Less than a decade has passed since talk of Industry 4.0 first surfaced in manufacturing circles, yet visionaries are already forecasting the next revolution. As artificial intelligence improves and factory robots assume more human-like capabilities, the interaction between computers, robots and human workers will ultimately become more meaningful and mutually enlightening. Noting the speed of these developments, it is only natural that talk of a fifth revolution would quickly follow the fourth.
The term disruptive innovation was defined and first analyzed by the American scholar Clayton M. Christensen and his collaborators has been called the most influential business idea of the early 21st century. Disruptive innovation is innovation that create a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.
Industry 5.0 revolution will usher in unprecedented and advances in artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous robotics and vehicles, multi-material 3D printing, virtual reality, wearables, nanotechnology, computational biology, and quantum computing. These technologies will create emerging products, services, benefits and business models that we can barely imagine. The image of a handshake between a human being and a robot symbolizes the new reality in the future can be driven by disruptive innovation.
Business leaders can no longer focus on developments and trends in their own sectors alone but need to understand potential transformations and disruptions in the entire world of suppliers, customers, and global markets. The rapid pace of change is challenging the entire workforce, governments, educators, and regulators to an unprecedented degree.
We need to continually ask ourselves: “Whose interests is technology serving?” Is technology contributing to the common good, raising income equity, revitalizing communities, providing meaningful employment, and transforming the environmental footprint?
We need a context that shapes technology in positive directions for humanity.
We need a catalyst for national associations, institutes, and manufacturers to collaborate and speak with a unified, compelling voice for this vibrant future. I see Industry Reimagined 2030 offering an exciting, inclusive vision to revitalize U.S. industry and provide a context for technology to be transformative in contributing to society.
Glenn Marshall, Newport News Shipbuilding Career Pathways (retired), is on the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Management Team initiative for leading a “Manufacturing Renaissance” and a member of the Reshoring Initiative, Job Creators Network, Industry Reimaged 2030.
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