I3 Update/ENTOVATION News
- February 2003
Knowledge Globalization Isn't
Debra M. Amidon
Dissidents breech the barricades at G-8
conferences, Oprah's TV features 'What Does the World Think of Us?'. The
cultural critic Ziauddin Sardar and the anthropologist Merryl Wyn Davies
publish 'Why Do People Hate America'? Simultaneously and on a more
constructive front, there is a grass roots movement, supported by
visionaries and leading edge organizations to create an interconnected
world respecting and valuing differences and sharing knowledge to the
benefit of all. Their work goes largely unnoticed in the media and
Using the power of the Internet, stone by
stone, the walls separating nations and cultures are being dismantled,
replaced by a global community dedicated to the improved well-being of all
the world's citizens. The root belief of this movement is that by knowing
one another, we will know not to hate one another.
The mantra is innovation. The vehicle is
shared knowledge. Here are a few examples of leadership in extraordinary
places that are making a difference:
- The Australian government is returning
ownership of Aboriginal lands to the native peoples. With this
decision, they are mobilizing the private and public sectors to create
Desert Knowledge Australia - establishing an international center for
research, learning and commercialization of the knowledge possessed by
the aborigines to be shared with desert people worldwide.
- Croatia's leaders, under the direction
of Dr. Ante Pulic, Economics Professor at Zagreb University, have
created Croatia's Intellectual Capital Report. This summer the
government invited five thought leaders in the Knowledge field to
share experiences and crystallize their strategy as they rebuild
making full use of their knowledge, learning and innovation
capacity...their Intellectual Capital.
- With a new administration and
leadership, Columbia, this besieged, proud nation is motivating its
government and private sectors to combat the effects of local
guerrilla terrorism driven by the profits to be gained from the drug
trade. For example, once a dominant producer of coffee, they
have lost their market to South East Asia. Manizales - a city at the
center of the coffee plantations, is shifting gears to reconstruct
itself as a Knowledge City.
- In Venezuela, PDVSA, The
quasi-governmental oil conglomerate, and largest employer for the
country, hosts an annual week long international conference for
knowledge and innovation. It is a premier event in the knowledge
field. The meetings involve key company organizations and
stakeholders, including suppliers, distributors, customers and
alliance partners from around the world. They are learning and sharing
the knowledge required for their sustained prosperity and thus the
prosperity of all their stakeholders within Latin America and abroad.
- Here at home, Massachusetts has moved
in this direction too. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
outlines the innovation economy. In October, Governor Swift released
the statewide economic report entitled 'Toward a New Prosperity:
Building Regional Competitiveness Across the Commonwealth' -
describing knowledge workers, networked entrepreneurialism, and global
trade. The new leadership of Governor-Elect W. Mitt Romney has an
understanding the value of a competitive spirit within the context of
global collaboration. Swift's press release stated: "This
initiative builds a framework intended to promote dialogue among
future policy makers and business leaders to help ensure
competitiveness for the Commonwealth and its regions in the 21st
century." What we need to realize is that the region is now
the world beyond New England. To put the slogan of environmentalists
to use... We must "think globally and act locally"; and
local is becoming a bigger and bigger piece of the world. We can
compete by sharing our knowledge; for in the process, we create more.
Knowledge is the only sustainable, renewable resource.
- The European Union is a model of the
power of collaboration sharing knowledge. In the past 100 years,
politics of Europe resulted in World War I, The Ruhr Invasion and
World War II, involving at one time or another all the nations of
Europe as well as the rest of the world. Millions died, many
millions more suffered. In Europe, the motivation for warfare is
diminished as these independent nations move towards interdependence
and shared knowledge.
We need to extend this model worldwide.
The links are coming into place; and the highway of people making things
happen is emerging. We need governments to proactively support value-added
investments that enable us to create wealth for all citizens of the world.
The haves need not lose anything in order for the have-nots enjoy a higher
standard of living. In fact, only by learning to build upon the
capabilities of one another can we begin to realize mutual gain.
Globalization is not about defense
against an enemy or competitive advantage; it is about the power of shared
knowledge. The more we know about and value one another, the more we walk
together. Valuing diversity and acting upon our knowledge are survival
ethics for the 21st century.
Debra M. Amidon, Founder
and CEO of Entovation International Ltd. (USA) is the author of The
Innovation SuperHighway: Harnessing Intellectual Capital for Sustainable
Collaborative Advantage. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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