Economy 4.0: shaping a future that works for everybody
On the 4th December 2019 36.6 Competence Centre (Scotland) attended the latest AER (Assembly of European Regions) meeting, which took place in Brussels. The meeting was based on the Economy 4.0 and how changes taking place would affect the economy through innovations, education and sustainability. The meeting included 4 workshops in which 36.6 CC (Scotland) attended and highlighted our Restart 4.0 Digital Transformation Project. Attending this meeting gave us the opportunity to further disseminate the Restart Project, which was well received.
The workshops included discussion groups around:
- The Future of Work
- Creative Bureaucracy
- Sustainable Economy 4.0
Each workshop had a specific theme and each discussion group explored how 4.0 Technology was changing the global economy and how it affects the workforce and how we need to adopt to meet the new challenges.
The future of work in the brave new world: Building a workforce fit for purpose in a radically changing environment: As automation continues apace the skills gap and job insecurity fears are real. Sectors as diverse as health, tourism, industrial production, agriculture, sales are being disrupted. Technological developments will mean that a number of the more ‘process-related’ technical jobs will become obsolete. Instead, a premium will be placed on the need for ‘human’ skills to address new challenges. At the moment nearly every technologically advanced state in the world is working out how to fill a skills shortage.
Innovation in an era of massive competition: Discussions took place around – How to help businesses and specifically SMEs to innovate and flourish in a winner takes all economy and how to foster innovation in an ever-changing and globalized environment. The group also discussed what will be the differentiating elements between winners and losers on the market and what kind of innovation and skills are needed in a 4.0 world.
Creative bureaucracy & public services: This involved looking at the role of regional governments and public service and how to reinvent to serve better and the disruption of the economy 4.0 involving changes in the very role of governments. Also the way they share information and collaborate with other entities, as well as the way services such as healthcare, transport or social services, are delivered through 4.0 digital changes.
Is a sustainable economy 4.0 possible – Economy 4.0 is also a resource-intensive economy, will green innovation live up to its promises – Technology requires rare-earth elements for batteries or magnets for instance. The extraction of resources and the production of technology generate considerable pollution, generally in less developed countries. Moreover, many tech products are poorly recycled. On the other hand, a number of economy 4.0 innovations are already contributing to less polluted cities, efficiently irrigated cultivated land, more efficient use of resources.