Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • We are at the end of globalization.

  • We've taken globalization for granted,

  • and as it drifts into history, we're going to miss it.

  • The second wave of globalization began in the early '90s,

  • and it delivered a great deal.

  • Billions of people rose out of poverty.

  • More impressively, wealth per adult in countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh

  • increased by over six times in the last 20 years.

  • The number of democracies rose,

  • and countries as diverse as Chile, Malaysia, Estonia,

  • held free and fair elections.

  • The role of women improved in many parts of the world,

  • if you look at wage equality in countries like Spain,

  • or access to education in countries like Saudi Arabia.

  • Economically, supply chains spread like webs around the world,

  • with car parts criss-crossing borders

  • before the final product came into place.

  • And globalization has also changed the way we live now.

  • It's changed our diets.

  • It's changed how we communicate, how we consume news and entertainment,

  • how we travel and how we work.

  • But now, globalization is on its deathbed.

  • It's run into the limitations of its own success:

  • inequality and new, record levels of indebtedness --

  • for example, world debt-to-GDP

  • is now pushing levels not seen since the Napoleonic Wars 200 years ago --

  • show us that the advantages of globalization

  • have been misdirected.

  • The Global Financial Crisis was the result of this mismanagement,

  • and since then policymakers

  • have done little but contain,

  • rather than solve,

  • the problems of our age.

  • Now, some highly globalized countries such as Ireland and the Netherlands,

  • have managed to improve income inequality in their countries

  • by better distributing the bounties of globalization

  • through higher taxes and social welfare programs.

  • Other countries have not been as good.

  • Russia and, especially, the United States,

  • have extreme levels of wealth inequality,

  • more extreme even than during the time of the Roman Empire.

  • And this has convinced many people that globalization is against them,

  • and that the bounties of globalization

  • have not been shared with the many.

  • And now, in 2020,

  • we're confronted by the pandemic,

  • which has shaken the ground under us

  • and further exposed the frailties

  • of the globalized world order.

  • In past international crises,

  • most of them economic or geopolitical,

  • there has usually ultimately been a sense of a committee to save the world.

  • Leaders and leading nations would come together.

  • But this time, uniquely,

  • there has been no such collaboration.

  • Against a backdrop of trade wars,

  • some countries like the US have outbid others for masks.

  • There's been hacking of vaccine programs,

  • and a common enemy, the pandemic,

  • has not been met with a common response.

  • So any hope that we might have a world vaccine

  • or a world recovery program is in vain.

  • So now we're at the end of an era in history,

  • an era that began with the fall of communism,

  • that set in train the flow of trade,

  • of finance, of people

  • and of ideas,

  • and that now comes to an end

  • with events like the shutting down of democracy in Hong Kong.

  • The question now is, what's next?

  • Well, if the era we're leaving

  • was characterized by a connected world

  • trying to shrink and come together

  • on the basis of economic goals

  • and geography,

  • the new world order

  • will be defined by rival, distinct and different ways of doing things,

  • and ultimately collaboration based on values,

  • and this new world order

  • is very much a work in progress.

  • "Disorder" might be a better word,

  • and it has been for some time.

  • But think appropriately

  • of great sheets of ice breaking apart,

  • some drifting away

  • and others later reforming.

  • And the internet is a bit like this.

  • It used to be global.

  • Google used to have 30 percent of the market share in China,

  • and now it has close to zero percent.

  • And the big regions of the world

  • increasingly look at the internet

  • from a values-based point of view.

  • America values tech innovation and its financial rewards.

  • China takes a political view of the internet

  • and cordons it off,

  • and at the same time China has this incredible e-commerce economy

  • that no other country has come close to matching.

  • And then there's Europe,

  • and in Europe a conversation about the internet

  • is effectively a conversation about data and privacy.

  • So there you have it:

  • one common problem,

  • and three increasingly different, competing views.

  • This shows us that rival ideologies

  • will drive very distinct ways of doing things.

  • But what about collaboration and cooperation?

  • Well, I'm going to start with the example of three small countries:

  • Scotland, Iceland and New Zealand.

  • And a couple of years ago,

  • they signed up to the Wellbeing Economy Governments,

  • whose aim is to foster ecological and human well-being

  • as well as economic growth.

  • Practically speaking,

  • these countries are already discussing things like well-being budgeting,

  • well-being-led tourism,

  • and using the well-being framework in the fight against COVID.

  • Now, these three countries are about as geographically distant

  • and diverse as you can get,

  • but they've come together

  • on the basis of a shared value,

  • which is a common understanding

  • that there is more to government policy

  • than merely GDP.

  • Similarly, in the future,

  • other small countries and city-states --

  • Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates --

  • will find that they have more in common with each other

  • than with their larger neighbors.

  • They're all global financial centers.

  • They all invest in strategic planning.

  • And they are all geopolitical micropowers

  • and will collaborate more as a result.

  • Another good example

  • of how values, rather than geography,

  • will increasingly shape destinies and alliances is Europe.

  • During the period of globalization,

  • one of the key phenomena

  • was the eastward expansion of the European Union.

  • From 2004, it added 13 new members,

  • despite the near existential crisis of the euro,

  • constant pressure from Russia,

  • and of course the trauma of Brexit.

  • And, like a company that has grown too fast,

  • Europe needs to stop

  • and think about where it's going

  • and ask whether its values can steer it in the right direction.

  • And this is beginning to happen,

  • albeit slowly.

  • European leaders talk a lot about European values,

  • but frankly most Europeans,

  • be they German, Greek, Latvian or Spaniards,

  • really don't know or have a clear idea what those shared common values

  • are supposed to be.

  • So European politicians need to do a very good job

  • of asking them how they feel about these common values

  • and then communicating the answers back to them

  • in a clear and tangible way.

  • And of course social media is a very important tool to deploy here.

  • And as Europe moves [towards] a union that's based more on values

  • and less on geography,

  • its contours

  • and those values themselves

  • will increasingly be defined

  • by the tension between Brussels

  • and countries like Hungary and Poland,

  • who are increasingly behaving in ways

  • that go against basic values

  • such as respect for democracy

  • and the rule of law.

  • The treatment of women and the LGBT community

  • are other important markers here.

  • And in time Europe will, and should,

  • tie financial aid to these countries

  • and policy

  • to their adherence to Europe's shared values.

  • And these countries, and others in Eastern Europe, and Cyprus,

  • still have close financial ties to Russia and China.

  • And again in time they will be forced to choose

  • between Europe and its values

  • and these other countries and their own distinct values.

  • Like Europe, China is another big player

  • with a very distinct set of values,

  • or contract between the people and the state.

  • And I have to say that this set of values

  • is not one that is well-understood

  • in the West.

  • And given China's extraordinary economic and social transformation

  • in the last 30 years,

  • we should really be more curious.

  • China's values are rooted deep in its history,

  • in a desire to regain the place

  • it once enjoyed hundreds of years ago

  • when its economy was the dominant one.

  • Indeed, Xi Jinping talked of the China Dream

  • well before Donald Trump was elected

  • with the catchphrase "Make America Great Again."

  • And China's system, viewed from the outside,

  • is based around a contract or a bargain

  • where people will sacrifice their liberty

  • in return for order, prosperity and national prestige.

  • It's one where the state is very much in control,

  • which is something that most Europeans and Americans would find alien.

  • It's also a system that has worked very well for China.

  • But the biggest risk it faces

  • is a period of high and prolonged unemployment

  • that will break this contract

  • between the state and the people.

  • And for other countries,

  • China can be an attractive partner.

  • It can provide capital and know-how.

  • I'm thinking for example of Pakistan and Sri Lanka,

  • two members of the Belt and Road program.

  • But this partnership comes at a price;

  • they're beholden to Chinese technologies

  • such as the controversial Huawei.

  • Chinese investors own their debt,

  • and as a result control key infrastructure

  • such as the main port in Sri Lanka.

  • Now I find that when we talk about globalization,

  • the end of globalization and the new world order,

  • we spend far too much time discussing America, Europe and China,

  • and not enough time on the many exciting things

  • happening in fast-growing economies,

  • from Ethiopia, Nigeria, to Indonesia, Bangladesh, Mexico and Brazil.

  • And in the new world order, the question for these countries

  • is what model to follow and what alliances to build.

  • And many of them during the period of globalization

  • had become used to being told what to do

  • by the likes of the IMF, the International Monetary Fund.

  • But the age of condescension is now over,

  • so the tangible opportunity

  • in a less uniform,

  • more value-driven world for these countries

  • is that they have much greater choice in the path to follow,

  • and arguably greater pressure to get it right.

  • So should, for example, Belarus and Lebanon

  • follow the Irish model or that of Dubai?

  • Does Nigeria still think it has shared values

  • with the Commonwealth countries,

  • or will it ally itself and its fast-growing population

  • to China and its model?

  • And then think of one of the few female leaders in Africa,

  • President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia,

  • and whether she might be inspired

  • by the work of Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand

  • or Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland,

  • and tangibly how she can transfer their example

  • to policy in Ethiopia.

  • Of course, it may be that in this new world order,

  • countries like Kenya and Indonesia