The Fourth Industrial Revolution Book Summary, by Klaus Schwab

Want to learn the ideas in The Fourth Industrial Revolution better than ever? Read the world’s #1 book summary of The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab here.

Read a brief 1-Page Summary or watch video summaries curated by our expert team. Note: this book guide is not affiliated with or endorsed by the publisher or author, and we always encourage you to purchase and read the full book.

Video Summaries of The Fourth Industrial Revolution

We’ve scoured the Internet for the very best videos on The Fourth Industrial Revolution, from high-quality videos summaries to interviews or commentary by Klaus Schwab.

1-Page Summary of The Fourth Industrial Revolution


When most people hear the phrase “industrial revolution,” they think of steam-powered machines and railroads. But there have been three industrial revolutions, with a fourth currently happening.

The fourth industrial revolution is transforming the world at a much faster pace than previous revolutions. It’s having a more profound impact on society and industry, as well. We’re now seeing incredible technologies like self-driving cars and 3D printing, along with robots that can follow instructions very precisely. And fields that have never interacted are joining to produce unimaginable results. It’s essential for you to understand this new era of technology because it will change your life in many ways over the coming years.

The author will discuss three key points in the following paragraphs. First, he’ll talk about a new material that’s stronger than steel and thinner than hair. Second, he’ll explain why automation actually creates more jobs instead of replacing them. Finally, he’ll talk about what we can expect from the future.

Big Idea #1: Three industrial revolutions have already transformed our world, and humanity is now experiencing a fourth.

About 10,000 years ago, a great shift in the history of humanity took place. Humans stopped foraging and hunting and instead began to farm. This was a significant change because it marked the beginning of agriculture—the agrarian revolution. The first industrial revolution occurred when humans started using mechanical power rather than sheer human muscle. These developments included the development of steam power and railroads from 1760-1840.

The second industrial revolution started in the late nineteenth century and continued into the first half of the twentieth. It was characterized by mass production, assembly lines, and electrified power.

The third industrial revolution is often referred to as the computer revolution or the digital revolution. These terms refer to computers, semiconductors, and the internet.

The first industrial revolution occurred in the eighteenth century. It was a time of great change, as it saw the development of machines that replaced manual labor and allowed for mass production. The second industrial revolution happened in the nineteenth century and led to even more technological advancements—this time with electricity playing a major role. The third industrial revolution took place in the twentieth century and featured computers, robotics, space travel etc., but it’s been overtaken by what we’re experiencing now: fourth-generation technologies like mobile internet, better sensors (that are making devices smaller) and machine learning programs (which can learn from data).

This new industrial revolution is different from the first three in that it encompasses a number of different fields, such as material science and nanotechnology. It also connects these fields to each other across digital, physical and biological platforms.

The fourth industrial revolution will be different from the previous three. We can summarize how it’s different through a number of key points, which we’ll explore in more detail later on.

Big Idea #2: The fourth industrial revolution is faster, broader and more impactful than any of those that preceded it.

You’ve learned that the fourth industrial revolution is underway. It’s happening at a faster pace and having more of an impact than previous revolutions, which were also disruptive to society.

The revolution is moving very fast because the world is more interconnected and richer in technology than ever before.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Book Summary, by Klaus Schwab