Recently I was asked this question: “Which country/region will have the most influence on long term trends? Will it be Brazil, London, Middle East, Korea, China
- Brazil- 2014 World Cup & 2016 Olympics
- London- Host to 2012 Olympics
- The Middle East- Arab Spring Uprising
- Korea- forefront of 3D/ 4D and augemented reality
- China- economy bigger than USA by 2016 2 days ago
Here’s my answer at the 50,000 foot view for the long term:
The US still has the most potential IF we capitalize on our native innovative culture.
If, however, we continue to slide into a passive and entitlement mindset, then we will dramatically slip in influence in the near future. If we continue down that path, some point in the future, a tipping point will be reached and we will fade as a major player. (Here’s my blog on this subject)
China will have huge influence due to the burgeoning economy, but they have severe internal problems that may be catestrophic; plus innovation is not native to their culture. They are as likely to implode as become the major economic driver.
India is both hungry and innovative; they will be our biggest competitor in the long run. Best develop strong ties with them now while we are still in the mentor position.
Don’t count out the EU; they could be a sleeping giant. They have experience at being world dominators, they have reason to rise again, and they are increasing in appetite and resentment, which is a potent combination. They are, however, comfortable and that may keep them somnolent.
The Middle East could become irrelevant to the world economy if we turn our attention away from oil. Of course, that would hurt the US economy, too, unless we were the drivers of the change. And it would happen gradually. As a culture they are too hierarchial to really drive innovation. But they could be excellent fast followers.
South America and Korea are both going to be important. The Koreans have a thought process that is difficult for us Americans to challenge, so they have a psychological edge on us. But they have problems in their part of the world that makes them vulnerable and they do not have the native resources to become the world leader. On the other hand, South America has the native resources to take charge if it they play it out correctly and in a united fashion. With success comes cultural change and that can be disruptive; but all it takes is a charismatic leader with a vision and SA will grow dramatically. We need to hitch our long-term wagon with all the Americas and we will continue in the leadership role for a long time.
All of this is predicated on things remaining pretty much the same. If a radical innovation is developed that causes a significant paradigm shift, then all bets are off. And who has the best potential of doing that? The US or India.
We are writing a book on this subject. It should be out in a year. Is there anyone out there with an interest on this topic? I would love to hear what you have to say before the book goes to the printer (there is a three month window for your comments to be included – we will quote you, if we use your comments).