Professor Peter Kelly presents: "Young People and the Coming of the Third Industrial Revolution: The Self as Enterprise after the GFC, after neo-Liberalism"
Recent commentary has extolled the virtues of a so-called Third Industrial Revolution (TIR). The First Industrial Revolution emerged in England at the end of the 18th century and was powered by steam; the Second Industrial Revolution emerged in the US at the start of the 20th century and was powered by electricity (the First and Second revolutions are machined based and fueled by carbon); the Third Industrial Revolution emerges globally, will be digital, bio-genetic and post-carbon.
The paper suggests that the digitisation of manufacturing processes (in ways that mimic the digitisation of other sectors of the economy); the emergence of large scale 3D printing/additive manufacturing technologies using new materials (carbon-fibre composites) and bio-genetic and nano-technologies; and a profound up-scaling of labour-replacing automation technologies in other sectors of the economy, will pose numerous challenges and opportunities for young people’s education, training and work in the coming decades.
The paper argues that a concern with a ‘lost generation’ in the wake of the 2008-2009 GFC, while challenging and profound, should be ‘augmented’ with a longer-term view of the futures that we make and leave to young people. Futures, if made in the image of a rapacious capitalism, will be concerned mainly with costs/efficiencies/profits and the commodification of everything, fuelled by the Internet of Things, and digitally and bio-genetically energised.
Professor Peter Kelly
Peter Kelly is Director of the Centre for Education, Training and Work in the Asian Century, in the School of Education at RMIT University. He is a social theorist/social researcher who has published extensively on young people, the practice of youth studies, social theory and globalisation. His current research interests include a critical engagement with young people and new cultures of education/work/democracy in the context of the Great Recession, austerity and the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.
He has published extensively on young people and the practice of youth studies. His books include, Working in Jamie’s Kitchen: Salvation, Passion and Young Workers (2009), The Self as Enterprise: Foucault and the “Spirit” of 21st Century Capitalism (2013), The Moral Geographies of Children, Young People and Food: Beyond Jamie’s School Dinners (2014), A Critical Youth Studies for the 21st Century (2015), Young People and the Aesthetics of Health Promotion: Beyond Reason, Rationality and Risk (2016), and Neo-Liberalism and Austerity: The Moral Economies of Young people’s health and Well-Being (2016).