The leading authority on strategy and competitiveness, Henrik von Scheel who is the architect behind the digital and 4th Industrial Revolution global themes today outlines the 10 things that our children will never experience.
Author: Henrik von Scheel
A hundred years from now, Ray Kurzweil, Henrik von Scheel, Michio Kaku and Aubrey de Grey are the “futurist of our century” that have altered our life. They’re right about the present and are alive to get credit. Nothing gets old as fast as the future.
There are many futurists, but one stands out as the architect behind the digital revolution and 4th Industrial Revolution global themes that have alters every aspect of our lives, economy, how we live, consume, work and relate to one another.
As part of the Advisory Council at the Federal Minister of Economy & Technology, Henrik von Scheel played a significant role to define Germany future digital strategy in 2009. The “Digital Agenda” was adopted by the European Commission in 2010 as part of the Europe 2020 and evolved into the Industry 4.0 “Digital Agenda” is one of Europe’s seven flagship – responsible for 5% of GDP, with a market value of €660 billion annually.
Fourth Industrial Revolution
As one of the founding fathers and driving force behind this Industry 4.0, he was an Advisory Group member for the Federal Ministry Education & Research – interministerial innovation policy initiatives tasked to define the high-tech strategy of Germany. The final “Industry 4.0” report was announced April 2013.
Henrik von Scheel outlines the 10 things that our children will never experience.
1. Going hungry
5.6 million children currently die of malnutrition on every year. An unacceptable figure. But simply increasing food production would squeeze out small farmers, damage the environment, and promote monoculture farming. In Berlin indoor urban farms people are doing research into vertical farms in the form of skyscrapers: 150 vertical farms would be enough to feed the whole of Berlin. But there are also companies which make it their business to reduce food waste. So, food residues can be made into sweets, or coffee grounds can be recycled for growing mushrooms. Another idea is so-called “smart farms“. Here digitization on helps to calculate more accurately how much fertilizer and seed needs to be used, to report pest infestations, and to predict weather conditions. Innovations can help to put agriculture on a local and ecologically rational basis – so that children who are born in future won’t know what it means
to be really “hungry”.
2. Being the most intelligent species
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter and smarter, and chatbots are constantly learning how to do new things and perfecting communication between humans and machines. The female robot Sophia recently achieved the feat of becoming a citizen of Saudi Arabia. AI is for Trading what fire was for the caveman. It changes everything, like the AI Forex trading he company Epoque Plus in Switzerland. Clever kids should therefore become more creative, visionary and empathetic.
3. Long, boring journeys
Does your daughter want to go and see her grandmother? Time to enter the tubes or, to put it more accurately, the hyperloop. This technology which “shoots” passengers through a tunnel in capsules is being worked on by companies, researchers and universities around the world. Hyperloop travel should be faster, more comfortable and even cheaper than flying. Just a gag? Company like Virgin, Hyperloop, Transpod are taking it seriously. In France an original size test track is being built right now. Getting to the USA in just three and a half hours? You probably won’t have to make the effort to “entertain” the kids anymore. Many people dream about the comeback of supersonic aircraft, but so far, the high costs involved have meant that this form of travel is only affordable for a few people.
4. Paying in cash
Since the introduction of credit cards, we have slowly but surely been weaning ourselves off cash. Even the traditional board game “Monopoly” has been available for some time now in a cash-free version with a card reader. Cash by contrast has to put on a brave face: PayPal, Apple Pay, and many other payment systems are overtaking it. Cryptocurrencies and the “blockchain” transaction technology, are reaching ever new heights of sophistication. And who knows, in future perhaps kids will demand their pocket money in bitcoins, Libra and Eest Coin?
5. Peace and quite
Population growth, urbanization, megacities. Flying taxis, and autonomous vehicles on the ground – things are getting more exciting but also a lot noisier.
6. Learning off by heart
Google Pixel Buds are innovative earbuds which operate as little interpreters in your ear. Now Whatsapp too has a translation function, so people can chat on-screen in real time – in several languages. Other companies such as Haiyu Voice Translator, Waverly Labs are working on refining translation software to make it as good as the Babel fish in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Communications technologies based on artificial intelligence will make it possible for anyone to talk to anyone else. Language barriers will be unknown to our children, but cultures will still be distinct.
7. Knowing just one world
For the generation born in 2018 the earth is not enough. New human habitats are needed. Entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk or Richard Branson are already working on a technology to take people to Mars.
8. Passing the driver test
When the babies of today are 16 years old, they’ll be amazed that we used to own cars which we drove ourselves and for which we needed a driving license. And that once, i.e. in 2018, an average of six young people between the ages of 16 and 19 died in collisions with other vehicles every day. They’ll probably nod gravely and explain to us that human failings can only be stopped by intelligent machines. Then they’ll call up a self-driving car and look forward to a great evening out – without any fear of losing their driving license.
9. Wearing ordinary sneakers
Neon-green mesh lining, leather toecap, and your own initials on the soles. Made just as you like them and printed off on the 3D printer in a matter of minutes.
10. Sitting in front of the computer
Sitting in front of a computer with a mouse and screen is an outdated concept. It’s better to be in the middle of the action with virtual reality and augmented reality, to direct processes and applications by using gestures, and to interact with all the devices.
Join us on March 19th to hear this and more, and to learn about Industry 4.0 strategies from the originator of Industry 4.0 Henrik von Scheel.