Sunday, May 06, 2007

Globalization 3.0

I've got some time now and finally catching up with some reading. I've got my hand on Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, which has been on my wish list since last year around this time. One thing which stands out is his argument that we are in Globalization 3.0. As an information professional, I find this immensely intriguing. Does Web 2.0 fit in this rubric? Is it merely a small piece of a much larger picture? I thought I'd share with you this interesting chronological framework:

Globalization 1.0 (1492 - 1800) - The world shrank from size large to size medium. It was about countries and muscles. The key driving force was how much muscle, horsepower, wind power, and steam power a country had and how creatively it deployed it. The main question was: Where does my country fit into global competition and opportunities?

Globalization 2.0 (1800 - 2000) - This era shrank the world from a size medium to size small. The key agent of change was multinational corporations (MNC's), which went global for markets and labour, spearheaded by the Industrial Revolution. The key dynamic forces behind this era of globalization was technology: steamships, railroads, telephones, then mainframe computers. The main question was: Where does my company fit into the global economy?

Globalization 3.0 (2000 - present) - We've entered the era where size small has shrunk to size tiny and flattening the playing field at the same time. The dynamic force behind our unique era is the power for individuals to collaborate and compete globally. The dynamic forces behind this is software in conjunction with the creaton of a global fiber-optic network that has made us all next-door neighbours. The question now is: Where do I fit into the global competition and opportunities of the day, and how can I, collaborate with others globally?

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