Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


The industrial revolution produced an explosion in new forms of social organization. From the United Nations to trades unions, from the voluntary sector to welfare states, new systems and partnerships were designed to ease the transition from one socio-economic order to the next.

But today, across the globe, these organizations find themselves out of step with modern challenges and expectations. The Fourth Industrial Revolution requires a sibling social revolution. How can we make this happen?


First, we must stop our expensive attempts to manage the problems better. Then we must start, with communities and professionals, to design something new. This is what I have been doing across Britain, with people like Anne.


Anne is unwell, in pain and overweight. Keeping appointments with nine specialist doctors is her full-time job. But when I meet the doctors, they tell me something Anne already knows: the drugs don’t work. Anne represents the biggest challenge faced by health systems globally, which is how to shift from the last century’s fight against infectious disease to the present challenge of living with chronic illness.


One in four of us have a chronic condition such as diabetes, depression or the complications of old age. Our health services can’t cope. Seventy percent of UK hospital expenditure is dedicated to managing these complex conditions that cannot be cured. Anne needs radical help to change the way she lives.


The mismatch between the services on offer and the 21st century's challenges goes beyond health. From loneliness to ageing, education to modern work, our systems are out of kilter and beyond re-organization.