Friedman talks about the flattening of the world. He shows us that teams in USA and teams in India work tightly together. Diego Rodriguez and Doug Solomon, added in “Leadership and Innovation in a Network World“:
New communication and collaboration platforms, media, and tools now allow many-to-many collaboration at a scale and cost that could never have been achieved in the past.
So – obviously the world is flat – or? Well … I agree that the world is flat. But for whom and who will benefit from this? The saying is, that you will be able to sit in — let say Alsace in a small village (no – I do not talk about Asterix) — and you can work from here and conquer the world. All you need is a Mac and wireless internet connection. I live in such a small village — and I tell you something … No way! These people are not able to use all this new tools. They are not dumb or less smart than you or I, but they do not have the incentives to start using these new technologies. Why? … They do not live in a social context that enables this way of thinking.
Diego Rodriguez works for IDEO the number one design company on this planet. Friedman travels around the globe. I am more in Brazil, Vienna or somewhere else on this planet than in Alsace. We see things, we get input. We live in a social context that enables our mind to think in different directions.
Creativity is nothing that evolves out of the blue. Creativity needs sparks. Creativity needs sensuality. You need to meet people, you need to see them, you need to talk to them, you need to touch them, you need to get influenced by art, you need to hurry through an airport to be able to see that there are million things you could improve.
The social pressure that we, the winner of the globalization, generate is immense. Lone Eagles, working in a Starbucks, do live in a complete different social environment than people who raise their kids in a small suburb in the US or in a town in Brazil (if it is not Rio, Sao Paulo, Recife or … )
We, users of the internet, we blog writers and readers, are the winners of this new way of working, collaborating and living. We are able to master these new technologies. Some faster, some, like me, slower. But— a huge amount of people will not be able to use these technologies. So my fear is, we will not have only a huge gap between poor and rich (and this gap raises every month) we will have a huge gap of social groups. Better educated and not educated.
Karl Marx defined the “working class” or proletariat as the multitude of individuals who sell their labor power for wages and do not own the means of production, and he defined them as being responsible for creating the wealth of a society. For example, the members of this class physically build bridges, craft furniture, fix cars, grow food, and nurse children, but do not themselves own the land, factories or means of production. (wikipedia)
This time – and here is Friedman again right, it is not a gap that splits people within a country. I believe this time will generate a new working class that is living in a global world not understanding the real social live around them. A working class that works more than 16 hrs a day, but without noticing it. A working class that talks in English better than in their own mother tongue and a working class that believe they are free but addicted to the net. I say “working class” because they do own only their factory their brain. And as long as they do not have generated a product, a book, a video, software they do live from their work they generate right now.