Jeremy Rifkin is the keynote speaker at the 2015 speakers conference organized at the Camera dei Deputati plenary by President Laura Boldrini.

Jeremy Rifkin will deliver an opening keynote address at the annual conference of the speakers of the 28 European Union (EU) member state parliaments to be held in Rome, Italy in the plenary hall in Palazzo Montecitorio on April 20th 2015. Mr. Rifkin will urge Europe’s parliamentary leaders to enact legislation to erect an Internet of Things infrastructure for a digital Europe and a Third Industrial Revolution.

Mr. Rifkin argues that Digital Europe involves much more than providing universal broadband, free Wi-Fi, and a flow of Big Data. To grasp the enormity of the economic change taking place in the European Union, we need to understand the technological forces that have given rise to new economic systems throughout history. Mr. Rifkin points out that “Every great economic paradigm requires three elements, each of which interacts with the other to enable the system to operate as a whole: new communication technologies to more efficiently manage economic activity; new sources of energy to more efficiently power economic activity; and new modes of transportation to more efficiently move economic activity.”

In the 19th century, steam-powered printing and the telegraph, abundant coal, and locomotives on national rail systems gave rise to the First Industrial Revolution. In the 20th Century, centralized electricity, the telephone, radio and television, cheap oil, and internal combustion vehicles on national road systems converged to create an infrastructure for the Second Industrial Revolution.

Today, the EU is laying the ground work for a Third Industrial Revolution. The digitalized Communication Internet is converging with a digitalized renewable Energy Internet, and a digitalized automated Transportation and Logistics Internet, to create a super-Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure. In the Internet of Things era, sensors will be embedded into every device and appliance, allowing them to communicate with each other and send data in real-time to the Communication, Energy, and Transportation and Logistics Internets, providing up to the moment information for managing, powering, and moving economic activity across the myriad value chains in a smart Digital Europe. Mr. Rifkin explains that “In this expanded digital economy, private enterprises connected to the Internet of Things can use Big Data and analytics to develop algorithms that speed efficiency, increase productivity, and dramatically lower the marginal cost of producing and distributing goods and services, making making European businesses more competitive in an emerging post-carbon global marketplace.” (Marginal cost is the cost of producing an additional unit of a good or service, after fixed costs have been absorbed.) The marginal cost of some goods and services in a digital Europe will even approach zero, allowing millions of prosumers connected to the Internet of Things to produce and exchange things with one another, for nearly free, in the growing Sharing Economy.

Mr. Rifkin concludes that “A digital Europe will revolutionize every commercial sector, bring with it unprecedented new economic opportunities, put millions of people back to work, and create a more sustainable low-carbon society to mitigate climate change. The digitalized Internet of Things platform is the core of the Third Industrial Revolution.”

here is the program in Italian