Thomas Friedman discussed globalization and the flat world

Friday - 09/05/2014 05:53
On May 8th, 2014, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) welcomed Thomas Friedman, author of "The world is flat" to give a dialogue on globalization. Participating in the dialogue were Assoc.Prof.Dr Pham Quang Minh (Vice Rector of USSH), Dr. Hoang Anh Tuan (Director-General of the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies – Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam) along with many lecturers and students of USSH and DAV.
Thomas Friedman discussed globalization and the flat world
Thomas Friedman discussed globalization and the flat world

The world is flat

In a simple, straightforward yet persuasive and clear manner, Thomas Friedman presented the core essences of “The flat world” during the 21st century of globalization. He emphasized 4 factors contributing to the integration and interconnectedness of people and communication and the lessening of geographical distances: personal computer, Internet, workflow software and search engines.

They all boost global interaction and help individuals create, share, advertise and search common information despite great distances. In other words the world is being “flattened”. What is more interesting is all the mentioned factors occurred in 2000, when information technology and globalization developed rapidly and widely, with which Thomas Friedman used as substance for his book “The world is flat”.

Photo: Thanh Long/USSH

Implications of a flat world

According to Thomas Friedman, the flat world helps people's interaction change from “connective” to “hyper connective”, from “interconnecting” to “interdependent”. It generates benefits for human by helping them contribute to the global value chain by means of information technology.

The “flattenedness” is even promoted by the introduction and development of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as individuals can now show off messages on their personal sites. Communication becomes more interactive and all–around. Everyone can now create and invent his own product as a way to cooperate or compete with others.

At the systemic level, to maximize chances and tackle challenges in the area of globalization, nations have to boost their resilience and focus on three areas: education, the rule of law and infrastructure. Vietnam, for him, is not an exception.

Youth interest

During Q&A session, Thomas Friedman received questions from students of USSH and DAV about globalization and technology such as what chances and challenges Vietnam has in the flat world, the impact of globalization, the role of the press during globalization, the development of IT in Vietnam, etc...

Questions and comments were well received and responded by Friedman, and also demonstrated huge interests of Vietnamese youth in the flat world.

Apart from The world is flat, Thomas Friedman also published 4 more books, namely From Beirut to Jerusalem (1989), The Lexus and the Olive tree (1999), Longitudes and Attitudes (2002), Hot,Flat and Crowded (2008).

Author: Tran Minh

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