Yesterday’s Innovation Forum “The New Industrial Revolution” was a whirlwind presentation of all of the changes taking place in the way people design, evaluate, and produce in our society. To say that there are a multitude of changes is almost an understatement. Probably the most important thing to know is the revolution not brewing but is actually happening now.
Here’s a few of the changes that mark this revolution:
- Companies like Quirky are bypassing traditional models of design and manufacturing to enable anyone (not just engineers and not just large corporations) to invent, develop, and produce new products.
- Easy-to use-tools and training workshops at companies like TechShop put the resources into everyone’s hands to realize an idea without having to invest in expensive equipment.
- Crowdsourcing through companies such as Crowdspring is enabling companies and entrepreneurs to pull together the best development teams from anywhere in the world on a project by project basis.
- Intelligent materials hold the promise of buildings and products that can construct themselves from the ground up.
- Corporations such as Ford taking better advantage of their employee pool, those who are not traditionally in R&D, by providing access to company labs that allow them to play and explore.
- Non-traditional funding sources such Kickstarter and other crowdfunding companies are making it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital.
Changes such as these and others that are democratizing design and production, may lead to “beautiful, advanced factories that are empty”, according to Jen McCabe, Hardware Sorceress. But more importantly, invention and manufacturing is now available to anyone. You don’t have to be an engineer to take an idea to fruition.
Watch the full session and learn about some of the other revolutionary changes that are taking place today and those that are just around the corner.