Why Advanced Technology?

Industrial revolutions have shaped the contours of wealth and power over the past 200 years. ROW believes we are on the brink of unprecedented transformation — what the World Economic Forum calls the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Several advanced technologies are driving this transformation, including but not limited to artificial intelligence, 3D printing (and digital fabrication writ large), the internet of things, blockchain, brain-computer interface, robotics, and virtual/augmented reality. We are particularly interested in two trends that are manifesting in this new industrial revolution:

Besides reducing costs and driving efficiency, technological advances over the coming decades could allow us to shape new models of economic organization. We believe closed, centralized, top-down industry structures will continue to be disrupted by open, distributed, peer-to-peer forms of production. With the right partnerships, investments, and vision, there are opportunities here to forge inclusive development strategies for those affected by fragility and conflict. Opportunities to unleash innovation and entrepreneurship by a broader range of socioeconomic groups, thus reducing unemployment and inequality. Opportunities, we believe, to facilitate self-reliance, creative expression, and the pursuit of purpose and identity.