A new revolution is on the rise. It is technical, driven by internet and the 3D writer, open platforms and Massive Open Online Courses. The Marie-Antoinettes of this revolution are most of the Fortune 500 corporations we all admire. General Electric may well endure, with a work force of a couple of thousand people. General Motors is probably smaller than that.
The transportation industries shrink too, as they move from transporting gadgets back and forth to delivering the raw materials we need for our writers.
Talents will no longer be trapped on the wrong side of the walls we use today to keep them away from competing with us. Education will be available to many more by the internet. Free courses are here to stay because the cost of teaching 40 students is roughly equal to the cost of teaching 40 000 students from all around the world.
The last revolution is over a hundred years away. We stopped farming to become factory workers, clerks, hairdressers and everything else the city needs. It was a slow evolution. This one will be much faster. More like the one that overtook Marie Antoinette.
The question is not “is this going to happen?” It is already is. You just don’t see it yet. But it gives rise to a whole lot of important questions. What are all these people going to do? Does this mean cities continue to grow because that is where you get the innovative climate you need to develop great things, or can that trend be reversed? What is the role of corporations in this new landscape? Will the “organization” as we know it be replaced by the verb “organizing”?
We cannot let engineers alone do this thinking. The European Institute of Behavioral Analysis indents to be part of this discussion.