The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond was the central theme of the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) that took place earlier this year in Davos, Switzerland. Scope : Disruptions are taking place in “almost every industry in every country.”.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution - Risks and Benefits

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) was the central theme of the 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) that took place a year ago in Davos, Switzerland. Dr. Schwab positions the 4IR within the historical context of three previous industrial revolutions.

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Anticipating the Future of the IT Industry

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

How can we best anticipate the future of a complex, fast changing industry like IT? What can we learn from the IT industry’s 60-year history that might help us better prepare for whatever lies ahead? Cloud represents the industrialization of the data center.

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

They excel at creative destruction , the term that economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized almost seventy years ago to describe the process of transformation that accompanies disruptive innovation. By investing in new products or processes, the company can sell them to their already large customer base and reap greater rewards faster. This kind of complex systemic innovation leverages lots of known ideas and makes them work together to help address important problems.

Learning and Performance Support Systems

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This post is to introduce you to our Learning and Performance Support Systems program, a new $19 million 5-year initiative at the National Research Council that I will be leading.

Innovation is not a repeatable process

Harold Jarche

Can innovation be promoted through better processes? I have not been able to find any regular correllation between well adopted innovation processes and actual innovation outcomes, and I’ve been looking pretty hard. I want every knowledge worker to discover his or her own processes.

Cognitive Systems and Big-Data-driven Applications

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the first week of October I participated in a Cognitive Systems Colloquium hosted by IBM at its Thomas J. These systems will learn and interact to provide expert assistance to scientists, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals in a fraction of the time it now takes.” .

Our education system stumbles into the future

Harold Jarche

According to a local professor, the New Brunswick education system is too centralized , but it’s not just education. Addressing the problems of centralization is an issue with all established institutions as we shift from an industrial to a networked economy.

Social systems need diversity

Harold Jarche

Is it so difficult to see that our education system is badly broken? It’s about collecting data that tells you more about your business, your customers, your stakeholders, your products, your industry, your environment.

A Neural, Digital System for the Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Dr. Arthur is external professor at the Santa Fe Institute and visiting researcher at PARC’s Intelligent Systems Lab. Digitization is creating a second economy that’s vast, automatic, and invisible - thereby bringing the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution,” he writes at the very beginning of the article. They gave access to the east’s industrial goods; they made possible economies of scale; they stimulated steel and manufacturing - and the economy was never the same.”.

Systems Thinking, Safety and Risk Management

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Several participants cited the sharp rise in volume and speed of high-frequency trading over the past decade as an example of a current practice that is potentially increasing volatility and systemic risk in financial markets. Toward the end of the roundtable, the moderator asked us to reflect on the kinds of controls needed to make financial systems more stable and less prone to another major crisis. Financial systems are an example of such complex engineering systems.

Innovating our way out of the industrial era

Harold Jarche

Our main constraints are our artificial structures, especially our schooling systems. Much as we no longer need the majority of the population to grow crops, we no longer need a large workforce of widget makers or data processers.

Dr. Watson, Please Report to the Health Care System

Andy McAfee

Current speech recognition and natural language processing technologies are so good that I could give this description over the phone. In his op-ed, Verghese frets a good bit about the digitization of health care delivery, but I’m eager for technology to improve this inefficient , error-filled , and pre-industrial industry.

An Operating System for the Mind

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

When you teach children facts as facts , and when you do it through a process of study and drill, it doesn't occur to children to question whether or not those facts are true, or appropriate, or moral, or legal, or anything else. Interestingly, that's how many people used to think of electronic information systems - as mechanisms into which you input facts to facilitate easy discovery and retrieval. Put the facts into the system, and come up with some mechanism to get them out.

Gender Diversity, Empathy and Technology

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

To understand what might account for such large gender disparities in the incidence of autism, Baron-Cohen formulated the Empathizing-Systemizing theory, which classifies people on the basis of their scores along two key dimensions: empathy (E) and systems (S).

Minds and Machines

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

With the advent of ERP systems and the Internet in the 1990s, businesses settled on what McAfee and Brynjolfsson call the standard partnership between people and computers. Its central thesis is that our mind is composed of two very different systems of thinking, System 1 and System 2.

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Corporate Survival: Lessons from Biology

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The carnage might be more pronounced in the fast-changing IT industry, but no industry is immune. Therefore, the principles that confer robustness in these systems, whether natural or manmade, are directly applicable to business.”. Why are these systems so complex?

The Emerging Data Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Data has been closely intertwined with our digital technology revolution since the early days of the IT industry. Hardware and software platforms have long raised competitive concerns in the IT industry, due to the economic power of network effects.

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Marc Newson at Sydney Design Excellence Forum: the design process is always the same

Ross Dawson

He is Royal Designer for Industry in the UK. As a designer, he finds it marvellous to have the unparalleled access to materials that you have in the airline industry. He can use amazing materials that are not accessible in many other industries.

The MIT Systems Thinking Conference

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently participated in MIT’s 2010 Systems Thinking Conference for Contemporary Challenges. This annual conference is sponsored by Systems Design and Management (SDM) - an interdisciplinary program between MIT’s School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management. The SDM program aims to provide mid-career professionals with a systems perspective that will help them address and solve large-scale, global, complex challenges.

June Round-up of Learning Industry News

Xyleme

Dell released an infographic, Path to Personalize Learning , demonstrating its five-step process to help all schools create a pathway to personalize learning. Edgenuity recently completed 13 Online and Blended Learning Summits involving over 700 school and district leaders.

Is Blockchain Ready to “Cross the Chasm”? Lessons from the Internet

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The study interviewed almost 3,000 C-Suite executives from over 80 countries and 20 industries to learn about their company’s blockchain plans. They make up an average of 8 percent across all industries, with higher activity in certain industries like financial services.

The Top Ten Emerging Technologies of 2016

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Systems Metabolic Engineering — “Advances in synthetic biology, systems biology, and evolutionary engineering mean that the list of building block chemicals that can be manufactured better and more cheaply by using plants rather than fossil fuels is growing every year.”.

What’s the Value of Blockchain?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Blockchain has the potential to transform our economic and social systems, but such a transformation is still many years away. and how will it transform their particular business and industry? What’s more, the system is rife with fraud.

Has AI (Finally) Reached a Tipping Point?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

What impact is it likely to have on jobs, companies and industries? The first such Study Panel, launched a year ago, was comprised of AI experts from academia, corporate laboratories and industry as well as AI-savvy scholars in law, political science, policy, and economics.

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On the Governance of Blockchain: Lessons from the Internet

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Internet and World Wide Web brought a badly needed culture of collaboration and standards to the IT industry. In the 1980s, it was quite difficult to get different IT systems to talk to each other.

The (Uneven) Digitization of the US Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The report introduces the MGI Industry Digitization Index, a methodology for exploring the various ways US companies are going about their digital journey, - based on 27 indicators that measure how they’re building digital assets, expanding digital usage, and creating a digital workforce.

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Could Blockchain Prove to Be “The Next Big Thing”?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Over the past several decades, information technologies (IT) have been fundamentally transforming companies, industries and the economy in general. However, banking has been relatively less disrupted by digital transformations than other industries.

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Global Trends and Business Strategy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The ability to anticipate where your industry is moving and to begin to reposition your company ahead of competitors is one of the most important elements of business strategy. They could transform entire industries, including automobiles, aviation, and electronics.

On Saving the American Health System: Dr. Donald Berwick's.

Bob Sutton

WSJ CareerJournal | Though Now Routine, Bosses Still Stumble During the Layoff Process. The Observer | Business | You could be a genius - if only you had a good system. Adam Penenberg: Tragic Indifference: One Mans Battle with the Auto Industry over the Dangers of SUVs. 11 Books Every Leader Should Read » On Saving the American Health System: Dr. Donald Berwicks Farewell Speech. Mind you we are not talking about a system full of failures. Bob Sutton.

The Industrialization of Services

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the late 18th century, the Industrial Revolution started the transition from a manual-labor based economy towards an economy based on using technologies, tools and machines to significantly improve the manufacturing of physical goods. Over the next two hundred years we have seen the industrial sector of the economy achieve major improvements in the productivity and quality of manufacturing, ranging from very simple to highly complex physical objects.

Lean Principles in the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Such methods include quality control of the processes involved in production; just-in-time production to reduce the costs associated with excess inventory; and continuous improvement involving everyone in the organization in the quest for new, easy to implement ideas. .

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Should Your Company Get on the Blockchain Learning Curve Now or Wait?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The universal reach and connectivity of the Internet were enabling access to information and transactions of all sorts for anyone with a browser and an Internet connection, making existing business processes more efficient, as well as enabling all kinds of new business models.

Digital Identity - the Key to Privacy and Security in the Digital World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

From time immemorial, our identity systems have been based on face-to-face interactions and on physical documents and processes. But, the transition to a digital economy requires radically different identity systems.

The Emergence of Cognitive Computing

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The colloquium, - which was part of IBM’s Centennial celebration, - brought together experts across industry and academia to discuss and debate the direction of four key Grand Challenges at the very leading edge of IT: nano systems, exascale, big data, and cognitive computing. John explained that these four areas have the potential to transform the IT industry because of their exponential growth, a result of both continual improvements and disruptive innovations.

The Transformative Power of Cloud Computing

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For the IT industry, a new computing model is a very big deal. In the sixty years or so since there’s been an IT industry, this would be only the third such model, centralized and client-server computing being the two previous ones. The Industrialization of Services.

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The Datafication of Business and Society

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In contrast to digitalisation, which enabled productivity improvements and efficiency gains on already existing processes, datafication promises to completely redefine nearly every aspect of our existence as humans on this planet.

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The Future of Learning Management Systems: Development, Innovation and Change

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

This was the perfect example of hype not helping the industry. But there isn’t a systemic way to evaluate what works. The challenge is, how can systems support this, esp. the learning management system. They used to be known as course management systems.

Open Innovation 2.0

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Closed innovation was the general approach followed by industrial R&D labs during much of the 20th century, - e.g., Bell Labs , Xerox PARC , IBM Research. Open innovation processes combine internal and external ideas together into platforms, architectures, and systems.

Is Design Thinking the “New Liberal Arts”?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Design thinking is now being applied to abstract entities, - e.g. systems, services, information and organizations, - as well as to devise strategies, manage change and solve complex problems. Design thinking has become an increasingly popular topic of discussion over the past decade.