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Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, the world isn’t flat

Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, the world isn’t flat

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It may seem that we’re living in a borderless world where ideas, goods and people flow freely from nation to nation. We’re not even close, says Pankaj Ghemawat. With great data (and an eye-opening survey), he argues that there’s a delta between perception and reality in a world that’s maybe not so hyperconnected after all.

Our world is not flat, says ecnomist Pankaj Ghemawat — it’s at best semi-globalized, with limited interactions between countries and economies.

Why you should listen to him:

There seem to be two leading views of globalization: either that it is done and the world is flat (a view popularized by Tom Friedman) or that it has led to a world dominated by corporations (Naomi Klein). Pankaj Ghemawat disagrees with both — and his case, backed by data, can be convincing. His most recent book, World 3.0, based on extensive research and backed up with abundant data, explores the true face of globalization–and shows that the world is not one vast market, but many small, interconnected, discrete entities, with varying degrees of openness to one another. That even the most open economies are still relatively closed. That we live in a world of semi-globalization at best. Ghemawat also refutes the assumption that globalization leads to homogeneization. According to The Economist, World 3.0 “should be read by anyone who wants to understand the most important economic development of our time.”

Ghemawat is a professor of strategic management at IESE Business School in Spain. In his latest work, he explores another kind of networked economy–the cross-border “geography” of Facebook and Twitter followers.

“He refutes the idea that there is a single global economy…Instead, he argues, on the basis of various economic measures and indicators, nations are much more disconnected than we imagine. Regional differences exist and matter.”  Harvard Business Review‘s “Thinkers50,” 2011