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IS THE WORLD REALLY FLAT?

In the new millennium, technology holds the potential of making the world flat. This is, at least, what New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman famously argued in his bestselling book The World Is Flat.

According to Friedman, new technologies are leveling the competitive playing field between industrialized and developing countries by enabling labor, capital, and knowledge to move freely across borders.  Economic, technological, and social changes will eventually create “a global, web-enabled platform for multiple forms of sharing knowledge and work, irrespective of time, distance, geography and increasingly, language.”

Will the world become truly leveled, as Friedman asserts, or will national barriers and advantages still matter?

  • Do globalizing technology forces hold positive promises for all companies, markets and countries?

  • How can your company leverage the competitive strengths of your country? How should you adjust to the new reality of global competition?

  • Should companies embrace “disruptive technologies”?  Should they adopt an open-source model or advocate strict intellectual property laws?

  • How can countries improve their educational systems and regulatory infrastructure to remain competitive in a knowledge economy?  How can national laboratories commercialize fundamental research? Do techno-parks work?

  • What should emerging market governments do to remain competitive in a global knowledge economy?

    These questions will be at the focus of this year’s Global Technology Symposium at Stanford. The Symposium brings together top corporate executives to discuss strengths and weaknesses of their businesses in the face of new globalizing technologies.  It also provides a venue for policymakers from different states to discuss opportunities and threats that come out of these flattening forces in relation to their countries and the whole world.

    Do you want to stand up to and gain from the flattening forces of the new techno-savvy millennium?  Join us on March 7-9, 2007.

  • Coit Blacker
    Director and Sr. Fellow Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford


    Dr. William Perry
    Former U.S. Secretary of Defense


    TechNationís Moira Gunn hosts Fireside Chat with Bill Draper and Patricia Cloherty

    Ann Winblad
    Co-Founding Partner, Hummer-Winblad Venture Partners


    George Schultz
    Former U.S. Secretary of State


    Vinton Cerf
    Chief Internet Evangelist, Google


    Tim Draper
    Founder & Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson


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