5IR will see humanism thrive alongside profit and digitally-enabled progress

5IR will see humanism thrive alongside profit and digitally-enabled progress

Human purpose will drive 5IR

The evolution and the importance of value, goals and alignment are becoming a key driver of change as we move towards the 5th Industrial Revolution, says Alex Cresniov, Director of Deep Knowledge Analytics

01 August 2022

As businesses harness the rapid growth in technology and leverage it to their advantage, the importance of human innovation and embracing purpose cannot be underestimated.

For decades, the financial ecosystem has been relatively static, but as innovators disrupt businesses and forge a pathway to the 5th Industrial Revolution, we will see unprecedented technological change. Financial systems will adapt to keep pace with the global business landscape at a phenomenal rate.

Alex Cresniov

Alex Cresniov

However, whilst these changes allow businesses to evolve and shapeshift to meet customer demand, the narrative needs to switch to look at a company’s reason for existing and the way they move beyond a profit orientation to deliver value on a broader scale. Data does not have all the answers about how best businesses can serve the society in which they operate.

It has already been shown that purpose-driven companies are benefitting from global expansion, more products being launched, an engaged and passionate workforce, operational efficiency and ultimately, success. The businesses that do not embrace and demonstrate a clear purpose will lag as traditional business models are upended. Only when human innovation starts to influence their scale and power to benefit the wider society will we see a remarkable transformation.



None of us is sure what the future will hold, but the trajectory of progress in technology is evident. Digital disruption is the new normal. Covid-19 hastened the adoption of new digital technologies across all sectors by years in a matter of months. As a result, technology is now at the heart of businesses’ outlook, leadership mandates and capabilities.

Customers now have more power and demand better experiences. Interactions are seamless, quick, and possible across multiple channels, whether online or via a Smartphone. Platform-based businesses using cloud technologies remain central to these changes as companies transform and innovate in real-time.

What have these tectonic shifts led to? These digital improvements have enabled fresh business models and new consumer behaviour. Technological changes have led to new ways of delivering value, finding new customers, stimulating competition and blurring boundaries – all fuelled by data.

The 5IR will welcome a combination of human-machine collaboration

The 5IR will welcome a combination of human-machine collaboration

However, here, technology is an enabler rather than a driver. As we move into a post-pandemic world, the 5th Industrial Revolution is dawning and will see inclusivity, purpose, humanism, civility, and creativity thrive alongside profit and digitally-enabled progress.

Purpose matters now. It has always been in the background as technology has transformed. Still, the evolution and the importance of value, goals and alignment are becoming a key driver of change as we move towards the 5th Industrial Revolution.

According to our recently launched Longevity Industry Journal, the 5th Industrial Revolution is founded upon market readiness of DeepTech industries and commodities, and grounded in the recognition of the socially inclusive adoption of advanced technologies, as the key driver of quality of life and geosocial stability.



The core of the 4th Industrial Revolution resulted in the creation of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) – these intelligent systems are automated systems and devices embedded in software that are responsive and act independently. The development of advancements such as Big Data, the Internet of Things, AI, machine learning, and 3D printing followed.

This revolution has altered all business landscapes, from manufacturing to healthcare. Technology and the velocity of change are transforming the world in unforeseen ways. As we increasingly rely on AI, Big Data, IoT, VR and other CPS systems, businesses will need to move to a different model that combines human creativity and purpose with these changes. In addition, businesses will need to invest in communities and their commitment to offering something ‘more’ alongside their people and technology. Connecting with customers, employees, and stakeholders' emotions can create a different path.

Businesses will need to create a strategic framework with purpose at its core to propel impactful change. This vision and drive will be critical for gaining a competitive advantage.



American researcher and business consultant Jim Collins said: ‘Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is a matter of conscious choice.’

As the rate of technological change becomes more pronounced, financial companies must maintain their values because algorithms and data will never create the whole picture or lend themselves to the bigger picture. 2020 highlighted the importance of people and businesses making the right choices and leaning into the idea of action for a higher purpose. To move confidently into the Fifth Industrial Revolution, these values must be at the heart of any business for it to flourish.

When purpose becomes a driver of business with an innovative and strategic framework in place to push businesses to not only thrive but create a competitive advantage. They attract and retain the best talent, are more collaborative and agile and become trail-blazing. Shared purpose can offer tangible and transformational change.

Success needs to focus on a seamless combination of profits, people, and purpose – all leveraged by the considerable technological advances. However, despite the incredible momentum of technology, human creativity and purpose must remain firmly in the driving seat. Human innovation must tackle and solve challenges and problems as they arise to create deeper connections.

Companies will look to make conscious choices to create systems and places where purpose, profit, and people work in unity to build long-term value.

Therefore, the 5IR will welcome a combination of human-machine collaboration. Humans will be able to lead teams with empathy and creativity. To continue advancing, a new alliance will form to create businesses where both people, profits, and communities can prosper. 

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