by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – THE fifth industrial revolution (5IR) has been the prevailing theme as the Digital Energy Festival for Africa kicked off on an inspiring and optimistic note.
“I see 5IR as working at the intersection of technology and purpose,” said Pratik Gauri, the president of the 5th Element Group, a global impact management consultancy.
He was part of a masterclass on “5IR, Energy, and Humanity” by Africa Energy Forum on the first day of the Digital Energy Festival for Africa.
“There have been two worlds in 4IR that have been pretty much operating in silos,” the expert said.
Gauri explained the first “world” had been centred around profits and progress (mostly private sector). The second “world” has been centred on purpose and inclusivity (philanthropy or not-for-profit).
“I believe that magic can be produced if we can work at the intersection of both these worlds and this is what I call the 5th Industrial Revolution,” Gauri said.
Gauri insisted on the need to transcend to 5IR on the basis that previous revolutions had given humanity a lot of technology and invention but it caused a lot of harm as well.
The harmful effects include gender equality.
More than 1 billion people still do not have access to electricity, lack access to water and education as well as best by carbon dioxide emissions.
“For all these reasons we need to bend the focus of technology towards humanity to create the 5th Industrial Revolution.”
According to Gauri, 5IR will also assist in achieving several of the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals.
Simon Gosling, EnergyNet Managing Director, spoke about the role and impact of electricity in economic development and growth.
He viewed the move from 4IR to 5IR more as an evolution than a revolution, “using the benefits of the 4IR.”
In the forum this year, new technologies would be discussed including long range wireless transmission.
“Electrification for the entire continent can be achieved in ten years if this technology is adopted,” Gosling said.
The project is currently being developed in New Zealand.
Tony Tiyou, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Renewables in Africa (RIA), led the discussion.
Clarion Events’ leading energy brands – Africa Energy Forum, African Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa and the Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly – jointly organize the Digital Energy Festival.
It will run until November 26.
– CAJ News