Globalisation and the Knowledge Revolution: Bonding, Binding, Building

We are in the midst of a revolution, some will call it globalisation, others the knowledge revolution. Whatever the name, a major trend is emerging; we are witnessing a shifting power equation.

The World Today Published 1 December 2006 Updated 12 November 2020 5 minute READ

Klaus Schwab

Founder and Chairman, World Economic Forum

Power is moving from the centre to the periphery. Vertical, command and control structures are eroding and being replaced by horizontal networks of social communities and collaboration. Power is becoming widespread, Tom Friedman tells us the world is flat.

To understand the implications of today’s revolution of globalisation or knowledge, we must put it in context. A similar revolution happened exactly 150 years ago as the completion of railway networks, the installation of the first transatlantic cable and the invention of the typewriter all laid the foundation for moving the sphere of action from a local to a national level, from the village to Paris, Berlin and London. This compressed distance and time, gave rise to nation states and created an environment in which large national companies and complex centralised power structures were born.

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