Future ready in the fourth industrial revolution

Blog by Michael Whereat, ASCA President

A little over a century ago, innovation began to deliver the third Industrial revolution – flight, vehicles and the rise of mobility. Today, we take each of these technologies for granted. As steam and electricity had done before them, urban civilisation has become stronger and has grown to new levels in terms of height, population and wealth. The most important outcomes have been the improvements in health, education and ability for an individual to realise their own potential.

The tide of innovation has also increased over the last century with another revolution emerging in the last decade – the digital revolution. This time, it seems everything we know is blended – connected, digital and electrical in vehicles. The term to be Ubered (totally disrupted, as in the disruption of the taxi industry) is in common use by governments around the world. Driverless vehicles may send many to the unemployment line along with robots and other forms of automation and artificial intelligence.

Some groups are finding names to describe the phase of human history. Some call it cities 4.0. Some call it smart cities, others digitisation of the urban environment. It seems every conference has the word smart added to its name; social media is full of commentary as are the traditional media channels.

Is there any good news and positive outcomes of this digitisation? How are communities and cities managing to proactively transition to this new digital economy? If you're a leader responsible for a city, are you making your community future ready?

Throughout history, there has been a constant wealth of new opportunities and green shoots of growth at the front-end of the human experience. ASCA is providing its members and partners with the opportunity to learn how to navigate through the changing environmental conditions and succeed in this digital century.

Next week in Adelaide, 300 Australian and international delegates will participate in a fast-paced program with over 45 speakers, 25 exhibitors, with a choice of fast paced executive presentations or Future Ready Deep Dive presentations. The conference dinner will be a highlight with the release of our annual ASCA Guide and a presentation including in an exploration of human interfaces to artificial intelligence.

I hope you can join us at this thought-provoking and collaboration-driven event from 29-31 May.

Michael Whereat

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