Globalization has been around for hundreds of years as nations sought to trade with other nations located great distances away. It was slow and took months for the simplest transaction, but it existed. Now, due to the Internet and other communication technology, we have entered a new era of globalization in which interactivity, communication, collaboration and the transfer of products and services take place instantly. This 21st century version of globalization will transform the economic, cultural and political climate of all participating nations for years to come.
Globalization is the process of integrating people from varies countries, nations, cultures and governments into one global melting pot. The process is driven by the economics of free market capitalism, international trade and investment. It represents a merger of the developed world with the developing world, thus creating new and dynamic mutually beneficial business models and cultural exchanges, experiences and considerations.
With the Internet, telecommunications, broadband, cell phone technology, handheld wireless mobile devices and other communication technology, geographically dispersed workers can now interact and collaborate as though they all were located together in a downtown high-rise. In fact, communication technology has advanced to the point where instant communications across the globe can be so ubiquitous that no one really thinks about it anymore.
In recent years, due to communication technology, the speed and the scope of globalization has increased exponentially. Since globalization represents a merger of the developed world with the developing world, the introduction of communication technology will significantly speed up this merger and have a profound effect on culture, society, economies, social life and politics as we move through the 21st century
A rising tide lifts all boats. Through globalization, economic activity expands globally, and every participating nation can benefit according to the economic value it brings to the table. Corporations within the developed nations can grow new markets by helping developing nations increase their standard of living, and developing nations get to increase their standard of living and build new communities. This is the hope and vision associated with the continuous expansion of the global economy.
The global economy presents unique challenges to each developed and developing nation that participates. The most common is the dilution of long-standing economic and cultural values, which can create problems politically or socially. A well-known example is where companies from various nations produce goods using child labor in sweatshops in a particular nation. This may be acceptable in that nation, but not in the nations where the companies are located.
The future of globalization and the part communication technology will play have to do with finding a balance between the advantages and disadvantages. Finding this balance will require some political sacrifice from all participating nations. However, if they truly consider what's at stake, most political leaders should be willing to make the necessary compromises.
- globe #5 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com