Third Industrial Revolution – Challenges and Opportunities for Society and Politics
Prof. Martin Jänicke
The term industrial revolution has always been linked to key tech-nologies. The first industrial revolution was linked to the invention of the steam-engine, another to the vast electrification and the inven-tion of the automobile. The invention of computers caused a compa-rable transformation. These key technologies had great implications for almost every economic sector or area of life and the organization of societies.
Another perspective on the issue tackles the energy and resource basis of societies. The first industrial revolution would not have been possible without the commercial use of coal. The second industrial revolution was inherently connected to fuel switch to oil. Today, an-other transformation of a similar scale emerges: the changeover to renewable energy and recycled or renewable raw materials. As ear-lier industrial revolutions that lead to economic and social changes of similar scale, this transformation needs to be shaped politically.
In a brochure for the Federal Ministry of the Environment it will be discussed:
- what evidence there are for such a transformation,
- which impacts this transformation will have on the economy, soci-ety and the political system,
- how such transformation can be fostered and which trends need or can be shaped politically.
The brochure will contain a discussion paper which will be amended by short and pointed statements of renowned experts.