The power of zeros and ones

Small wonder. The digital age is transforming the world at phenomenal speed.

Nothing works anymore without smartphones. Checking Instagram and WhatsApp, dishing out a couple of Likes on Facebook: for young people – but for a long time now not only for them – the digital world is a central part of everyday life. Almost 100% of 14-29 year-olds are always online, according to the D21-Digital-Index, an annual study of digitalization in Germany.

Small wonder. The digital age is transforming the world at phenomenal speed. In 1993, only 3% of the information stored worldwide was digital. By 2007, this had skyrocketed to about 97%. It was in this period that Amazon (1994), Google (1998) and Facebook (2004) were founded. When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 it marked not the end but the beginning of even more dynamic development. The breakthrough of the smartphone and the tablet enshrined digitalization in virtually all walks of life, replacing globalization as the buzzword and key driver of the global economy. Today, bits and bytes control farms and schools, hospitals and offices, factories and our very homes.

Where is this leading? Digitalization has the potential to bring about radical change in all areas of life and the economy: from factories with self-optimizing machines, via nano robots coursing through our veins, to subcutaneous chip implants that replace the smartphone.
Will the day soon come when nobody has to work anymore? Anything is conceivable in a world where everything is digital and smart. Lag behind on digitalization and you risk being simply left behind. It makes better sense to keep up.

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