So, the first part of the book discussed the 10 flatteners, while the 2nd part began by discussing the three convergences, one of which is the ten flatteners converging. In addition to this, there is the convergence of new habits working in a flatter world with the flattened world itself. Finally, the convergence of a new set of people (China, India, previous Soviet Empire) with this new flat world. I think it’s interesting that the the first convergence leads to the 2nd and 3rd convergence. The flatteners basically created a chain reaction that change our world completely. These convergences created a more collaborative world and collaborative workplace. As I know from experience, collaboration on projects across countries will be a commonplace occurrence in the future. I think it’s kind of ironic that Marx (of all people) was one of the first people to state that this breakdown of barriers could happen.

Friedman also discusses how traditional governments, businesses, and organizations will have to change and work with new virtual communities, emergent businesses, networks of people to create a new culture of business. Because these walls will no longer exist, there are changes that will need to be made to how we deal with each other and how our government works. Our government will have to look past their own front door to establish relationships with those countries that are coming into this new global, flat communities.

There is definitely a negative attitude in the US among “regular citizens” about outsourcing, but I think it’s interesting that Friedman brings up another point-of-view. He explains that the Indian’s perspective on globalization is that it can empower them to build up their skill set and enables them to move up in their economic class. As he puts it “one person’s economic liberation could be another’s unemployment.”

However, Friedman also explains how the US can deal with these problems. First of all, he discusses the importance of having a government that will support this new global integration. As we discussed in class last week, it’s important for our government to have a focus and a cause. They have to explain to US citizens how this globalization can help them and what each person can do to be successful in this type of society.

In addition, each person needs to be made employable by teaching them how to make themselves untouchable. This transition requires those in the middle class to, not learn a new skill, but to become a different kind of worker. Instead of only knowing one skill that they do every day, the middle-class will need to learn how to collaborate, synthesize, explain, leverage, adapt, personalize, & localize. Instead of just learning another skill, they must learn how to think and learn how to learn. They must be able to find information and work with other people.

This, in addition to the fact that we need to be producing more people interested in engineering, math, and science will change the education system. I loved the phrase that said “In the future, how we educate our children may prove to be more important than how much we educate them.” We have to teach our children how to be thinkers, not just rote memorization. When I was teaching math, one of my biggest struggles, but also something I tried to focus on, was teaching my students how to work together to solve a problem. Unfortunately, our “No Child Left Behind” teacher bonuses are focused on how well they do on the state test. The skills they will need to know in the future to compete in this global economy are not simply how to add fractions, but how to work with their neighbor to figure out how to divide a 5 piece pie between 3 people evenly. I think this was my favorite part of the book so far because it really delved into how our country’s education system must change to deal with this new global market. Shoving more content into the curriculum is not the answer, but teaching our kids how to learn, innovate, problem solve, collaborate, and find information is the answer.

In addition to the education system, Friedman mentions the broadband infrastructure and restrictive immigration laws for students/workers as barriers to our country thriving in this new economy. I just hope that the next president will try to deal with some of these issues, so the US doesn’t start lagging behind these up-and-coming nations.