Thomas L. Friedman: How to Thrive in the Age of Accelerations
On May 31, 2017, the Institute of International & Strategic Studies (IISS), Peking University (PKU) held the 14th North Pavilion Series Seminar, inviting Thomas L. Friedman, well-known American writer, "New York Times" columnist, journalist, three times Pulitzer winner, to give a keynote lecture entitled "How to Thrive in the Age of Accelerations". The seminar was hosted by Wang Jisi, president of IISS, professor of School of International Studies (SIS), PKU.
Friedman pointed out that the development of the world today is changing with each passing day. Technology sees an exponential growth, and the world's operations are pulled by three major forces of interaction, including Moore's Law, Market and Mother Nature. These three forces affect human and cultural progresses by five aspects, to wit politics, geopolitics, ethical ethics, workplace and community, rapidly reshaping the modern world and changing the look of the earth.
Friedman believed that the weak countries, having enjoyed help and grace of the great powers after the Cold War, could not kept pace with the time and were kept as a hostage to the raging torrents in the age of acceleration, leading to a more disorderly world. Looking at today's international relations, it is important to realize that the weakening rivals are more formidable than the rising ones, and decaying countries bring more problems.
Friedman concluded that to thrive in the ever-changing age of acceleration, it is necessary for both countries and individuals to be equipped with the ability of innovation and quick adaption, and to master and return to some deepest basic values, such as openness, trust, collaboration and establishment of connection, etc.
Finally, in the Q&A session, Friedman exchanged opinions with teachers and students present on related issues such as the correlation between the progress of technological progress and moral values, the top-down localization and the prospects for global cooperation between China and the United States. (Contributed by Zeng Chuyuan)
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