Globalisation has shaped humanity since time immemorial and in different forms. It is a phenomenon driven by technology and the movement of ideas, people, and goods.
Early recollection for instance can be traced to the trade connections that existed between Africa and Asia, or between Europe and Asia or Africa, this portrays some form of interconnectedness. We have also witnessed a different form of globalisation through colonization, the two World Wars and the establishment of the United Nations.
Globalization is not a single notion that can be interpreted and bordered within a set time frame. 21st century globalization has opened the opportunities brought by the presence of the internet, advanced technological know-how, which has become top notch than any other time in man’s existence, while at the same time exposed the world to the rapid emergence of ecological constraints, the advent of an increasingly multi-polar international order, and rising inequality.
Noteworthy is that the unprecedented pace of technological change means that our systems of health, transportation, communication, production, distribution, and energy – just to name a few – will be completely transformed. Managing that change will require not just new frameworks for national and multinational cooperation, but also a new model of education, complete with targeted programs for teaching workers new skills.
Globalization 4.0 according to Prof. Klaus Schwab will therefore require from us: a wider engagement and heightened imagination (systemic thinking that is beyond one’s own short-term institutional and national considerations).