John M. Eger Headshot

Last week, a new effort called #CONNECTTHEWORLD was announced in full page ads in all the major newspapers. Founded by the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation, Facebook, and many others, CONNECTTHEWORLD said:

The Internet is critical to fighting injustice, sharing new ideas and helping entrepreneurs create jobs.But half the people on this planet don’t have access, especially women and girls.

We know that technology is shrinking the globe, but the reasons are largely economic: mostly the opportunity to see the world as one market, with standardized goods and services, standardized marketing and standardized messaging.

Globalization is inevitable most experts agree and most nations see the positive economic benefits from these trends. But there are many nations that see the social or political consequences and are concerned. Indeed, there are many nations that might roll back the pace, or the inevitability of globalization if they could.

There is, however, the possibility that art — yes art — can serve to create a new awareness of our emerging sense of a world community, with art in all its forms serving as a universal language-as a means toward understanding the history, culture, and values of other peoples.

As we know, every nation has its own unique history, and art and culture are central to their very existence. And every nation must use these unique assets to foster creativity and nurture its creative and innovative economies.  More…