Great article, What we can do about outsourcing, by Paul Lamb, Executive Director of Street Tech. Paul is very very tuned into the "digital divide", social technology (technology to better society) and other society and technology issues. I've heard Paul speak and met with him one-on-one at Street Tech in San Pablo. Very thoughtful, insightful person.
Hard pressed to highlight just one section. But here's a snippet I like:
Globalization is unstoppable; anyone even generally aware of the sea changes occurring in worldwide business, technology and culture knows this. Yet it can be better shaped to serve both the economy and humanity. The Internet and its predecessors have only quickened an outsourcing trend that began decades ago. Workers no longer need to cross physical borders to access better jobs, nor do companies need to relocate to access cheaper labor. The knowledge worker is as nimble and available as cyberspace allows.
This article reminds me how passionate Tom Peters is about education reform (one of the chapters in Re-Imagine....read -- is that even the right verb? -- immerse yourself in the book -- more like a compendium of visual imagery and blog-like posts compiled together into a coffetable format book).
Here are my picks and notes from the "Offshoring Manifesto/Rant."
11. Big companies do not create jobs, and historically have not created jobs. Big companies are not "built to last;" they almost inexorably are "built to decline." [My note: Just the lifecycle of all companies, seems to be accelerated a bit last few decades.]
12. Job creation is entrepreneurially led, especially by the small fraction of "start-ups" that become growth companies (Microsoft, Amgen, FedEx et al.); hence entrepreneurial incentives including low capital-gains taxes and high R&D supports are a top priority.
13. Primary and secondary education must be reformed, in particular to underscore creativity and innovation -- the mainstays of high-value added products and services. Children should be nurtured on risk-taking, with a low expectation of corporate cosseting. [My note: Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. - Ralph Waldo Emerson. Oh, I think Emerson meant be your own person not man as in gender. You would be surprised how difficult this is to achieve. How many beliefs you take on as your own and unquestionably 'the way things are' -- or says Babe. This is THE key right here.]
14. Future success rests upon ... Excellence in Innovation. Hence, among other things, research universities must be vigorously supported.
17. All economic progression is a matter of moving up the "value-added chain." (This is not "management speak": Think farm to factory to R&D lab.) The good news: Technology change is so vigorous for the foreseeable future that those who can "seize the moment" have lots of room to play. [My note: So we need to get through the stages of grief as rapidly as possible.]
19. Workers have the ultimate stake. And thus the ultimate personal responsibility. (Think: Emerson, self-reliance.) "Workers"/we/all must "re-imagine" ourselves -- take the initiative to create useful global skills, not imagine that large employers or powerful nations will protect us from the current (and future!) labor market upheavals.
20. WE WILL NEVER AGAIN BE AS DOMINANT AS WE ARE TODAY. [My note: I don't see that as set in stone, we each individually and collectively define our destiny. Especially if we continue to allow the best and brightest to enter into the U.S.] BUT WE CAN REMAIN IN THE TOP SPOT AS LONG AS WE OBSESS ON FIVE THINGS: RESEARCH-INNOVATION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, EDUCATION, FREE TRADE-OPEN SOCIETY, SELF-RELIANCE. [My note: TOTALLY TOTALLY AGREE.]
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein
Hmm, imagination worker has a nice ring to it.