We are in the brink of use new technology advancements that will significantly change how we live, work and relate with each other. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution (called Industry 4.0), we have been developing technologies, such as AI, virtual reality, big data, quantum computing and biotech, with unprecedented capabilities and unknown future uses. These new technologies can infuse the “physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human” (Schwab, 2019). We do not fully know the scale, scope and complexity of these impacts, which can create a better world or destroy human existence.
Change management has started, prompting we are starting the Fifth Revolution (industry 5.0), reacting and responding to the technological impacts of Industry 4.0. Creating trust in how technology is designed, commercialised and used; ensuring technology for social good and avoid destroying lives and planet will become the two most important change management drivers in the world of Industry 5.0. So is identifying and mitigating the existential risks of technology uses (especially among geopolitical power brokers), together with ensuring there is fairness in sharing benefits among all stakeholders, direct and indirect. As our future can change for good and bad, ensuring ethics and good governance, including engaging with affected stakeholders, becomes ever so most important in how we design, commercialise and use the technologies from this day forward.
Capitalising on these new Industry 4.0 and 5.0 technologies, GAIN International is collaborating to partner with Ratepayers Australia Inc, to engage in digital innovation, using both existing and revolutionary future technologies, notably blockchain, to develop governance oversight tools that any stakeholder in Local Governments can use to help future-proof ethical and good governance conduct and practice in our local councils. This partnership will restructure Ratepayers Australia to become a Chapter in GAIN international, specialising in developing digital governance innovations for the local government sector. Victoria is recognised as the leading state in developing governance reforms in local government.
We will be leveraging its current reform agenda, the Victorian Local Government Bill 2019, to provide the baseline ethics and governance framework knowledge and functional requirements, to develop the new digital governance tools. The development strategy will involve using today’s cloud computing technology, however architecturally configured to provide future blockchain platform services that will increase value add to future-proofing ethical conduct and good practices in local councils.