primary assets will be its citizens' skills."
And those will depend above all else on the ability of a nation's
population to learn those new skills, particularly in defining problems, creating new
solutions and adding new values.
Certainly a nation's education system can no longer be
based simply on remembering a limited core of information.
3. Four leaps to a one-world economy
While international finance has spurred
the growth of the one-world economy, there are four main stepping stones to that
1. The continued leadership of America in the vital
field of electronic innovation, and now in the new world of "convergence".
2. The rebirth of Europe as a single economic entity,
as a model for integrated communities.
3. The rise of dynamic "Tiger economies" as
models for small countries.
4. The resurgence of China, the world's most populous
country, as a model for the large population-blocs in the underdeveloped world.
The first stepping stone: the
American flair for quickly turning high-tech research into breakthrough products. As the
world moves into the new century, the amazing resilience of the American economy remains
the base for continued world growth, particularly in the new digital age.
And nowhere does the future beckon more than in the
Californian area known as Silicon Valley. Even 50 years ago the area south of San
Francisco Bay was a county of orange groves and vineyards. Now it has given birth to 240
publicly-listed technology companies with a market worth of $500 billion, annual sales of
$170 billion and 377,000 employees - plus at least 4,000 small non-public companies.20
But its lesson for the future is probably even more
important: a unique series of university-business partnerships. Today's half of Silicon
Valley's revenues come from companies seeded by Stanford University.
But America's emerging new catalyst is the way several
of its ground-breaking industries are now converging: computers, television, entertainment
and instant communications.
That convergence, too, has tremendous implications
for education: and the potential to bypass the school system if that system stays locked
into an outdated model.
Contents Page Preface