Chapter 1 - The Future

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The Future


UNLIMITED Learning - the new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it.

pulsating in the world is 6 billion", and Kelly forecasts there'll be 10 billion by 2005 and a trillion not long after. "As we implant a billion specks of our thought into everything we make," he says, "we are also connecting them up." And it is the explosion of low-cost - sometimes free - connections that is fuelling the new economy.
   "When you go to Office Depot to buy a fax machine," says Kelly, "you are not just buying a $200 box. You are purchasing for $200 the entire network of all other fax machines and the connections between them - a value far greater than the cost of all the separate machines."
  Or, as Larry Downes and Chunka Mui put it in Unleashing The Killer App: "If you and I can call only each other . . . a phone is of little value. But if we can call nearly everyone else in the world, it becomes irresistible."
  One of Asia's outstanding business leaders, the Taiwan-based Acer Group's Chief Executive Stan Shih, for instance, forecasts that low-cost, interactive, electronic multimedia systems will allow management in developing countries to bypass the industrial revolution - jumping directly into the Information Age.

2. A world without economic borders

   We are also moving inevitably to a world where most commerce will be virtually as unrestricted as the Internet. Ignore the short-term moves to protect some countries' farming incomes. The genie is out of the bottle: the instant transfer of money around the globe - at least $1.3-trillion dollars a day18 - has altered the very nature of trade and world commerce.
  Megatrends 2000 co-author John Naisbitt lists a global economy as one of his main predictions. "That's the undoubted direction the world is going - towards a single-market world economy. Sure, we have the counter-trends of protectionism along the way, but the main over-arching trend is to move to a world where there's free trade among all countries."
  And President Clinton's first Secretary of Labor, Robert B. Reich, writes at the start of The Work Of Nations - preparing ourselves for the twenty first century: "We are living through a transformation that will rearrange the politics and economies of the coming century. There will be no national products or technologies, no national corporations, no national industries. There will no longer be national economies, at least as we have come to understand that concept. All that will remain rooted within national borders are the people who comprise a nation. Each


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