The Third Industrial Revolution begins with a dire premise. The global economy will continue to exist in tatters for decades, extreme political movements will fail to deliver us from the brink, and climate change will further exacerbate our journey to extinction. The remainder of this feature-length documentary/lecture from VICE focuses on possible solutions devised by acclaimed economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin.
With insights taken from his book of the same name, Rifkin addresses a crowd of inquisitive onlookers on a variety of issues, including the need to adopt new mainstream sources of energy, communication and transportation. These are the building blocks of a modern industrial revolution, he argues, and the only hope for salvation from an oncoming economic and environmental Armageddon.
Rifkin illustrates the need for a third industrial revolution by outlining the origins of our previous two. As radical as it may seem, this new revolution is actually a natural evolution from these prior economic models.
Meaningful, long-term growth can no longer be achieved through reliance on antiquated infrastructures. The new economic model must be powered by the internet of things - digital communication, renewable energy sources and autonomous modes of transportation. This emerging infrastructure will provide the central nervous system that unites the world, drives entrepreneurism, closes the wealth divide, empowers future generations through the sharing of information, and lowers cost while enhancing productivity.
The road to a fully functioning sharing economy is not without its pitfalls. It could be hijacked by net neutrality regulations, clouded transparency and corporations who seek to undermine a democratized system through monopoly.
But the wheels are progress cannot be contained. In order to ensure survival given our current challenges, this radical new system must be enforced quickly. China and Europe are on the frontline of these efforts. They have been aggressive in their adoption of wind and solar energy, and in constructing an infrastructure that can properly manage and distribute these resources in the digital age.
Driven by Rifkin's beautifully articulated insights, The Third Industrial Revolution is a must watch for viewers who want to understand our potential for future greatness and the threats against progress that we must confront along the way.