We'll wrap up stuff from yesterday and start with a couple "visualization" exercises. (I don't know exactly what that means, but it will remind me what I want to do...)
Our look at globalization begins today. Many people argue that this force of integration will come to characterize this era as much as the Cold War had dominated the previous era. Author Thomas Friedman argues that the "Web" has replaced the "Wall" as the symbol of the era.
What is globalization? Simply put, this is the increasing integration of the world through the forces of global trade, business, and finance.
Thomas Friedman's book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, has become the most widely-cited book on the topic. He has a number of very useful metaphors and explanations. You'll be asked to read one of the chapters for Monday. (Most of tomorrow should be work time.)
A couple of Friedman's ideas:
The Title: The "Lexus" represents the forces of modernity and technology. It is the "drive for sustenance, improvement, prosperity, and modernization." The "Olive Tree" represents "everything that roots us, anchors us, identifies us, and locates us in the world... a family, community, tribe, nation, religion, or home."
There are three balances in the global system:
* Balance between nation-states: The United States has clearly emerged as the sole superpower.
* Balance between nations-states and global markets: Friedman calls the global market of investors the "Electronic Herd". They trade in the global financial centers he calls "Supermarkets".
* Balance between individuals and nation-states: The emergence of people that he calls "Super-empowered Individuals" is a new factor to consider. Some are very angry, others are wonderful.
The "Walls" come down... Friedman argues that the Cold War era gave way to the era of globalization as a result of three fundamental changes.
* Democratization of Technology: caused by advances in miniturization, computerization, digitization, etc. (Computer power has doubled roughly every eighteen months over the past thirty years.)
* Democratization of Finance: caused by computerization, investment technologies, access to financial markets, etc.
* Democratization of Information: spread through things like the Internet, satellite dishes, and television
Globalization Forum: Monday, we will come together for the Second Annual Mounds Park Academy Globalization Forum. Each of you will represent a different interest.
* You are allowed (within limits) to select your role for this forum. I do need certain perspectives represented, but you can take creative liberties within those limits.
We will need: (Take them on a first-come, first-served basis.)
4 American representatives: 1 from government, 1 from "big" business, 1 consumer, 1 environmental activist
2 Europeans: 1 owner of a multinational corporation, 1 "displaced" worker
2 Africans: 1 resident of a resource-rich country, 1 person existing on less than $1 a day
4 Asians: 1 "sweatshop" laborer, 1 high-tech manufacturer, 1 peasant, 1 Chinese governmental official
2 Latin Americans: 1 manager of a foreign-owned factory, 1 manual laborer
* You will be expected to provide an introductory statement of not less than ninety seconds. In this statement, you will tell other participants of your "situation", and you will offer your preliminary comments on events associated with globalization.
Obviously, you will need to "create" much of your own detail. Think about how your life has changed over the past decade. What are the advantages/ drawbacks of globalization in your world? What will the future hold?
* In order to help me know who is "who", I'd like you to prepare a "nametag" for our use. Give yourself a name and brief "title" or description. Make them big enough for us to read.
For example: "Adam Wilson - owner of Dell Computers" or whatever...
* Do whatever research in class that might help you create your "perspective" and better understand the issue of globalization.
Here are some resources that you might consult:
Think Global: Public Radio Collaboration 2005 This is a brand new site. There's a lot of good stuff here.
The Lexus and the Olive Tree There are some excerpts and reviews here that you might find interesting.
Globalization: Threat or Opportunity? This is an IMF report addresses many of the central issues in globalization.
The International Forum on Globalization This is the site of a group critical of many of the effects of globalization.
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century This is a talk by Thomas Friedman about his most recent book.
Globalization and Its Discontents - Joseph Stiglitz (He won a Nobel Prize for Economics...)
In Defense of Globalization - Professor Jagdish Bhagwati