About the conference

This was written before the conference:

The Foreign Policy Association is running its World Leadership Forum 2000 conference from September 6th to 8th. Here is some of their description of the conference:

"World Leadership Forum 2000 will coincide with the Millennium Summit of the United Nations. Over 185 heads of state will be in New York City for this historic session of the United Nations General Assembly and many will address Forum 2000 meetings, giving corporate leaders, opinion makers, and the American public an extraordinary opportunity to interact with and hear directly from an unprecedented roster of world leaders. Business leaders and media personalities from around the world will be invited to participate in Forum 2000...Forum 2000 comes at a pivotal moment. The public distrust of national policies that favor globalization contributed to the breakdown of the 1999 trade negotiations in Seattle. The theme of Forum 2000 therefore is Managing Globalization and the New Economy."
- Foreign Policy Association web site

Jim Dougherty of Intralinks, Inc., is leading a panel at the conference and asked me to be a member. His panel is "The Internet and Globalization". The panel consists of John Sculley (famous in the computer world for being at Apple, now investing in cool companies), Carolyn Buck-Luce (National Director of e-Business and Senior Partner at Ernst & Young LLP), Anthony Giddens (London School of Economics), and me.

Cover of the bookWhen I asked, Jim told me that most of the audience will have read Thomas Friedman's book "The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization". In fact, there are quotes from it on the event description web site, and he's a lunch speaker. The book discusses the importance of the democratization of technology, finance, and communication of information, and sees the Internet as a key to globalization. Therefore, I have to be careful not to just say what's already covered in the book and to see where more background is needed to support or disprove Friedman's points. (This means I had to finish reading it carefully -- and it's 475 pages of small type not about computers...)

I plan to cover the following:

The Internet is not just the Web.
Digital devices (mainframes, PCs, PDAs, cell phones, more) have different capabilities which lead to different uses.
The combination of them both is very fertile for innovation, with low barriers so individuals can make major contributions, and things are evolving -- what you see today is not what you'll see tomorrow.
Many popular applications will be very personal and mundane. This is not commerce, this is quality of life.

To help me work on my speech, and as an example of how the Internet can be used for global communication, I decided to post drafts of my speech on the web and solicit comments. I've learned from the emails I've received over the years I've been posting my writings that many of my readers do take the time to comment, have just the types of backgrounds I need to fill in gaps, and are very helpful. (I've also learned that I don't always listen to them, but I usually have a reason that makes sense to me after giving it thought...)

Here are links to the pre-delivery pages:

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