matter is now energy. Light is deviated by mass.

Planck, Heisenberg and others developed quantum physics. Particles are little bit of energy moving in the void. It is not possible to know exactly where they are. Observation changes the reality by reducing the uncertainty.

All revolutions are related to changes in our view of the world, which is expressed in the laws of physics. Newton’s theory, after some time, led to the development of all the machines of the Industrial Age.

Some time is always needed between the definition of new laws of physics and the development of new objects that take advantage of this new knowledge. It takes even more time for philosophers to decipher the consequences for the destiny of humanity.

We are now, after a few decades, surrounded by objects based on the new laws of physics. Laser. CD’s. Computer chips.

We have not yet fully understood what quantum physics means for our destiny.

One thing is sure. Quantum physics is a radical departure from the predictable Newtonian world. It is definitely a precursor of the new Revolution.

Einstein was right to be naughty. He just threw the world upside down.