Our Age of Discovery – A new Renaissance

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Kicking off DLD17, Ion Goldin, professor at Oxford Martin school and former economical advisor of Nelson Mandela, explains what our fast-paced, technology-driven age can learn from the renaissance.

“We are at the crossroads of humanity today. Will this be the best century ever or will it be our final one?” It will all come down to the choices we will make, Goldin thinks.

Change today happens at an unprecedented speed:

• We have moved from a world where 400 million people were connected in the 80s to 6 billion people connected today.

• Ideas travel faster globally, from medicine to technological advancements.

• We are living now in a world of 7 billion people (2 billion more since the Berlin wall came down) where 5 billion are literate, 4 billion more over a period of 30 years.

• Income growth exceeds population growth today, both are more rapid than ever in history.

DLD17 Conference Day 1

How do we gain perspective at this fast pace?

• We are entangled. The changes impact everyone's life. We need to make sense of what is happening. Failing to do so, is driving people backwards to protectionism, nationalism and xenophobia. We need new perspectives.

"We are at a renaissance moment."

• The renaissance was a time where humanity changed perspective. It took Europe from one of the most backward places in the world to one of the most advanced by far within 70 years.

• Today we are again changing the way we think and connect. This can go either way. We need to convince people that change is a good thing.

• For the first time in history we have individuals that are more powerful than nation states. We need to manage these transformations and fight for connectivity and openness.

Mentioned in this live blog

Ian Goldin
Oxford Martin School at Oxford University
Professor of Globalization and Development, and Senior Fellow
Oxford Martin School at Oxford University

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