The rapid rise of ‘intelligent assets’ could lead to facilitate the decoupling of resource consumption from economic development and accelerate the transition towards the circular economy, according to a report published today by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The report, Intelligent Assets: Unlocking the circular economy potential, noted that with up to 50 billion connected devices predicted by 2020, a pervasive digital transformation is reshaping the economy.
“Digital technologies are driving a profound transformation of our economy,” explained Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “Guiding this wave of change by applying circular economy principles could create value, and generate wider benefits for society, as this report shows.”
“Intelligent assets are a key building block of a system capable of ushering in a new era of growth and development, increasingly decoupled from resource constraints,” she added.
The question of whether this will this ‘fourth industrial revolution’ lead to an acceleration
of the extractive, ‘linear’ economy of today, or whether it enable the transition towards a society in which value creation is increasingly decoupled from finite resource consumption, is explored in the following six inforgraphics.