The future of work

A collection of research.


The next industrial revolution is happening all around us, transforming the way we make things and what our products can do.

Three forces are converging to shape this transformation:

  • The meshing of the physical and digital worlds through the Industrial Internet.
  • The emergence of new design and production techniques and new materials in manufacturing.
  • The shifting role that human beings are playing in the production process.

Machines, data, and people are increasingly connecting for better, faster, safer, and more reliable performance. In this series, I and others explore what the digital transformation of industry means for growth, for competitiveness, and for employment.

This is the future of work.

Click here for summary cards of our library.

We tackle this question in three ways:

  • The vision: Articulating the value for the world.
  • By region: Exploring dynamics across the globe.
  • By industry: How these trends are transforming industrial sectors.

Our work is below, and I’ll continue to keep this updated as we produce more, and you can click here for summary cards of our library. For email updates with regular analysis and explainers, please subscribe at http://invent.ge/economics. I welcome your ideas and reactions here or on Twitter at @marcoannunziata.

The vision

Articulating the value at stake for the world.

The workforce of the future: Advanced manufacturing’s impact on the global economy by John Paul Soltesz, Marni Rutkofsky, Karen Kerr, and Marco Annunziata (April 2016).

From 3-D printing to robotics, technology is rapidly transforming the
manufacturing industry. This study by GE and Oxford Economics suggests that advanced manufacturing jobs are higher-paying and support a greater number of jobs in the supply chain. Have a look at this infographic for details.

The moment for industry by Marco Annunziata (September 2015).

The development of an industrial app economy will bring speed and scale to Industrial Internet adoption. By 2025, we estimate the Industrial Internet will be worth $8.6 trillion a year — more than double the value of the consumer internet. Read my post on it here.

The value of interconnectedness: Toward a new kind of industrial company by Marco Annunziata (October 2014).

Companies that position themselves at the intersection of digital and physical within industry become fundamentally different from traditional industrial companies — just like interconnected devices are fundamentally different from their non-connected versions. This piece estimates how their market valuations should accordingly shift. Read my post on it here.

The future of work by Marco Annunziata and Stephan Biller (April 2014).

This paper builds out more analysis of the three trends transforming industry — Industrial Internet, Advanced Manufacturing, and the Global Brain — and introduces a breakdown of the Brilliant Factory. Read our joint post here.

The Industrial Internet @ Work by Marco Annunziata and Peter C. Evans (October 2013).

This paper digs deeper into how the Industrial Internet is transforming the way people service and maintain industrial equipment, medical devices and other machines, and outlines a vision of no unplanned downtime.

Industrial Internet: Pushing the boundaries of minds and machines by Peter C. Evans and Marco Annunziata (November 2012).

Our seminal paper on the Industrial Internet. This introduces the “Power of One Percent”, which demonstrates the productivity gains at stake if industry, by integrating heavy machinery with cloud-based analytics, can become just 1 percent more efficient. Some more coverage here.

“Within a decade, the Industrial Internet will be worth more than twice the consumer Internet — and a new breed of digital industrial companies will deliver faster innovation and growth than industry has ever seen before.”

By region

Examining dynamics across the globe.

Why digitizing industry will create more and better jobs in India by Marco Annunziata and Nitin Bhate (October 2016).

The fourth industrial revolution plays to India’s strengths. The country has a natural advantage in digital technologies, ahead of many other countries. Combining digital and industrial can redefine what industrialization actually means for countries such as India. It means digital connectivity, new materials and smart manufacturing. And it also means traditional manufacturing and vocational skill development. Here are some quick highlights from the study, and Nitin and I also summarize top findings in a post on Mint.

How Europe can lead the next industrial revolution by Marco Annunziata (June 2016).

If Europe can digitally transform its industries and infrastructure, it can reap massive rewards in growth and job creation even amidst volatility. I estimate that by 2025, the Industrial Internet can deliver a value of $1.7 trillion in additional EU GDP.

Building strong workforces to power Africa’s growth: The future of work in Africa by Marco Annunziata and Shlomi Kramer (July 2015).

The combination of Africa’s demographic dividend and the new industrial revolution provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the region’s economic development. In this paper, we outline opportunities for African leaders to lay the basis for faster and sustainable job creation within this context. Read more on this from me and from GE Africa CEO Jay Ireland.

The future of work in Korea: A new strategy for growth by Marco Annunziata (July 2015).

Korea is a poster child for economic development: it is one of the few countries that escaped the “middle-income trap” and graduated to high income levels. But the country has suffered a widening productivity gap vis-à-vis its competitors. To establish a leading position for the coming decades, Korea needs a new growth model — built on the Future of Work.

Mapping the future of work in MENAT: A 2015 outlook by Marco Annunziata and Rania Rostom (April 2015).

Mapping the future of work in MENAT by Marco Annunziata and Rania Rostom (October 2014).

The creative disruption of these converging technological trends can help Middle Eastern countries create good jobs for young and growing populations; improve living standards by improving healthcare service delivery; and reduce energy consumption and cut subsidies — a major drain on public budgets — without imposing an undue burden on the population.

The future of work in Turkey: Tomorrow welcomes today where East meets West (November 2014).

These waves of innovation are coming just as Turkey’s economy has reached a critical turning point. Here’s how it can harness them to avoid falling into the middle-income trap.

By Marco Annunziata; Murat Uçer, Economist, Co-founder Datamonitor, Faculty at Department of Economics, Koc University; Metin Under, Journalist Assoc. Prof. Selim Balcısoy, Entrepreneur & Faculty at Engineering & Natural Sciences, Sabancı University; Prof. Ahmet Duyar, Entrepreneur & Faculty at Mechanical Engineering, Ozyegin University; Berrin Benli, Founder Innovation & Big Data Institute; Halil Aksu, Entrepreneur & Futurist; Sait Olmez, PhD, Entrepreneur & Director of IT & Data Analytics Graduate Program, Sabancı University.

The future of work in Australia: Building the third wave of growth by Marco Annunziata and Shlomi Kramer (November 2014).

As mining and resource booms slow, Australia’s focus on operating expenditure and productivity will naturally increase. The digitization of industry can reboot efficiency and competitiveness in Australia’s traditional areas of strength, notably in commodities and energy.

The state of European innovation by Marco Annunziata, Hugh Gillanders, Chris Haenen, Simon Hemsworth, and JP Soltesz (October 2014).

Industrial Internet: A European perspective by Marco Annunziata (June 2013).

Years after the global financial crisis, Europe’s recovery still sputters. But the region is uniquely positioned to harness the power of the Future of Work. This wave of innovations is intrinsically based on openness and collaboration — values at the very heart of the European project.

Finally, here is a note I wrote on the Future of Work in the Developing World for the 2015 Brookings Blum Roundtable.

“The accelerating pace of digital-industrial innovation can help developing economies leapfrog existing technologies and more quickly gain competitiveness in the global marketplace.”

By industry

How these trends are transforming industrial sectors.

Digital future of oil & gas and energy by Marco Annunziata (February 2016).

The sharp decline in oil prices has placed them squarely at the center of the global economic debate. But more important is that the oil and gas market is undergoing a deeper and more complex transformation, one that will have powerful repercussions over the coming decades. Read more here.

Powering the future: Leading the digital transformation of the power industry by Marco Annunziata and Ganesh Bell (September 2015).

Imagine: A future of energy that realizes the goal of ubiquitous access to clean, reliable, sustainable and secure electricity, while fostering economic growth through the creation of new energy ecosystems. The convergence of digital and physical technologies brings this within reach.

Marine’s digital revolution by Marco Annunziata and Shlomi Kramer (September 2015).

Digital innovation will allow ship operators to position themselves for better growth and margins in the decades to come. They can enhance routing and the speed and efficiency of maintenance and repairs, improve fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability, and help cope with the shortage of skills caused by an aging workforce.

“Thanks to the digital-industrial revolution, industry is in a position to experience a rapid pace of sophisticated innovation that can lay the basis for renewed sustainable growth and profitability for the next several decades.”

For more debate and discussion on the next industrial revolution and what it means for work across industries and across the globe, please visit our GE Reports blog.

And finally … to sign up for my analyses and musings, subscribe at http://invent.ge/economics.