Friday, June 27, 2008

Is There a Way Out?

We are now in a knowledge economy. We no longer operate an economy based solely on goods. Getting products into the hands of consumers is still important, but distribution of goods is increasingly a skill which is being outsourced.

This shift in the foundation of the economy is good for those on top of the wrinkles in ‘the flattening world’ and bad for those stuck inside the wrinkles as they close, making escape more economically & culturally difficult. As the way out of the wrinkles narrows, economic opportunity closes off to those in our societies who need economic development most. Those populations of which I speak exist in every culture. They are the minorities, the poor, the uneducated, the mentally ill, the chronically ill; in sum those who are unseen in the media.

How can we facilitate the entry of all peoples into this knowledge economy? Many are enthusiastic about ‘the flattening world’ and yes it is fantastic. The more we are given in life, the more responsibility we bear. It would appear that many are forgetting those invisible societal groups.

We are past band-aid solutions. We need to open access to the resources enjoyed by others to all members of society. Creative solutions are needed now. I invite you to start a conversation strand about this ignored and difficult to discuss topic.

Photo courtesy of jermaister taken on August 17,2007 entitled "Alcatraz I" available at

1 comment:

ms. whatsit said...

Education is, of course the answer. Not just education of the people "stuck in the wrinkles," but our children "on top" need to gain a better perspective of what's below them.

Last fall when my students read Luck by Langston Hughes, I was struck at how my honors students--who were a fairly affluent group--found a much different meaning than the students in my regular class--who were generally less affluent and included a few foster kids. The former group focused on the joys of good luck, while the latter group latched on to the notion of hard knocks.

Perspective is everything when it comes to conscientization.