The world is changing rapidly. Populations are ageing, people are moving from the countryside to the cities, there are more people suffering from obesity or who are overweight than people who go hungry, and the middle-class is growing fast in the emerging economies while it is shrinking in Europe and the United States. These forces are putting pressure on governments around the world as they seek to cope with the consequences. The race for energy, natural resources and food is intensifying, and the global financial architecture based on the U.S. dollar is seriously out of whack with the new realities of the 21st century.
Expect to learn about these and other global trends in this class. Be ready to realize how fast the world is changing, and what are the consequences for markets, businesses, and society at large. Learn how to analyze global trends, understanding their magnitude and how they are related to one another. Realize how the world can cope with massive change.
Week 1: Globalization
Week 2: Demographic Trends
Week 3: Inequality and the Global Middle Class
Week 4: Global Economic and Financial Imbalances
Week 5: The Shifting Geopolitical Landscape
Week 6: The Quest for Sustainability
Week 7: Global Powers of the 21st Century
All of the readings indicated below are available for free from our website when the class begins.
Week 1: "Welcome to the 21st Century." Chapter 1 of Mauro F. Guillen and Emilio Ontiveros, Global Turning Points (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Week 2: "The New Demography." Chapter 4 of Mauro F. Guillen and Emilio Ontiveros, Global Turning Points (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Week 3: Poverty and Inequality: Persistent Problems and New Solutions. Lauder Institute’s Global TrendLab and Santander Universities.
Week 4: Global Risk: New Perspectives and Opportunities. Lauder Institute’s Global TrendLab and Santander Universities.
Week 5: The Future of the State. Lauder Institute’s Global TrendLab and Santander Universities.
Week 6: Sustainability: New Perspectives and Opportunities. Lauder Institute’s Global TrendLab and Santander Universities.
Week 7: No reading.
The weekly videos will walk you through the most important data and concepts to gauge the various directions of change in the global economy and society. I will introduce case studies to illustrate the implications of global trends, such as the launching of the Tata Nano or the problem of piracy around the Horn of Africa. You will also see my reaction to events on the ground as I travel the world examining the impact of global trends.
For more information on Penn’s Open Learning initiative, please go to: