Back

Infectious Ideas for a Connected World

October 11, 2012

In a recent Foreign Policy blog, Abdulaziz H. Al-Fahad calls for mutual tolerance in our “shrinking world,” explaining, “The world is increasingly pulled together by the relentless push of modern technology and integrated economic systems on the one hand, and simmering conflicts periodically manifested on the cultural realm, on the other.”
-Frank Holmes, CEO and CIO, U.S. Global Investors

With a greater international exchange of ideas, goods, services, and talent today, our world has never been more wired and connected. Globalization has wholly transformed how people across continents absorb information and interact with each other. I believe it also has subtly changed how we think and act as individuals.

Take the unfortunate consequence of globalization after the anti-Muslim “movie” was posted online. Middle East violence against the U.S. erupted because of drastically conflicting ideas between freedom of speech and derogatory insults against a religion. In a recent Foreign Policy blog, Abdulaziz H. Al-Fahad calls for mutual tolerance in our “shrinking world,” explaining, “The world is increasingly pulled together by the relentless push of modern technology and integrated economic systems on the one hand, and simmering conflicts periodically manifested on the cultural realm, on the other.”

Events need not be so significant to make a difference. I recently revisited the ideas from one of my favorite business books, The Tipping Point, in which bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell uses real-world examples of little things that spread like wildfire. He says that “the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, the ebb and flow of crime waves … or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life is to think of them as epidemics.”

Facebook has been incredibly infectious. Since its miniscule beginnings at Harvard eight years ago, the social media site’s popularity as an online place to connect and exchange ideas and photos has proliferated, attracting 1 billion monthly active users today. This figure is nearly 15 percent of the world and three times the size of the population of the United States.

Read the Full Report