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Going to San Francisco?

World Economic Forum’s new centre looks into the impact of scientific and technological advancement

Industry 4.0 under scrutiny in San Francisco
Industry 4.0 under scrutiny in San Francisco

San Francisco has become the home of the new Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution set up by the World Economic Forum.


The centre will act as a platform for the three i’s – interaction, insight and impact – on the scientific and technological advances that are changing the way people live, work and relate to one another.


Led by Murat Sönmez, chief business officer and member of the World Economic Forum managing board, it will commune entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors, businesses, regulators, policy-makers, international organisations, NGOs and academia from all over the world.


The centre aims to develop a common understanding of the disruptive technologies and scientific advances affecting the economy and society, and facilitate the development of policy frameworks and norms by which to govern them.


It will focus on technologies, concepts, scientific developments and new business models such as artificial intelligence and robotics, precision medicine, blockchain, the civilian use of drones, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, the IoT and the role of the individual in the era of big data.

Forum projects such as the IIoT (industrial internet of things), safety, digital trade, advancing the shared economy, project-based workforce, harnessing 4.0 technologies and innovation to improve global ocean health, management and governance will be advanced.


The opening was attended by more than 200 representatives from the private and public sector, academia and NGOs, and included a panel on the fourth industrial revolution and its implications for business, government, the individual and society. Panel members included Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO Salesforce and member of World Economic Forum board of trustees; Penny Pritzker, US Secretary of Commerce; Bernard J. Tyson, CEO Kaiser Permanente; and Mike Wirth, executive VP Chevron.


“The San Francisco Bay Area is the center of technology innovation, with an amazing community of entrepreneurs, business leaders and thought leaders who are paving a way forward,” said Benioff.


“The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution can serve as an essential platform where some of the brightest minds can help understand the trends shaping our world and navigate the future.”


Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution refers to the emergence of cyber physical platforms. According to the World Economic Forum, the first industrial revolution began in 1784 with the emergence of steam, water and mechanical production.


1870 is characterised as the second wave with division of labour, electricity and mass production being the dominant features of the age. This was supplanted at the end of the sixties with electronics, IT and automated production

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