With the fossil fuel energies and oil fast depleting, the industrial civilization is at a crossroad. After all, the entire infrastructure behind industrial technologies is aging and needs a new perspective. Governments and businesses are in a tight spot with riding debts and unemployment. Ever since the 2008 economic recession, the governments, business communities and civil societies are at loggerheads as to how to revitalize the global economy and help the world grow and self-sustain (Rifkin 1). Clearly, the era of great energy is over. A bold new economic narrative is repaired to transform the society.
1.1 A New Economic Narrative
1.1.1 New communication technologies converge with new energy systems to give birth to new energy revolutions.
First Industrial Revolution due to Print-literate work force surfaced due to cheap steam powered print technology and the introduction of public schools in the19th century.
Second Industrial Revolution in the 20th century because of centralized electricity communication.
Foundation for Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) laid today because of the merging of Internet technology and renewable energies.
1.2 Five pillars of Third Industrial Revolution1.2.1. Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure will create sustainable global economy with new businesses and jobs in the 21st century. 1.2.2. The five pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution come together to create an indivisible technological platform
transforming the building stock into micro–power plants
shifting to renewable energy
using Internet technology to transform power grid
deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies
Changing the transport systems to fuel cell and electric plug-in vehicles (Rifkin 2).
1.3 Shift from Centralized to lateral power 1.3.1. The Third Industrial Revolution will end the industrious thinking and mark the beginning of a new era of collaboration and cooperation between professional and technical workforces.
1.3.2. The distributed business practices of the Third Industrial Revolution will dissolve the traditional, hierarchical organization set for the business operations of the First and Second Industrial Revolutions1.3.3. Lateral power will be the new force in the world. The democratization of communications will allow sharing of information to new levels and will mark one of the great evolutionary advances.1.3.4. Moreover, the generation and distribution of renewable energies such as geothermal heat, sun, wind, biomass and hydropower will become available to everyone (Rifkin 3).1.4 Distribution of economic power1.4.1. Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure will change the distribution of economic power dramatically in the twenty-first century.1.4.2. The distribution of renewable energies will demand a collaborative rather than hierarchical command mechanisms.1.4.3. It is the ability to centralize production and distribution that will ensure the success of modern capitalism. Fossil fuels will rely on significant military investment to assure their availability1.5 The centralized energy infrastructure1.5.1. The centralized energy infrastructure will encourage similar business models across every sector.1.5.2. The emerging Third Industrial Revolution will encourage a favorable business environment for optimum energy levels and a sustainable economy (Rifkin 4).1.5.3. This new lateral energy regime will lead to a well distributed and equal sharing of the generated wealth.
1.6. Fundamental change in the way how capitalism functions1.6.1. The small entry expenses in lateral networks make it possible for everyone to become a potential businessperson and collaborator and give way to a distributed capitalism.1.6.2. Manufacturing will get democratized when items get manufactured in a cheaper and father way under the same quality control.1.7. The 3-D printing technology1.7.1. The Third Industrial Revolution will open up the new possibility for a new digital manufacturing revolution with technologies like 3-D printing.1.7.2. Lower entry costs will encourage hundreds of thousands of mini manufacturers to enter the business of manufacturing, and one would see a whole new era of start-ups across the world (Rifkin 5).1.7.3. Because of the lower expenditure of energy and reduction in materials used, it will lead to an increase in energy efficiency.1.8. The democratization of manufacturing1.8.1. The democratization of manufacturing will lead to lowered marketing costs because of the centralized nature of the communication technologies.1.8.2. Millions of buyers and thousands of sellers come together at those global virtual showrooms. The personalization of relationships and professions customer care is adding new dimensions to the market.1.8.3. Hundreds of global Internet companies bring together producers and consumers on the web marketing spaces, thus democratizing marketing costs across the world.1.8.4. Germany is already a good example to follow with the introduction of an energy internet across six regions.
Thousands of home owners and German businesses take advantage of renewable energies and store them in the form of hydrogen.
The smart energy internet encourages the sharing of green electricity across Germany (Rifkin 7).
More than a million buildings in Germany have already been changed into green micro-power plants.
1.8.5. New sophisticated IT software and hardware as well as appliances and vehicles would merge distributed energy with distributed Internet communication.1.9. New Business Models in the 21st Century1.9.1. The Third Industrial Revolution is all set to reconfigure the entire economic infrastructure of every country across the globe.1.9.2. Creativity and innovation are required to support the transition to the city of the 21st century and will cover a vast areas such as technology, institutions, and organizations, etc.
1.9.3. It is the economic environment, organizational factors plus the locational advantages that will play an instrumental role in the development of the green cities of tomorrow (Rifkin 8).
2.1. Summary Today, the living standards are on a decline, and nearly one-seventh of the human population faces hunger and starvation. Global warming and climate change are only adding to the issues. One needs to proceed with a cautionary note as the different foundation of Third Industrial Revolution must be defined and laid down simultaneously sustain. Geography has played a significant role in the evolution of cities and economies. The great economic revolutions in history were possible because of new commercial activities and new energy flows. New urban prosperity factors such as increasing specialization and advances in transport and communication technologies will play a significant role. Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure is bound to develop thousands of new businesses and create millions of jobs. Successful cities will derive their prosperity based on their capacity to harness the upcoming advantages. Only good governance and sustained vision with strategic thinking and conscious planning policies can enhance success and welfare. Every human being on earth will carry his own source of power when Internet communications start managing green energy. Well-defined implementation plans and long-term visions will certainly improve the quality of life. The above article is useful for the current and future generations as it sheds light on how enhanced information technology will lead to social and economic transformations as well as knowledge development. Those innovative ideas and strategies will shape a new urban identity with a distributed capitalism. Decentralization policies will develop equal opportunities for all and encourage participation of civil society. Side by side, it will also create an environment that is conducive to the prosperity of cities, with an effective urban planning and management.
Rifkin, Jeremy. "The Third Industrial Revolution: How the Internet, Green Electricity, and 3-D Printing are Ushering in a Sustainable Era of Distributed Capitalism." worldfinancialreview1.1 (2012): 1-8. Print.