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Book project: Next Europe

Book project: Technology in charge

I am happy to announce that I will write my fifth book this year, focusing on the upcoming wave of technological innovations that will radically change our world.

Since I started working at the GSMA in 2016, I have had little time to write (hence the silence on this blog), but all the more opportunities to learn. Though I have always been interested in technology (for instance resulting in a stint at Google), I now have a rare privilege to work directly on future automation of our lives. The GSMA, the trade association of the mobile industry, aims to connect everyone and everything to a better future. This includes in my case preparing the advent of self-driving cars, the roll-out of mobile health services, European drone policies and the list goes on.

The dive has been so deep and fascinating that I almost forgot my background: I am a historian, an observer, a writer and a journalist (it’s all one and the same thing, of course). I love to share insights on how the world functions and operates. After nearly two years working on European mobile communication policies, I feel it’s now time to write these observations down (while continuing to work at the GSMA – it is a great organisation).

Fourth Industrial Revolution

So in September 2019, my new book will be published with a focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is now taking off (Industrie 4.0 is a concept invented in Germany). This involves basically the coming together of a range of technologies and the integration of these into industries and services, leading to first a more automated and efficient economy, but foremost to a complete overhaul of our societies.

As one colleague of mine predicted: “The next twenty years, more will change than in the past hundred years.” And this colleague is not a self-proclaimed ‘futurist’ who daydreams about robots replacing bees, but a very experienced mobile industry expert.

Self-driving cars are just the start of this upcoming Revolution. What to think of millions of drones and unmanned vehicles who will occupy our skies in the not-too-distant future? The 3D printing of organs? Downloading your memories? What will happen then to human workers, as we may no longer be needed? (hint: experiences of previous industrial revolutions disprove such assumptions time and again) And is technology really in charge once we grow old, or can we always ‘pull the plug’ if needed?

In the book, I want to address a range of topics, questions and dilemmas, such as:

  • Quick guide into the main buzzwords such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G, Internet of Things, Robotisation, Big Data, VR/AR, biotech, nanotech, quantum mechanics
  • Are robots going to take over your job?
  • Will computers become smarter than humans?
  • Will the Fourth Industrial Revolution lead to more inequality?
  • Can we stop the blurring of reality and fiction?
  • Can Europe decide to ignore the Revolution?
  • Social acceptance of new technologies
  • Can we solve major problems in the world thanks to the Fourth Industrial Revolution? (Think climate change, food security, ageing populations)
  • What skills are needed in the world of tomorrow?
  • Preparing organisations and businesses
  • The future: a merging of physical, digital and biological worlds

Call for experts / sources

The next months are reserved for research on all these topics. In case readers want to recommend experts to interview, sources to read or innovative factories to visit, please write me at contact@euwatcher.eu.