New strategies are necessary for socioeconomic inclusivity and sustainable development given the novelty of the era of Society 5.0 combined with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
In this era, the fusing of biological, ecological, physical, technological and sociopolitical worlds is facilitated and accelerated through digitalised technology platforms, says University of Pretoria’s Graduate School of Technology Management professor Joe Amadi-Echendu.
He adds that a consequence of the fusing is that cyber physical, ecology and environment, as well as socioeconomic systems, have become increasingly interdependent and inextricably interwoven.
It is increasingly acknowledged that human civilization has now entered a novel era of Society 5.0 with 4IR.
“Society 5.0 is a core concept which has been formally adopted in Japan with the aim to create a human-centric society in which both economic development and the resolution of societal challenges are achieved.”
“The Society 5.0 concept follows the conflation of the preceding four societies that characterized human civilizations, such as; Society 1.0 – hunting and gathering existence, Society 2.0 – agriculture-driven subsistence, Society 3.0 – industrialised commerce, and Society 4.0 – information driven globalisation,” he says.
Further, the Society 5.0 concept also encompasses the assertion that 4IR features a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.
The era of Society 5.0 alongside 4IR has also been described by trendy management acronym “VUCA” (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous).
This implies that the novel era features unanticipated and unstable changes, cause and effect uncertainty, vagarious hyper interconnectivity and inter-communicability and unknown unknowns, he notes.
Amadi-Echendu explains that the hyper connectivity and inter-communicability result in an Information of Everything, which is the pervading cliché of this novel era.
It is presumed that the impetus for civilisation in the era of Society 5.0 combined with 4IR will be grounded in a renewed ethos of human- centred society, within which 4IR technologies are incorporated and tantalizingly deployed into every sphere of human endeavour.
“It is acknowledged that 4IR technologies proffer exponential possibilities in a manner that accentuates interdependency and inextricable interweaving of socioeconomic systems such as governance, industry, commerce and markets, with cyber physical systems such as education, energy, health and transportation with ecology and the environment.”
“In addition, the renewed human-centred ethos in the era of Society 5.0 and 4IR affords human beings the capability to resolve challenges such as socioeconomic inclusivity and sustainable development,” he says.