Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

Thoughts on Flat World

I’m reading a book called The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman and it reinforces everything I’ve been, hearing, thinking, learning and teaching about over the past year concerning technology, education and the impact of globalization on every facet of society. The old rules no longer apply in business, industry, communications and our individual lives. The book addresses all the variables, and events (such as Y2K & 9/11) that have come together to “flatten” the world and level the playing field across America and throughout the globe to empower India and China to be major players – players that we can no longer ignore, in fact market forces are making them more our partners rather than adversaries.

flatworldThere is no doubt that the internet has been a catalyst for so much dramatic change over the past ten years. The web has impacted and empowered every aspect of business, education, health care, education, governments and interpersonal relationships and what is so amazing is how rapid and wide spread these changes have occurred. Most people can’t even keep up with the technological evolution, yet once you buy in to this tsunami of digital connectivity there is NO going back to the old ways of conducting business and that includes your personal affairs as well.

yikesTechnology is growing, expanding, evolving and flattening the world in ways we can’t even predict. What will things be like in 5 years? 10? 20? Yikes! Who Knows? We used to be able to prepare our children for good careers because we as parents basically knew the kind of skills our children and students needed to succeed in life. Now…all bets are off!

We really can’t predict what skill-sets our children will need (they may not exist yet) to compete and excel in the global “flattened” marketplace. Sure…they may be literate, but our children MUST be extremely computer literate and it would help if they were multi-lingual and multi taskers to boot. We are living in an entrepreneurial “fast paced” world and those highly creative right-brained thinkers are going to be the ones who survive and thrive in this newly flattened world of ours.

I believe we are living in a non-linear, fluid and constantly changing society. Versatility, flexibility and creative thinking are attributes individuals (and companies) must have to break into the complex global marketplace that feeds on change and entrepreneurialism. We live in a world where you can no longer sit back complacent in your knowledge and skills because every time you blink there are new innovations taking place in education, business, industry and every facet of society.

The term life long learner is now a cliché but still very relevant if you want to survive in the “flattened” world. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it all yet, I’m also exhilarated by the incredible challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for me, my students and children IF they are willing to prepare themselves for this new social/cultural dynamic and prepare for the intense challenges ahead. The World is Flat is an excellent and eye opening book by the way. I suggest you read it if you want some true insight into what is in store for us as we move forward into 21st century.

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This entry was posted on July 7, 2007 by in Keough Journal.
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