FOR 30 years the world’s been consuming and spending like never before, but it’s about to come to an end. The globe’s literally a village, but between Brexit and Trump – with a whole bunch of smaller players on the side – we’re entering an era of isolationism.
Chuck in the 4th industrial revolution, fluctuating commodity prices, increasing migration and the inexorable move to the cities, and it all becomes very grim for emerging economies. What does it mean for you? What does it mean for your business? What does it mean for South Africa?
Rajneesh Narula might have some of the answers. The John H. Dunning Chair of International Business Regulation at the Henley Business School, University of Reading, Professor Narula consults to the European Commission, the World Bank and a range of UN bodies. He has taught and worked across Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, South America and most of Europe.
He will be hosting a master class at Henley Business School Africa on the evening of 29 August looking at just this: the unsustainability of globalisation in the face of economic nationalism, but perhaps more pertinently what this means for outsourcing and managing innovation.
Globalisation has always stood on three legs; the movement of goods and services, the movement of capital and the movement of people. As he notes: “it’s about de facto economic integration and, in the case of the European Union, de jure integration.”
Brexit, especially a no-deal Brexit, changes that in Europe, but has globalisation been the answer? And what of the rest of the world economy?
“Consumption based growth is not sustainable. Barring a new technology wave, we (both the developing and the developed world) are coming close to have squeezed out all we can, without even more global institutional changes.”
Employment is going to be the next big battleground across the world, a chilling thought for South Africa hobbled by an unconscionably high unemployment rate – and the existential threat of one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world.
“The cost of globalisation has been growing inequality, increased structural unemployment; a loss of lifetime quality jobs with benefits and a concomitant rise in the growth of the gig economy,” he says.
More and more people are leaving the rural areas and moving to the cities, by 2050, 70% will live in mega-metropoles, but without the necessary skills to survive or governments with the financial ability to pay for the public goods they need.
So, what is the answer? What needs to be done? What can you do? How can you protect yourself? To find out more, contact us now. In the meantime, diarise 29 August and make plans to get to Henley Business School Africa.