Globalization and Technology:
Connections and
 How do technology and globalization relate?
 Why is this connection important?
 Who are the main players? Who benefits
most? Who is harmed the most?
 What is America’s role? (Orange County’s
 Everyday technologies—the fun part!
How do technology and
globalization relate?
First off, technology requires
an audience…
It serves no practical purpose if
there is no one using it!
 Example: perhaps you could talk about how
wonderful it would be to give everyone in the world
solar panels to generate free electricity from the
sun. But then there would be certain groups of
people that would have no such need for that
technology--people living in areas with minimal sun
exposure, or who would be better equipped with
other energy supplying technologies.
 Technology requires specific audiences. The
global landscape provides nearly an infinite
array of unique audiences.
Technology also requires
human capital…
That means that we need people
who are “experts” with different
technologies and are able to
bring it to the rest of us
 Technology does not just appear out of air.
It requires some kind of thoughtfulness,
some kind of contemplation. It involves
understanding that there are perhaps easier
or better ways of doing certain things than
other ways.
 Human experience provides numerous
examples whereby certain thoughtful groups
of people come to realize that some
activities were more fruitful and beneficial
than others. Experts emerge.
In addition technology also
needs constant refinement
With improvements in the
sciences, communication,
transportation, etc. technology
must always “keep up”
 Because there are infinite audiences
out there, there are also infinite
chances for improvement.
 With new knowledge over time and
with new experiences and empirical
evidence the global context will always
provide technology with possibilities.
Needs and solutions…
But how do technology and
globalization relate?
Human capital
Constant refinement
 These three components make technology
and globalization a perfect fit for each
other—globalization supplies new ideas,
workers, creativity, and unique contexts for
technology to flourish!
 Audience is provided by the global
 Human capital is provided by having access
to the means of technology production
(wealth, resources, higher education).
 Constant refinement is the process through
which technology is being made more and
more efficient over time.
Globalization opens up
countless doors of
opportunity for technology!
Unique situations
 Caribbean—there was a hurricane late in
2004 that caused severe damage. A major
tech firm provided Internet connectivity in a
truck, which drove around the islands to
give people who were stranded from the
hurricane a chance to get in touch with
loved ones to let them know they were alive
and okay.
Unique situations
 Think about remote villages or cultures that
have their own unique problems and goals
that technology could solve.
 Maybe they don’t know about the benefits
of crop rotation or even how nutrition works.
Technology gives people new tools with
which to improve life in some way.
Why is knowing about the
globalization of technology
Why it’s important…
 Some countries are developing (or have
developed) at a much faster rate than others
 This means that some are embracing
technologies faster than others, and some
are embracing certain technologies before
basic needs are met—i.e. using mobile
phones before treating basic illnesses and
Why it’s important…
 Technology is most notably associated
with Western and developed nations:
United States
Parts of Europe
Why it’s important…
 Those that embrace more complex
technologies have more power.
 War technologies (weaponry,
intelligence, etc.) give certain
countries more military power over
Why it’s important…
 Those with more power are able to
influence whose voice is heard and
whose is silenced. This can be done
through the use of weapons and war,
through which movies and television
are aired (and not aired). Dominant
cultures have the ability to suppress
less powerful ones.
 Imagine you are the ruler of a country. Your
neighbor country still relies on sending mail by
using manpower, animals, and highly dependent
upon weather conditions. You, however, possess
the newest and fastest technology—you can send
emails and instant messages to anyone you want.
 Suppose you find out that there will be a very
devastating earthquake in four days in your part of
the world. All you have to do is send an email and
broadcast a news alert on the TV to all of your
citizens to warn them, but your neighbor must rely
the postal system and manpower to notify its
citizens. Who has more power?
Why it’s important…
 There is the risk of “technological
colonization” of the developing world
 Developed countries have better
access to technology. Richer countries
have better access to technology.
Countries with better colleges and
universities have better access to
Who are the main players?
Who benefits most? Who is
harmed the most?
Main Players
 The website identifies
three tiers of technological influence
in the world.
World 1
•The wealthiest
European nations
(Western Europe)
•United States
World 2—the “vast middle”i
•plus several
small countries
World 3 - The worlds poorer
•Many African
World 1
Western Europe
World 2
World 3
African countries
America’s Role
 America in your own back yard…
Everyday Technologies
Computers and the Internet
Computers and the Internet
 Personal computers as we know it did
not become feasible or popular until
the 1990s—only 10 to 15 years ago!
1981: IBM Personal Computer
 American company
 Basic statistics: 330,000+ employees,
$96 billion (2004 revenue), largest IT
company in the world
 Headquarters: Armonk, New York
Computers and the Internet
 Since the 1990s computing technology
has become smaller, more powerful,
and more efficient. Laptop computers
with wireless Internet access are the
fastest selling niche in the personal
computer market.
Portability and connectivity!
Computers and the Internet
 Technically the Internet dates back to
the late 1960s with the Department of
Defense in the United States in 1969.
The Internet started resembling what
we know today in 1991 with the advent
of the World Wide Web (WWW) by Tim
Berners-Lee of London, England.
The Languages of the WWW
Implications for technological colonization. English is the
dominant language of the Web. What kind of impact could
this have on the emergent technologies of developing
Take home message…
 Technology has made living conditions and
way of life much better for people around
the world.
 BUT, not everyone has access to the newest
or best technology.
 It is important to identify the “haves” and
“have nots”
 Do you think technology gives people more

Globalization and Technology