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At my respectable age I’ve witnessed a number of life and technology changes. Cable television extended our world, the internet expanded our horizons, mobile communications let us speak to the masses and now we’ve even become global citizens thanks to the above; or have we?
The fact of the matter is that the speed of change has increased so dramatically that many individuals, institutions, and even countries are facing the fact that they’re in a F1 race on a bicycle. We’ve been organizing ourselves, our work, our society in a way that wasn’t built to enable ‘always on’ access to data, friends, relations and colleagues.
It’s no secret that Europe and the United States are having a hard time keeping their status as economic powers. With the USA being in a better shape to stay ahead of Asia and South America due to a drive towards entrepreneurial empowerment and the will of people in areas like San Francisco to keep driving creativity forward. But still… even the New World is getting a bit old now.
China is turning into the New New World, if we believe a number of economic authorities. China and other growth regions have enjoyed the great benefit of watching Europe and North America make mistakes and learning from them; now it’s their time to shine. China’s solo nation status also lends itself very well to pioneering operations as they don’t have to consider other economic markets like we do in Europe. This also applies to both India and Brazil where their home markets provide a big enough growth and a sustainable economy without the reliance on exports.
China, again, has its own version of the WWW, which forms a parallel universe to reflect but not fully accept the global pictures. At the same time we see nations in Africa, joining the online community for the first time, bringing a whole new dimension to the web. It is hard for Westerners to remember a time before the internet but we must keep uppermost in our minds that still ONLY one third of the global population is currently online.
In summation, what I’m saying is that there is still a large technology audience out there that is untapped and to grow as nations and continents we need to embrace the cultural nuances that don’t always assume the WEST knows best.
Emile Idzenga, AxiCom BeNeLux