The fourth industrial revolution – commonly referred to as 4IR – is here, and whether you realise it or not, it’s transforming your life in subtle and powerful ways all the time.
But what exactly is 4IR? What does it mean for South Africa? What does it mean for its people, for its politics and economics, and for its future? In this, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) brand-new, entirely 4IR-focused digital magazine, “Beyond Imagining”, we explore the ins and outs of this phenomenon and try to answer some of the many questions it raises.
The words in these pages are a small sampling of the huge amount of research that UJ’s educators and students are undertaking in the 4IR space. The university is proud to be initiating the kind of in-depth academic analysis and investigation that 4IR demands, and to be shouldering the responsibility of exploring, debating and acting on the best responses to it.
This edition and those that follow will examine this exciting and unpredictable era, and the way it is affecting everything from how we work and how we interact with our surroundings, to what we think and what we create. In this edition specifically, we’ll be looking at education and what 4IR means for South Africa’s schools and tertiary institutions. One thing’s for sure: 4IR is disrupting everything – and the time to learn about it is now.