Turn on the news and one sees images of conflict: turmoil in Ukraine, the rise of ISIS, regimes falling in the Middle East. But that picture isn’t complete, Fareed Zakaria YC ’86 told students on April 21. Fundamentally, he said, the world is becoming more and more connected.
Africa has had 7 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the past decade, and Asian countries have become more integrated with the global economy, he pointed out. “The picture of the world when you step back and put the Middle East in perspective is one of much greater globalization, interdependence, trade, and positive movement,” he said. “Consider the reality you’re dealing with: most of the world is already connected.”
Zakaria, a bestselling author, Washington Post columnist, and the host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, spoke part of the R. Peter Straus Lecture Series, in an event marking the third anniversary of the Global Network for Advanced Management. The event, moderated by Yale SOM Dean Edward A. Snyder, was streamed live to network schools.
Over the last three decades, globalization and the information revolution have radically remade the world, Zakaria said. One result is a economy with two tiers, separated by an increasing gap: investors who have capital and average workers.
“Anything [the average worker] can do can now be done by a machine or a worker in China,” Zakaria said. “That dramatic impact is going to be felt by the average Western worker and the educated worker in developing countries. That’s the challenge that this new economy provides.”