Summary of The Third Industrial Revolution

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Jeremy Rifkin, an economist and political adviser, presents a highly ambitious text that describes some fundamental transformations underway in the world economy, provides a road map to future change and explains why such massive shifts are necessary. Many of the topics Rifkin discusses will be familiar to you, such as the threat of climate change or the potential of new collaborative business models. What Rifkin offers, and what makes his book both exciting and a bit daunting, is an overarching narrative that places technological, social and economic currents in historical and modern contexts. The result is both educational and engaging. getAbstract finds that his analysis will intrigue futurists, those interested in the intersection of technology and society, and anyone concerned about life on Earth.

About the Author

Jeremy Rifkin, head of the Foundation on Economic Trends, is an adviser to the European Union and other governmental entities and chairs the Third Industrial Revolution Global CEO Business Roundtable. He is the author of numerous best-selling books, including The Hydrogen Economy.

 

Summary

The Power of the “Third Industrial Revolution”

The confluence of “centralized electricity, the oil era, the automobile and suburban construction” during the 20th century contributed to a “Second Industrial Revolution” that generated unprecedented levels of growth and wealth in much of the world. But the contemporary industrial economy is facing several crises: Oil is running out, the climate is changing and debt has reached serious levels. The easy availability of fossil fuels that defined the “Carbon Era” is coming to an end, pointing to future social, political and financial upheavals.

Throughout history, economic progress has relied on the “organic relationship” between energy resources and communications. For instance, steam-engine technology drove better and faster printing presses, which boosted literacy and created a skilled workforce to power the First Industrial Revolution. Similarly, fossil fuels made motor transportation possible in the 20th century, extending people’s reach and productivity. So far, the “information and communication technology revolution” that began in the 1990s has not reached its full potential because of its dependence on a dying energy...


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    O. A. 7 years ago
    I found this a very interesting summary, and reading it actually made me want to read the entire book. I myself am finding it difficult to grasp how the world will change out of necessity to meet our growing energy needs as people. It requires a lot of collaboration and willingness to change what we believed to be best practices when it comes to our choices of fuel sources and energy consumption, as well as how we operate and function as a world. Two of the 'Take-Aways' also raised extremely interesting points: "The first two revolutions relied on competition; the third relies on collaboration." and "Societies will assess their progress based on quality of life, not gross domestic product." These two points are integral points in moving forward with energy resources/technology and balancing energy consumption, as well as how we focus on this task as a world.
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    J. F. 7 years ago
    America is flooded with oil and recovery technology and this guy talks about our dependency on foreign oil...Political book for Obama .
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    A. 7 years ago
    Interesting concepts!