TED Conversations

Goodness Ugwumba Opara

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What is the future of the global economy?

With the rise of new economic powers such as China, India and Brazil (and virtually every other country in one small way or another), is the global economy headed, even faintly, in the direction of equality for all nations?

As growing internet access spreads information, enlightenment, global exchange and commerce across the planet, the gross effect appears to be a leveling of standards, innovation potential and competitiveness. People increasingly have access to the same learning resources, technology and information. So people in one part of the world are setting up businesses to rival others across oceans and deserts, effectively leading to a more balanced world in which New York is not so different from Mumbai, for example. Is this the true direction of the global economy, even for third world nations, or is there some other trend that's harder to see?

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    Jul 3 2013: The spread of knowledge and information is essentially all that it takes to bring in the equalizing effect that I believe the world is witnessing. We don't need to look back to the colonial era to see the progress that's been made. Although some countries are worse off economically today than they were at some time in the past, it does not imply that even such countries have not moved forward. Critical but not-so-tangible indices such as innovation potential have grown dramatically in this fast moving information age. Wealthier countries can and are artificially speeding up innovation amongst their citizenry with incentives like prizes, scholarships, recognition systems, funding for promising ideas, etc. In this regard, the poorer countries are playing catch-on. Yet a visionary few in these countries who understand the benefits and possibilities afforded them by this free information age are taking very good advantage of it. What they (the poorer countries) must do is get their governance and education right. No one will be able to stop them if they do.

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