Chapter 1 - The Future

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The Future

57


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

    China, too, has an extra 'secret weapon': the 51 million Chinese who live outside its borders. Collectively they own liquid assets worth two trillion dollars.25  Their over-riding ethic is educational achievement.   Most of their historic family links are with major areas of growth along Chinaıs eastern seafront.  With their investment in those areas, and the countryıs own internal growth policies, the Chinese economy is set to become the worldıs largest no later than the 2030s, maybe earlier.26
  Take just one project: the brainchild of Richard Li, Californian-educated second son of Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, and one of the two main heirs to the Li family's $10 billion fortune.  In the mid-1990s Richard Li sold his Star TV satellite television network to Rupert Murdoch for $950 million.  Now he's prepared to invest that and more to provide a unique television-Internet service to hundreds of millions of Chinese and other Asian families.  Fewer than 3 percent of Asian families currently have a telephone, but 65 percent have TV.  And Richard Li, in a joint venture with Intel, is to provide these families with a cheap set-top box that will turn their television sets into emailing, Web-surfing computers.  Each will even be voice-activated for hundreds of millions of Asians who cannot type.  Li knows full well that, with 1.3 billion people, China has an official policy to encourage one-child families.  Those children could become the world's most educated.  And Li's new Pacific Convergence Corporation intends to provide them with a full range of interactive services, including distance learning and Internet shopping.

4: Internet commerce and learning

   Link all these first four trends to all aspects of commerce and education and you get an even more astonishing view of tomorrow's world. As Li's project shows, not only can people communicate instantly around the globe, but they can trade instantly and learn instantly.
  By mid-1997, Dell was selling computers through the Internet at a rate of $1 million a day. By early 1999: $18 million a day. By then its customers were paying $18 billion a year for Dell computers which the users themselves were largely configuring on the Internet, selecting from individual components. The completed orders were then transferred electronically to Federal Express depots around the world, and delivered overnight.
  The same pattern is revolutionizing commerce in other fields.
   Open up www.amazon.com on the World Wide Web and you'll join at least 540,000 customers who each day gain instant access to 2.5 million

 

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