When the World Economic Forum sparked the conversation about the Fourth Industrial Revolution earlier this year, it set off a wave of articles and analysis about the opportunities this economic realignment would bring. What received less attention, however, was the potential for turmoil and violence that global economic disruption would herald.
Each socio-economic shift on this scale has brought widespread disruption. The First Industrial Revolution saw the Napoleonic Wars; the Second Industrial Revolution ended sometime between World War I and World War II. As our economy shifts away from jobs leftover from legacies of the Second and Third Industrial Revolution to jobs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution involving robotics, artificial intelligence, and highly-trained technical skills, it isn’t a surprise that we are seeing increasing incidents of turmoil, anti-establishment sentiments, and even violence.
But this analysis is a broad overview of the widespread socio-economic disruptions taking place, and it doesn’t examine the nuances of the many contributing trends and factors. On Sunday, November 27, author and American urban studies theorist Richard Florida took to Twitter to discuss the interplay of a few of these trends, and how they contributed to an outcome in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election that few people saw coming. We have archived them in a Storify here:
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