Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Globalisation in 2017

SustainAbility, my favourite organisation for insightful, concise and clever thinking is doing a survey on the future of globalisation. I had not really thought about it, but invite you to answer the questions. These are some of my answers.

Q1: In the period to 2017, do you see globalisation:

Slowing down
Going into reverse
x Taking a very different direction - and why?

Politically Globalisation will start to regionalise, despite global organisations' wishes. I expect bilateral trade agreements to increase, world trade talks to go into reverse and geopolitics to play an even greater role in trade, wars and general hostilities, sanctions and globalisation.
'people' will start to become protectionist in the face of growing global crises realising that the current global mechanisms for change are not working.
Business wil play an increasing role but will end up fighting against governments. Businesses will become more accountable than governments in the next 10+ years in many cases and citizens will start to trust business more, since business will be the force that is a) thinking long-term and b) responding suitable to the balance between local interests and global needs. Democratic and Undemocratic Governments are unable to do either. Despite globalisation having being let free by political changes, it will now have to break free from politics somehow.

Q7: What needs to happen to generate the political will to create global governance structures?

A change in the role of individuals in society and of national governments in society. An acceptance of the interconnectedness of our decisions, and the desire to try to be less selfish.

This requires a fundamental change in democratically elected governments. Under current elections, governments will only continue to fight each other -for a piece of the pie, rather than work together to make the pie bigger, so to speak.

In this sense we need to create systems that ensure thatincreasing wealth for others is beneficial to ourselves, and then help people understand this.

Governments will need to see their role change and be representatives of a group of people helping those people and contributing to the global good; rather than just doing what is best for that group of people.


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