New York Times, Thomas Friedman ‘the high priest of globalisation’, is well aware that it is the tensions created by globalisation. Friedman argues that openness to trade and ideas that will allow us all to thrive amid the rapid, startling changes sweeping through the world. Given the dizzying whirlwind of technological change which has wiped out jobs and transformed workplaces, it is no wonder that electorates have reached for Trump’s protectionist solutions in the US and nativist retrenchment in the UK. But, as Friedman will argue, the forces of globalisation needn’t spell disaster. Instead, it is how we respond to these accelerating changes that will determine whether we falter or flourish. Both the EU referendum and the US presidential election were contests not between left and right, but between what Friedman calls ‘Wall People’ — those who feel their identity threatened by globalisation — and ‘Web People’: those who instinctively embrace the current pace of change and are keen to collaborate in a world without walls. In this major event, Friedman offers his guide to updating our lives and institutions for the accelerating changes of the 21st century.
- We need to innovate not just technologically, but politically: moral leadership in a complex world is becoming ever more essential
- Political leaders should be accelerating local start-ups in both the economic sector and the social sector, to build resilient and prospering citizens
- The ideal skill set for the jobs of the future is ‘stempathy’: science, technology, maths — and empathy