The economy is the quintessence, the source of security and stability for every individual, society and country. It would appear that the economy and the real sector are the last bulwarks of material reality. A closer look discloses the virtuality of the economic sphere as well. Can the digital world with its artificial internet-based currencies significantly revitalize the economy? Can home-based work drastically reduce labour-related costs? How will societies without the Internet, the great door to virtual reality, compete with those that have access to it? Does digital warfare include access to the economy of the ‘Net’? Will it deepen divisions in the world?

The scale of the revolution in technology is fostering economic changes and will continue to do so in ways unprecedented and unimaginable. It will profoundly impact not only markets but also the empowerment of individual citizens towards governments, creating new economic models with transformative powers. The 4IR will have a transformative impact on the economy, which will have a multitude of faces and will be mutually effective.

Economic growth will continue to be the hallmark of the economy, and the new revolution is envisaged to significantly boost productivity. Despite the fact that in recent years, digitalization failed to bring the perceived economic growth at the global level, new, more positive trends are expected in the future.

Innovations in business, finance, internet-based services and financial flows are already paving the way to a financial world of tomorrow. However, the disruptive cyber-warfare, a significant modern threat, will also gain in importance in the years to come. Cyberspace has become as real as the physical environment. The approach of governments, enterprises, civil society and individuals will have to change significantly to curb the ever growing cyber insecurity.

At this year’s Young Bled Strategic Forum, we are going to talk with innovator of informational systems and software developer, financial forensic and professor of international business about how the technology-led fourth industrial revolution will fundamentally transform the way we work, live and relate to each other and how to successfully prepare for it and get the most out of it.