Is our Politics Prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The new Book by GPI Senior Fellow Professor Stephen Barber argues not only is the answer an emphatic, ‘No’, but that our leadership is failing us at this crucial inflection point.

We are at the inflection point of a digital transformation that will reach into every aspect of our lives including the way we work, structure our economy, communicate, organise our societies, and conduct politics.  It is an inexorable revolution hurtling towards us. Stephen Barber’s new book, Reclaiming the Revolution, argues that we have to stop compartmentalising Industry 4.0 as simply a digital phenomenon and instead inject human values and political leadership into what happens next.

‘Whether it is artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles, robotics, the Internet of Things, nanotech or a host of other amazing technologies emerging and interacting, we are on the brink of a fantastic change,’ says Stephen, ‘It represents an unstoppable force that, if we do not act, will be something done to us.  It is a force that needs to be shaped by our human values, directed to improving our lives and inclusiveness of our economy.  And I’m afraid that politics is the only credible mechanism for doing this.’

The book argues that the Fourth Industrial Revolution poses one of the biggest questions facing society today but that our politicians are all but unprepared. Rather than facing up to the challenges of this transformation, it is divided between fantasy populism and rational choice politics as usual.  That needs to change and there needs to be renewed leadership capable of harnessing the new and incredible possibilities of this new age.

To make its case, Reclaiming the Revolution tells a series of extraordinary stories which reach into the past and then peek into the future; that jump from country to country and generate a series of fresh ideas.

The book makes an overwhelming argument: The revolution is before us and it must be Reclaimed!

Reclaiming the Revolution: Extraordinary Adventures in Politics and Leadership at the Inflection Point of Industry 4.0,
by Stephen Barber. Published by Buckingham University Press, is available at Amazon:

About the GPI

The Global Policy Institute is a research institute on international affairs. It is based in the City of London, and draws on both a rich pool of international thinkers, academics as well as policy and business professionals. The Institute gives non-partisan guidance to policymakers and decision takers in business, government, and NGOs.