New technologies and the global race for Knowledge

New technologies and the global race for Knowledge -...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND THE GLOBAL RACE FOR KNOWLEDGE 57 New technologies and the global race for knowledge The recent great strides in technology present tremendous opportunities for human develop- ment—but achieving that potential depends on how technology is used. What is technology’s impact on globalization—and globalization’s impact on technology? T HE RACE FOR KNOWLEDGE With the knowledge economy at the forefront of global interaction, much attention has become focused on new technologies: on infor- mation and communications technologies and on biotechnology. Why do these stand out? For both, there have been fundamental leaps in innovation—not just better ways of doing old things but radically new ways of doing previously unimagined things. The fusion of computing and communications—especially through the Internet—has broken the bounds of cost, time and distance, launching an era of global information networking. In biotechnol- ogy the ability to identify and move genetic materials across species types has broken the bounds of nature, creating totally new organ- isms with enormous but unknown implications. Both technologies are fuelling globaliza- tion, opening new markets and giving rise to new actors. Communications change economic competition, empowerment and culture, inspiring global conversation. Genetic engi- neering leads to complex links between farmers and indigenous people in biorich countries and the multinational pharmaceutical and agricul- tural industries. And both technologies are being shaped by globalization. Writing computer programmes and revealing genetic codes have replaced the search for gold, the conquest of land and the command of machinery as the path to economic power. Knowledge is the new asset: more than half of the GDP in the major OECD countries is now knowledge-based. With such impor- tance placed on these technologies, the new rules of globalization—liberalization, privatiza- tion and tighter intellectual property rights— are shaping their control and use, with many consequences for human development. Globalization’s rules have set off a race to lay claim to knowledge. A global map for the new technologies is being drawn up faster than most people are able to understand the implications—let alone respond to them—and faster than anyone’s certainty of the ethical and developmental impacts. The global gap between haves and have-nots, between know and know-nots, is widening: In private research agendas money talks louder than need. Tightened intellectual property rights keep developing countries out of the knowledge sector. Patent laws do not recognize traditional knowledge and systems of ownership. The rush and push of commercial interests protect profits, not people, despite the risks in the new technologies.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 20

New technologies and the global race for Knowledge -...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online