Chancellor Angela Merkel hinted recently that her government is willing to consider spending to stimulate growth in the German and E.U. economy.
The chancellor said she was particularly interested in investment in the “digital sphere” and the transition of the energy sector into a renewable energy mix. Her remarks are timely, as the economic discussion in European capitals is quickly turning to the new theme of erecting a green high-tech “Digital Europe” to integrate a European Union single market and put the continent and its partnership regions on a long term course toward a sustainable low-carbon economy.
The digitalization of the European space involves much more than providing seamless broadband, more reliable Wi-Fi and a flow of Big Data. The digitalization of economic life is ushering a new economic system onto the world stage. The digital economy is beginning to revolutionize the global economy, disrupting the workings of virtually every industry, and bringing with it unprecedented new economy opportunities and business models.
To grasp the enormity of the economic change taking place, we need to understand the technological forces that have given rise to new economic systems throughout history. Every great economic paradigm requires three elements, each of which interacts with the other to enable the system to operate as a whole: a communication medium, a power source, and a transportation mechanism. Together, these three operating systems make up what economists call a general purpose technology platform.
Now, the communication Internet is converging with a digitalized renewable energy Internet and a digitalized logistics and transportation Internet, creating a super Internet of Things platform for a Third Industrial Revolution.