As long as I've been a teacher, I have been told that we have left the industrial society and live in a knowledge society, a post-industrial society. Most recently, it was a new variation on this theme. A report by Kairos Future on the future role of the teacher says that "society is in a turbulent period of change from industrial society to a global society of thought." Some say that this began to happen in the 70's. The oil crisis in 1973 is seen as a breakpoint.
Seen from a horizon of the GDP, the major changes is that agriculture has been reduced a lot by great efficiency and public sector increased its service share so much. Staffing levels have decreased and increased.
The industry has not changed as mucch as these sectors.
Sure, some industries have moved out, which is part of the explanation for the decline from around 40% to 32%. At the same time China have been heavy industrialised.
Is it right to say that we have left or are leaving the industrial society and entered or are about to enter a knowledge society / global society of thought?
Industrial society, I would say has always been a knowledge society where innovation and research has led to theprogress of development. If we look at the major changes that occurred in the late 1800's when the light bulb and powerstation was invented by Edisson. One of his associates Nikola Tesla invented alternating current and alternating current generator. These two people came to mean much. Edisson is very famous, Tesla is poorly knowwn, but the question that maybe Tesla was the greatest of them. Please read http://computersweden.idg.se/2.2683/1.43947
"Tesla, the man who invented the 1900s" and http://www.tesla.nu/nt_quickfacts.asp
Tesla was a better mathematician than Edison but it is said that they had one thing in common: "The only Tesla and Edison had in common was that they only had a few hours of sleep per day. Often they worked up to three days in a row." When you just need to sleep a few hours per day, you can get further in their field and it has been so with several great scientists.
During the 1900s, this knowledge has been used and the whole world has been illuminated and thye light has totally changed the way people live.
That is what we see in the picture, we can thank Tesla for that. With AC you could locate power stations outside cities. If the world had followed Edison's idea all cities would have had a lot of small power plants with few blocks in between with a major impact on our environment and not as effective. This illuminating of our world is still continuing and is a result of the industrial society.
At the end of the 1900s, we also had a big change in commication with IT-technology plus our dear mobiles beloved over all thingsby our students. But all this is produced by the industrial society.
Industrial society has always been knowledge-based and has always developed the knowledge as the industrial societies development is based on the research and inventions. We can not distinguish between an industrial society and a knowledge society.
Can we really leave the industrial society that is the basis of our modern civilization?
Think about the projections of the future. By 2050, it will be another 2 billion people. They need housing, clothes, mobiles, plus various other things and foods produced using industrially produced agricultural machinery. Energy production needs to increase even if we in the West would be forced to lower our standard. More and more people want to have electricity. We have a continuing urbanization of the world's population and which means much tothe cities and its communication needs to expand and occasionally be replaced. Only an industrial society could develop this. It is impossible to leave the industrial society. Should we also start with some space tourism our industries are needed.
In another publication of "Kairos Future" they write about the big changes in the future.
"2013: The year of great change, to think differently or maybe in an opposite way"
"For decades, we have learned that future work is about service and knowledge
and that the industry is a thing of the past. We have also long since relegated the idea that the work runs out and we don´t need to work, such nonsense, we believe in no longer.
History has repeatedly shown how crazy it was. The jobs have not run out. "........
"At the same time the industry goes towards a conceptual renaissance where it is no longer seen as a relict from ancient times, but as the basis for a highly skilled knowledge society.
More and more areas start to yearn for a return of industrialization and David Cameron described this some time ago as one of the biggest challenges.
At the same time politicians talk about reindustrialisation industrial production also move home, albeit on a small scale. Esska has won pacifier manufacture
from Thailand, Stiga pulkproduktionen from China and even Apple has declared that
they'll take home manufacturing to the U.S.. More are in the way.
Finally, what is it we can compete with in the machine age? It is thinking
Perhaps the new black? And if so, are school and college prepared for one
thinking society? Not if you believe one of this fall's debates on DN Debate or
American analysis Academically Adrift. "
How then, will teachers meet this future? It is discussed by Kairos Future and we'll come back to it.
Would probably say that our society has never left the industrial stage, but it has been complemented with IT-technologies and knowledge continues to increase.
And the whole world is still dependent on Tesla's elegant inventions.