Globalization of Information

The standard conference presentation format is a speaker addressing an audience, and then taking questions. Robert Schrott, Manager, Market and Industry Intelligence, LexisNexis, turned the format upside down. He took questions first, then tailored his talk to the interests of the audience, which made for an interesting and engaging approach. And of course, it ensured that the level of audience interest in his talk was higher than usual.

A current example of global production is Boeing’s new Dreamliner aircraft, for which 43 global companies are producing parts. This was a huge knowledge management problem because it was necessary to understand work processes in many countries, and it illustrates the functions of information professionals in today’s market.
Global knowledge is not a new concept. As this slide shows, people have been doing it for thousands of years. Technology and communications change how we view information. Borders are not a hindrance to information; instead you need space, regularity, speed, and depth. If you don’t have all of these, you can have only casual conversations. 
Even though technology and information has become global, it is not uniformly distributed. Intellectual assets are mainly being created in a few key countries; for example, the major patent activities are in the US and Japan, and scientific citations cluster strongly in the US. Globalization is therefore really regionalization.
We also must realize that we do not live in a transparent world. Our free press is not typical in many parts of the world, which censor the media or the Internet. Governments are not open and do not collect information systematically, which raises problems in dealing with copyright.
Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today

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