Chapter 9

Globalization and Systemic Impacts 1

 

“Now, more than ever, our societies need new models to address systemic, long-term challenges like the climate crisis, poverty, pandemics, water scarcity, and demographic shifts. This will involve more business and government innovation, social entrepreneurship, public-private partnerships, and more effective civil society participation.” Al Gore, 2007, foreword to “Capitalism at the Crossroads” by S.L. Hart.

 

9.1. Introduction

For a holiday get-away, and with a little money, visiting the most exotic places is the easiest thing in the world: even destinations which might seem out of reach – who would have thought, just half a century ago, that the Arctic regions or the deserts would be tourist hiking places! – are easily accessible via specialized travel agencies.

But exoticism can just as easily come to us: for example, to celebrate Chinese New Year or enjoy a nice Indian or Mexican dish, or a regional specialty, we need only go to the restaurant or the nearest supermarket. Of course, viruses and microbes travel just as easily via airports or commercial boats, and an Ebola epidemic in the African jungle throws the entire planet into a panic. Pandemics such as AIDS, or pandemic threats such as the swine influenza, no longer know geographic boundaries, and nobody, wherever they may be, can consider themselves out of reach.

The flows of information, travelers, goods, capitals, are ever more numerous and facilitated by technological ...

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