In Part1,we covered how the world got flat when all 10 of these flatteners converged around the year 2000. In this part, we cover Tom's ideas further.
The flattening factors created a global, Web-enabled playing field that allows for multiple forms of collaboration on research and work in real time, without regard to geography, distance or, in the near future, even language.The last 20 years were about forging, sharpening and distributing all the new tools to collaborate and connect. Now the real information revolution is about to begin as all the complementarities among these collaborative tools start to converge. As if this flattening wasn't enough, another convergence coincidentally occurred during the 1990's that was equally important. Some three billion people who were out of the game walked, and often ran, onto the playing field - the people of China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Central Asia. Their economies and political systems all opened up during the course of the 1990's so that their people were increasingly free to join the free market.
Thanks to the flattening of the world, many of these new entrants didn't even have to leave home to participate. Thanks to the 10 flatteners, the playing field came to them! It is this convergence - of new players, on a new playing field, developing new processes for horizontal collaboration -- that is the most important force shaping global economics and politics in the early 21st century. While not all three billion can collaborate and compete, even at only 10 percent, that's 300 million people - about twice the size of the American work force.- the Indians and Chinese are not racing westerners to the bottom. They are racing westerners to the top. So in 30 years we will have gone from ''sold in China'' to ''made in China'' to ''designed in China'' to ''dreamed up in China'' - or from China as collaborator with the worldwide manufacturers on nothing to China as a low-cost, high-quality, hyperefficient collaborator with worldwide manufacturers on everything. Ditto India.
Tom concludes, "that is why there is nothing that guarantees that Americans or Western Europeans will continue leading the way". These new players are stepping onto the playing field legacy free, meaning that many of them were so far behind that they can leap right into the new technologies without having to worry about all the sunken costs of old systems. In Tom's view, the western world needs committed leadership and sustained action to action brace for the future.
Category : Globalisation