BBC NEWS Primer: The world is flat

A globe Asking the question: “Globalisation may be unavoidable, but what impact will it have on our lives?” BBC NEWS presents the ideas of Tom Friedman as related to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. As Bill Gates said:

It doesn’t matter whether you sit in Boston, Beijing or Bangalore, if you are smart you can now compete directly with the rest of the world “on a level playing field” – in a world that is flat.

To make the point clearly, Mr Gates said that when he recently met his firm’s ten best-performing employees, nine of them “had names I couldn’t pronounce”.

According to David Arkless of Manpower, four million people will see their jobs transferred over the next five years. “On a macro level,” says BT’s Ben Verwaayen, “it is easy to see the win-win.” But if your job goes overseas it is difficult to be positive, he warns. The fate of the victims of globalisation worried many Davos participants. was a much debated question.

“How can workers in the West hang on to their jobs?” The “Bottomline” for education may be:

  1. Make your job, your work, your knowledge ever more valuable.
  2. “Be flexible and don’t specialise too much,” said Jagdish Bhagwati of Columbia University.
  3. Lifelong learning.
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