A decade ago, in his book ‘The World is Flat’, Thomas L. Friedman argues that the world was becoming a level playing field for commerce, citing ten driving forces such as
- Breakdown of political division : collapse of the Berlin Wall
- Internet ubiquitous allows information, content, work to flow, and the possibility of uploading and collaborating of online projects
- Business model: outsourcing and offshoring
As of today, all of them are proved true especially in the world of technology.
In 1995 world’s top 15 technology company list (by market capitalization, source: Mary Meeker, ‘Internet Trend’ 2015) told us a few things:
- Companies were all from North America territory and Europe (1 from Germany)
- They were still largely operating in their home base.
Looking back it felt the world was living in another life.
20 years after, situation largely changed. Among the top 15 list, 4 of them come from China. All of them are global brands aiming for the world’s lion share.
Most of them also did not exist in year 1995, such as Facebook (USA), Alibaba (China), Tencent (China).
These technology unicorns are young, ambitious and global known.
In year 2016, technology continues to disrupt all industries including taxi (Uber of USA, Didi of China), hotel (Airbnb of USA), personal finance (Ant financial of China). They entered into the world’s league table with equal ambition to face the flat world.
The question is – how does our formal and informal education respond to this new world?