Federico Butera

Technology, organisation and work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The renaissance of socio-technical design

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What are the consequences of the 4th industrial revolution? The pessimists predict the loss of competitiveness of entire nations, the dramatic disappearance of companies, the replacement of a large number of jobs by technology. The optimists believe that digital technologies may perhaps destroy the current forms of city, business and work, but they will constitute other better ones, as in previous industrial revolutions. This essay proposes a reversed perspective: from the effects of technology to new integrated design of technology, organization, work m people development. New technologies certainly may upset the present situations, but only the design will configure new cities, new companies, new organizations, new companies and above all quality and quantity of work. The proposed actions are based on three key points: a) Public and private industrial policies that may affect the variables for growth; b) Exemplar projects of new socio-technical systems that jointly optimize economic prosperity, sustainability and quality of working life; c) Participatory methodologies where different collective actors design and implement toghether complex systems at various level on the base of agreed parameters and with the participation of people.


  • Digitalization
  • Automation
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Industria 4.0
  • Socio-Technical Design
  • New Jobs and New Skills
  • Participation


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