Trend: Nation-states may be losing power to smaller entities as globalization sorts cultures into regions based on city-states.
VC Confidential describes a dinner talk by futurist Paul Saffo. Excerpts below.
…our world is moving from one of nation-states to one of city-states. Rather than the future being one of the US versus China, it is going to be Silicon Valley vs Beijing or Chicago vs. Paris. Each dominant city will define its region. With the globalization of trade and the impact of the internet, people will identify both with the culture established by their city/region as well as with global, cross-border influences/factors such as Islam. With the “flattening” of the world, Chicago is no longer vying with US cities like New York for influence, commerce and jobs, but other major cities in the world.
He defined three specific flavors of capitalism: American capitalism (emphasizes the individual), European (capitalism that focuses on community and preserves continuity) and Asian capitalism (Confucian capitalism that emphasizes networks and the extended family). The US has to realize it is not the only model. Americans (or other foreigners) get rolled in Asia if they don’t have or realize the role of extended networks. Global network models listen to regional voices and tie it all together. There will be new forms of failure and capitalism forming in the coming 20 years, which we will need to be aware of and to monitor.
In short, we are all part of the global scene now…not just the politicians and Fortune 500 firms. We will be dealing with an increasingly complex competitive landscape, requiring an increasingly global perspective.