One response to “The new industrial revolution”

  1. Duncan John

    I’m rather sceptical about Peter Marsh’s “fifth new industrial revolution”. His “elements” that “power” the latest “industrial revolution” seem to be mainly about niche markets, clusters, networking, and greater participation of emerging economies. Hardly comparable to major shifts in development which saw the creation of factories, transport, electricity and computers!

    He argues, “For those “developing” economies that in recent years have been starting to “catch up” with the lifestyles and standards of living seen in the well-off, Western nations, the period of change could well accelerate the advances.” This assumes continued growth of the emerging economies on the scale they have enjoyed over the past period, which has already started to slow down.

    The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, amongst its predictions for the world economy until 2060 (OECD Economic Policy Papers, “Policy challenges for the next 50 years”), says that growth will slow to two-thirds of its current rate.

    It claims, “In the period to 2060, global growth prospects seem mediocre compared with the past, with GDP in the OECD and the emerging G20-countries likely to grow by 2.7% in 2010-2060, compared to 3.4% in 1996-2010.”

    It goes on, “While growth will be more sustained in emerging economies than in the OECD, it will still slow due to a gradual exhaustion of the catch up process and less favourable demographics in almost all countries.”

    Marsh picks out some companies in a good position to exploit the processes of change he identifies, and says that companies and countries who pay attention to new technologies, develop new ideas and link up with supply chains and networks will do better than others.

    That does not seem to be a revolutionary change but just good business sense.