Category Archives: Vision Statement

The People in the Global Village

“Ours is a brand-new world of allatonceness.”Time” has ceased, “space” has vanished. We now live in a global village . . . a simultaneous happening”.Marshall McLuhan

This section of the Drivers of Change blog has been started because each one of us within the Foresight & Innovation group at Arup has a particular slant. For Simon it’s energy, Duncan looks at intelligent technologies/media, Alvise it’s design and 3D visualization, and for me it’s people. I have always been intrigued by the human subject. I could spend an entire afternoon observing people interact. And I would like to think that there is always something to be learned from each human encounter.

We live in a diverse world where change is the only certainty. Through advances in technology we have been granted the ability to grasp the enormity and complexity of the world and to note the increasing amount of disparity between what I often view as two separate realities: the developing world and the developed world. At the same time the somewhat seamless medium of technology has drawn us closer through informal and formal networks making the cultural, religious and political differences seem almost non-existent.

The cultural critic, international scholar and eminent futurist Marshall McLuhan once predicted that a form of technology such as the Internet would bring us closer together as society to create a “Global Village.” But he also voiced concern over what we as human beings might lose in the process of adopting new technologies. And as I am finding increasingly in my research the differences still do exist, with conflict perhaps being our keenest and most unfortunate reminder of that.

2006 marks the beginning of a research project I am leading on studying global demographic change – no small feat. I hope to use this blog as a host and as an extension of the discoveries, the conversations and the encounters I have along the way.

As I float through the continents and enlighten myself, here’s hoping I can bring something back to all of you in the global village.

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