The book’s formidable title The Third Industrial Revolution emphasizes the scope of change required. Rivkin endorses harnessing earth’s energies for renewable power as an alternative to extracting finite and polluting forms such as oil and coal. The revolution is based on five pillars which will each call for extensive research, development and infrastructure work. Many job opportunities will arise for engineers, scientists, information technologists and entrepreneurs as well as construction workers and technicians.
The pillars are:
~The switchover to a range of renewable energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal and biofuel technologies.
~The adaptation of all structures, homes, office buildings, schools etc to be energy producing – little power plants in themselves.
~The development of hydrogen and other storage technologies to contain the energy generated.
~The development of an Internet based grid or network to share this power among all participants. Instead of generating power, existing power companies would manage the distribution through this network so that excess power in one area could be instantly shunted to another area in need.
~The transformation of all vehicles to electric and fuel cell technology that allows them to generate their own power that could be shared or bought and sold on an interactive grid.
Does this sound like science fiction? What would you have thought twenty years ago if someone told you what we would do with telephones? Some cities and countries in Europe are already moving in the direction advocated by Rivkin. With his advice, Rome has developed a forty year master plan to restore the ancient city and make it cleaner and more liveable by adopting the five pillars. The tiny country of Monaco has commited to becoming self-sustaining energy wise while still preserving their architectural qualities by utilizing new technologies such as small photovoltaic cells incorporated into terracotta roof tiles and shutters. I can’t begin to encompass Rivkin’s vision in this blog, but the adoption of clean power and the idea of sharing with each other instead of climbing over each other, radically alters the way mankind will interact in the future. The playing field is leveled and the advantage finally goes to the person that can do the best work, has the best ideas. This is already happening in the music industry and coming soon for publishing. It is so refreshing to read something hopeful for a change, and thrilling to hear of a respected teacher at Wharton School’s Executive Education Program lecturing about the need for us to better align with nature. I hope you can have a look at this book.