The increasing rapidity of knowledge economy growth was outlined at the first session of the Knowledge Summit 2018, which commenced today (Wednesday, December 5, 2018) at Dubai World Trade Centre, under the theme “Youth and the Future of the Knowledge Economy”.
Opening the two-day event – an annual initiative of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) – Dr Boris Cizelj, President of the Knowledge Economy Network, highlighted that innovations are taking an exponentially reducing timescale time to reach mass markets in a session titled “Knowledge Economy Between Past, Present and Future”.
“The telephone took 50 years to reach a market of 50 million people, the mobile phone took 12 years, YouTube four, Facebook three and Twitter only two years. This really shows the acceleration of change – it is difficult to imagine it, but we are experiencing it and we have to adapt to it,” said Dr Cizelj.
Discussing how change had been a human experience ever since the very first societies were formed, Dr Cizelj revealed the three main revolutions that had defined mankind’s progress to date, with the fourth being one that was currently underway.
“In ancient times, the destiny of communities depended on the wisdom and capabilities of leaders. There were many followers and very few innovators. The First Industrial Revolution gave us the steam engine and the Second Industrial Revolution gave us electricity, both of which reduced our physical burden and started the trend towards emphasising the acquisition of knowledge, intelligence and skills,” he said.
“Now with the Third Industrial Revolution, we have a computer-based information society where many operations depend on a man-made machine called the computer. What we are experiencing now, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Artificial Intelligence, is that we have gone one step further. Many quite demanding cognitive processes are now being dealt with by computers. We have robots and super robots that in the minds of some people are endangering our jobs, but actually this is not the case. They are mostly taking over repetitive jobs leaving more space for us humans to use our emotional intelligence and to undertake creative tasks,” he added.
The Knowledge Summit 2018 brings together more than 100 speakers including experts, decision makers and stakeholders from around the world in more than 45 discussion panels, exploring topics related to the youth, the knowledge economy, and ways to transform societies from knowledge consumers to knowledge producers.