How Global Trends will define your Future
We are living in a world that is tremendously changing at a very high pace. We realize that for example when looking at how smartphones have transformed our lives in a period of less than five years. But this is just the peak of the ice berg — most developments we actually don’t see every day!
Sometimes they are too large for us to comprehend, because we only have a limited perspective on processes happening on this world. The expansion of the Chinese population is an example where we can get an idea of the growth when we see the growth rate, but yet, we are far from understanding what impact a population of more than one billion people living in one country actually has.
On the other hand, some developments are just too complex for us as human beings to understand and to predict what they will cause in the short and in the long run. But still, there are trends of which it is quite clear that they have a profound impact on our daily lives and the upcoming future: Globalization and technological advancements.
The process of globalization did not just start during the last century, but actually describes a development that dates back to the early times of mankind, when human beings started trading.
The BusinessDictionary describes globalization as “the world wide movement toward economic, financial, trade and communications integration”. What did change at the end of the last century is the pace which globalization happens, along with a world population that more than doubled within the last 50 years.
Why is globalization one of the most important global trends? Because it is affecting our daily lives, and further, most of the systems in the world that we are part of — if these are social systems, economic systems or even the systematic order of the world. Even though you can see the effects that globalization has, it is difficult to grasp the whole picture and to understand all the interdependencies among processes.
Globalization changes the old order of countries in the world. Expressions like first world or third world country were applicable during the cold war, today it’s one world!
Nowadays we face the rise of emerging countries like the BRICS, while at the same time an economic slowdown and demographic shift towards an aging society in most industrial countries is happening. Ultimately, borders between countries seem to become less important with the world growing into a global village.
Every village usually has a market place — the same applies to a global village, which effectively has only one global market (place).
Companies are not just competing on a domestic or regional level, but more and more on an international, or more likely, multinational level. Global trade expanded significantly in recent decades with most resources available at any place in the world nowadays. Nevertheless, the resource of human capital seems to be abundant facing a global population of seven billion people with flows of migration and global mobility that the world has never seen before.
Looking at the influence globalization has, it becomes clear that it is changing the world at a rapid pace and cannot be overlooked; instead, it affects everyone living on this planet. It is one of the most important trends because our future will most likely be shaped by how globalization will change the world with all its systems and processes.
Although it is a global trend, it is also the cause of many local trends. We often do not see that relationship. But when you look at the financial crisis that led to the Euro crisis in Europe with countries facing recessions, including high unemployment rates and increasing debt, then most people do not see the big picture.
Why did most countries in Europe face economic problems? Because the world has changed during the last decades! There is increasing competition from Asian markets, including the emerging economies. Not all countries did adapt to the changes and the competition from non Western economies, which basically caused their economic downturn.
Even though globalization is one of the most important trends during this time, people still tend to think on a more regional or even domestic level. Finding solutions based on this perspective, for example for the Euro crisis, almost seems like giving a patient the wrong medicine.
But things are changing, especially through technological change that is affecting us all and that is easier for us to understand because we are all part of it.
Technological advancements along with the use of the internet have the ability to connect every person on the earth. This forms a complex global network with widely available information and knowledge that transformed our live. Just imagine that people had their encyclopedia at home in their bookshelf, which they had to use like Google or Wikipedia today on a regular basis, not even ten years ago.
Things are changing because it has never been easier to contact people on the other side of the world without crossing borders. We are all living on the same planet, so we must collaborate on a global basis.
Technology and especially social networks created the virtual global village that every person is part of and which is more and more impacting our daily lives. New trends in music, movies or fashion travel through social networks, supported through a global crowd of especially likeminded Generation Y people. At the same time it also empowers individuals who join together to raise awareness about certain issues or developments, which supported the Arabic Spring and its revolutions in different countries.
Furthermore, technological change causes tremendous productivity gains in all fields of production. When Thomas Malthus in the nineteenth century published his “Essay on the Principle of Population”, then he did not know that the world — at some point of time — would be able improve productivity of natural resources significantly, in order to keep pace with the exponential world population growth.
Linking Globalization and Technology
Globalization and technological change are interdependent: technology is one of the drivers of globalization, which in turn enables people from around the world to develop technology even further.
Technology not only provides the world with a platform for its global market place but also provides the opportunity of transforming whole companies to a global virtual network of individuals working from home.
Now looking at those major global trends everyone should ask themself how to adapt to them and how to be part of them. Since globalization and technological change affect to each of us, we need to find ways to use these movements to our best advance.
How can you relate to Global Trends?
When I learned about globalization years ago I started to become interested in all the processes that surround us and that we are part of. I always wanted to understand the systems behind the life we are living — who is producing all those products and where do they come from? How do they set the price for them and who decides to produce what kind of products?
Back then I did not even understand the reason why there were so many commercials on TV. Looking back to that point I believe it is crucial if you want to benefit from the trend of globalization then you need to develop a mindset that fits the reality. You need to understand how the world around you is actually functioning.
My interest in economics has significantly increased since then. In this regard, especially learning about how national systems use to work and how they are transferring and slowly moving into a global system, for example when looking at trade relationships, became the focus of my interest.
Besides economics, I find it also important to understand politics and the processes connected to it. Since most rules are set by politicians in this world you should be able to analyze behavioural patterns and to understand and predict decisions.
More important than the global view is also the focus on your own professional skills.
I am continuously seeking for new ways to gain experience in all kinds of fields, including work experience in different kind of jobs, or connected to likeminded people in order to get inspired. But since the world is facing a significant increase in the global workforce — especially the mobile professionals — there will be more demand for specialized knowledge or experience in many fields. Therefore, I especially focus on my strengths, look for new ways how to apply them in different tasks and put a lot of effort in it to improve them.
Finally, I feel the need for cultural exchange, to get inspired, to learn more about other people, cultures and countries. I want to really feel that I am a world citizen and that we live in a global village. I want to improve my understanding of this world, which is changing so fast. I want to broaden my perspective to a more global and cross-cultural scale, and at the end have the opportunity to adapt and be part of global trends, in order to benefit from them. Are you ready for it?