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What Might be the Next Revolution?

Oh Really?

We have defined the digital-physical integration as Industry 4.0. We have seen advances in digital-biological systems and also the biological-physical systems. Is it time for Digital-Physical-Biological confluence to create a whole new world?

Next Revolution

The Four Industrial Revolutions

Over the last three centuries, humanity has seen significant change in lifestyle, driven by three industrial revolutions. Currently, we are going through the fourth revolution. Briefly

The first industrial revolution brought a change from handcrafted forms of production to the mechanization of production with steam engines or regenerative energy sources such as water.

The second industrial revolution triggered by electric power, enabled new industries and mechanical production engineering. We mastered the control of physical materials and products.

The third industrial revolution came from development of computers, which allowed automated control of industrial production and revolutionized data processing. We mastered the digital space.

In the fourth industrial revolution, we are beginning to harness the potential of digital physical integration. A good example of the digital physical integration is a self-driving car. The car gathers the data from multiple cameras and sensors to determine its position, velocity, and separation to other cars. It uses the data in real time to take physical actions with an intent to reach the destination without collision or discomfort. A similar change is happening in industrial manufacturing and maintenance. In addition, there is a growing desire to make these cyber-physical systems learn from experience, adopt to variation in inputs, make select decisions, and act autonomously to accomplish an objective.

The Next Revolution

This is another form of confluence that has been emerging slowly but steadily. For many decades we have seen significant advancement in physical-biological systems such as prostheses and implants – artificial substitutes for body parts, nanomaterials, nanobiotechnology, biosensors, and bionics.

There is a serious research effort in the field of digital-biological systems such as Biocomputers which use biologically derived molecules, such as DNA and proteins, to perform digital or real computations. And now we are advancing the technologies to 3D printing of skin and organs.

Bringing Biology into the digital-physical systems of the fourth industrial revolution could usher in a next revolution – governed by digital-physical-biological confluence for purpose. We just do not know what that would look like. But we have some early indications of various use cases.

Intelligent Implants[1] is at the forefront of electrotherapeutic devices to treat disease and aid recovery in bone and other tissues. They pioneer the use of data, engineering, and biologics to bring novel, active and connected medical devices to healthcare. Their integrated devices facilitate treatment for the patient, as well as decision making for the healthcare professional.

A quadriplegic racer Rodrigo Hübner Mendes[2] was the first person ever to drive an F1 car using a sensor studded cap over his head that could pick up his brain activity to drive the car, in 2017.

Neuralink[3] is pushing the boundaries of innovation in neural engineering. They are designing the first neural implant that will let you control a computer or mobile device anywhere you go.

Global Human Body Models Consortium[4] (GHBMC) of seven automakers and one supplier have been consolidating their individual research and development activities in human body modeling into a single global effort to advance crash safety technology since 2006. These computers models have significant derivative applications in sports, aerospace, healthcare, wearables, forensics, and military as posted on social media by the author[5] in 2016. A private company Elemance[6] continues to develop and serve this applied innovation in form of proven, validated, finite element human body models, ready for simulation environments.

A combination of human body digital twin, understanding of genetics, and opportunity to 3D print organs opens serious opportunities in longevity, quality of life, and questions around ethics, hard to answer at this stage.

In Summary,

In some sense all sorts of combination of human-machine integration are on the horizon, not just artificial limbs and biocomputers. That would be an era of cyber-physical-biological confluence. And it could be very revolutionary.

Will his be the next revolution? what do you think?

If you like this blog post, you will like our monthly conversations on Innovation. You are invited to join by registering at www.inspiringnext.com/events

For a dedicated session for your company, please reach out to Ripi Singh directly.


[1] https://www.cipherbio.com/data-viz/organization/Intelligent%2BImplants

[2] EMOTIV x Rodrigo Hubner Mendes – Driving F1 car just by thinking, Aug 18, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhmXaeaHkDc 

[3] https://neuralink.com/

[4] http://www.ghbmc.com/ 

[5] CAE in Bio-Mechanics – Imagine Next? Ripi Singh, May 4, 2016, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cae-bio-mechanics-imagine-next-ripi-singh/

[6] https://www.elemance.com

Is it time for Industry 5.0?

Oh Really?

While most of us are still getting our hands around the fourth industrial revolution, we occasionally come across terms Industry 5.0 as return of the human touch or human-machine reconciliation or an attempt to address shortcomings of the fourth revolution. What do you think?

The Four Industrial Revolutions

Over the last three centuries, humanity has seen significant change in lifestyle, driven by three industrial revolutions. At this time in our history, we are going through the fourth revolution. Briefly

The first industrial revolution brought a change from handcrafted forms of production to the mechanization of production with steam engines or regenerative energy sources such as water.

The second industrial revolution triggered by electric power, enabled new industries and mechanical production engineering. We mastered the control of physical materials and products.

The third industrial revolution came from development of computers, which allowed automated control of industrial production and revolutionized data processing. We mastered the digital space.

In the fourth industrial revolution, we are beginning to harness the potential of digital physical integration. A good example of the digital physical integration is a self-driving car. The car gathers the data from multiple cameras and sensors to determine its position, velocity, and separation to other cars. It uses the data in real time to take physical actions with an intent to reach the destination without collision or discomfort. A similar change is happening in industrial manufacturing and maintenance. In addition, there is a growing desire to make these cyber-physical systems learn from experience, adopt to variation in inputs, make select decisions, and act autonomously to accomplish an objective.

The advent of automation, and artificial intelligence has created a general misconception that Industry 4.0 will make humans redundant. We think, it moves humanity to engage in more fulfilling and meaningful activities and take all sorts of repetitive hard work to machines. Over the last few decades concerns around excessive focus on machines taking over industrial processes for economic value creation has raised the eyebrows of forward-thinking leaders and those concerned about social conditions.

The Debate around the Fifth Industrial Revolution

There are a few definitions and descriptions emerging, all centered around human role and value. Let us look at a few.

Østergaard[1] founder of Universal Robots defined it as the human touch revolution in 2019. He says “The mass customization … enabled by Industry 4.0 is not enough. Because consumers want more. They want mass personalization, which can only be achieved when the human touch returns to manufacturing. This is what I call Industry 5.0.”

Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce said at the World Economic Forum “I see a crisis of trust in technology. In the Fifth Industrial Revolution, we’re going to have to have… a chief ethical and humane use officer. Are we using these technologies for the good of the world? You can’t do business in the Fourth Industrial Revolution without the trust of your employees and your customers and partners.” The Fourth Industrial Revolution might be taking humans out of industry but the fifth wants to put them back in.

It is being touted as the revolution in which man and machine reconcile and find ways to work together as a part of execution process to improve the means and efficiency of production. Come to think of it, the transition to Industry 4.0 is not overnight and organizations will go through slow acceptance, which means man-machine co-working during the adoption of Industry 4.0.

QUESTION – “Why aim to take the human out fully to achieve the 4th revolution and then bring the human back to go to 5th revolution. Why not blend the technology mindfully while adopting the 4th revolution?”

The claims that the developments of Industry 5.0 could fully realize what the architects of Industry 4.0 had only dreamt of at the dawn of the 2010s; do not make sense[2]. You do not need another revolution to complete the job of the previous one. That would be an evolution or continuous improvement or debugging and not a revolution.

A recently published report from European Commission defines Industry 5.0[3] as going beyond producing goods and services for profit. It shifts the focus from the shareholder value to stakeholder value and reinforces the role and the contribution of industry to society. It complements the existing “Industry 4.0” approach by specifically putting research and innovation at the service of the transition to a sustainable, human-centric, and resilient European industry. The concept is clearly related to Japanese definition of Society 5.0.

The best argument in support of Industry 5.0 to be defined separate from Industry 4.0 was articulated by Gauri and VanEerden[4] in May 2019, as a collaborative work of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum. “The main principles of the 5th revolution include profit with purpose, focus on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for achieving a flourishing future, closing the gender gap, and scaling, spreading, and becoming increasingly democratized.”

We like this a lot. We view it as refreshing thought process and not as an industrial revolution.

Cabe Atwell adds humor to the numbering scheme[5], “Industry is being “versioned” way too willy-nilly. We need versioning control! Without a better way of describing innovation in industry, we are doomed to see more “upgrading” of industry, since it is an attention-grabber. So, let me now coin the term “Industry 6.0,” where we never interface with any machine, person, or drafting table/setup. Instead, it’s all done in an app. We take a picture of a rough sketch and click “make it.”

In Summary,

The folks with technology and business focus are defining Industry 5.0 as effort to integrate humans with robots to meet the high demand for individual personalization or customization. We believe that can still be accomplished by ‘mindful digital transformation’ within industry 4.0 rather than obsession for automation and rush for gold.

The folks with heart are defining Industry 5.0 as outcome which is human centric, sustainable, and resilient. That could still be defined as ‘purposeful digital transformation’, where purpose is greater than economic metrics and includes social values. 

Either way, the term Industry 5.0 being described does not appear to be a technological revolution in a traditional industrial sense, but a re-acceptance of humanity that we may have been gradually losing with every industrial revolution, in our obsession for efficiency, productivity, and personal comfort.

I believe, these two philosophies can co-exist, and they look like

“Industry 5.0 = Industry 4.0 + Purpose (humanly)”

Is it time for Industry 5.0; what do you think?

For a dedicated session for your company, please reach out to Ripi Singh directly.


[1] Welcome to Industry 5.0, The “human touch” revolution is now underway, Quality Magazine, May 08, 2019, Esben H Ostergaard. https://www.qualitymag.com/authors/3148-esben-ostergaard

[2] Guide to Industry 4.0 & 5.0, https://gesrepair.com/industry-4-and-5/

[3] Industry 5.0: Towards more sustainable, resilient and human-centric industry, Jan 2021, https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/industry-50-towards-more-sustainable-resilient-and-human-centric-industry-2021-jan-07_en

[4] What the Fifth Industrial Revolution is and why it matters, Pratik Gauri, & Jim Van Eerden, May 16, 2019 https://europeansting.com/2019/05/16/what-the-fifth-industrial-revolution-is-and-why-it-matters/

[5] Yes, Industry 5.0 is Already on the Horizon, Cabe Atwell, https://www.machinedesign.com/automation-iiot/article/21835933/yes-industry-50-is-already-on-the-horizon , SEP 12, 2017

Has anyone ever built muscles by taking a tour of the gym?

Really?

Bringing innovation into an organization culture is like building a mental muscle. You cannot learn it online or through watching panel discussions amongst thought leaders. It requires sustained effort for long period of time, and painful learning.

Has anyone ever built muscles by taking a tour of the gym

Basic Physics behind an Organizational Behavior

Organizations seem to follow some basic principles of physics. For example

  • Friction: Opposing force resisting relative motion.
  • Inertia: Tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.
  • Gravity: Left to themselves, unsupported objects will fall to the ground.
  • Energy: The capacity for doing work.
  • Momentum: Impetus gained by a moving object.

When an individual or a team tries to get innovative, to change a process or product, essentially trying to move it from its current state to a different state; it encounters both friction and inertia. The team has to put in a lot of energy to get it moving, and to build and sustain the momentum.

Overcoming Inertia and Friction

Organizations have inertia and internal friction that will hold them back from a successful positive transition. But, if you can build momentum through proper infusion of energy, you can make a lasting enterprise-wide change.

Start by sending the right message to the 13% early adaptors, and they will join the 3% innovators already working in that direction. The 34% of early majority will need some kind of objective and training to follow through. The 34% late majority would need incentives and tangible rewards in addition to the objectives and capability training. Never mind the last 16% laggards and CAVE people, they will find a different role.

Building Momentum

In Volume-3, we discussed 4 tracks of activities to build an innovation profile. Consistent execution will help build the momentum.  Leadership needs to think of the following steps as a wheel

  1. Be clear about the Innovation Purpose, and the vision of success.
  2. Create, communicate, and use the two sheets of music, the Innovation Strategy (Roadmap), and the Dashboard to track the progress.
  3. Build the Innovation Capital, by investing in talent and knowhow.
  4. Inspire talent to engage in Innovation Activity to realize the roadmap.
  5. Keep Innovation Lean by aligning people, products, and markets.
  6. Recognize and reward teams for performance and learnings.
  7. Update the roadmap and dashboard annually and go back to step 2.

Keeprotating this flywheel and build a momentum that would be hard to stop. Purpose, strategy, and rewards provide the willingness to innovate. Capital and activities build the capability. Lean reduces internal friction. Collectively, they build the culture of innovation, over a few years. It is a mental muscle.

Just like a few workout sessions at the local gym won’t build your body muscle, a few successful projects won’t build the mental muscle of your organization. You will have to go through many projects, over the years, and slowly change the basic behavior. I get into conversations with senior leaders who think that a 2-day workshop on ideation or innovation is all they need, and after that, it will happen on its own. A 2-day workshop is just like taking a tour of the gym.

Lesson from the Coronavirus Pandemic

In March 2020, within 2 weeks, America went from business as usual to a complete stop, except essential services. The markets were shutdown, social distancing put in force, almost everyone working from home, no more parties, weddings postponed, no access to beaches, bars, or nightlife. The level of change that would normally take a decade was visible in a blink of an eye. Situation updates and restrictions were being brought into the workforce by the hour. What was at stake? Life. No one asked you to think or act Out of the Box. Your box was just crushed by the tiniest invisible life form, leaving everyone scrambling to find a new box to think in. Innovation was seen all across from primary life-saving equipment, to communication, to support structure. Innovation was not a struggle at all. Organizational leadership was open to all sorts of ideas to keep their employees safe and the business afloat. They were willing to quick test, follow any successful option, and learn.

Where did that innovation muscle strength came from? Life saving rush of Adrenaline!

In Summary,

There are many reasons, excuses, and myths about why innovation does not succeed. I concur with Bill Fischer that it never gets started or supported by leadership even if it starts. The primary struggle is a leadership mindset, which slowly erodes employee morale to innovate. In some sense companies have successfully managed to promote productivity performers to the leadership roles, putting innovators and innovation on the back seat. Will the pandemic change that? Will it mark the start of an innovator’s era with a very different form of struggle, the struggle to let innovators lead, for a while.

If you like this blog post, you will like my book series “Inspiring Next Innovation ….” available on Amazon and summarized in these book launch webinars on YouTube.

For Leaders –

Inspiring Next Innovation Purpose,

Available on Amazon Watch on YouTube                               

For Innovators –

Inspiring Next Innovation Value Chain,

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For Managers –

Inspiring Next Innovation Framework,

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For Leaders –

Inspiring Next Innovation Mindset,

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