Research and development is increasingly going global, according to a new report by Duke's Offshoring Research Network [ORN]. More than half of U.S. companies now have corporatewide initiatives to outsource innovation activities, up from 22% in 2005, according to the ORN, which has been tracking the growth of outsourcing since 2004. And of those companies already offshoring development, 60% intend to do so more aggressively.
This helps me to see globalization in a different light and brings me back to thinking about distance-trust technologies. Sharing knowledge across international borders is difficult and various forces encourage the clustering of talent in dense city centers, where face-to-face interaction and serendipity can thrive. But there is a lot of money invested in the development of virtual global networks that can generate great value via knowledge production.
It could be the brave new world for journalism and new media. Conventional forms (e.g. newspapers) essentially serve a manufacturing economy, which is dying. The emerging knowledge economy would seem to be a good match for diaspora communities. The recent Global Irish Economic Forum strikes me as a good map of this shift in thinking.
It's a Flat World, after all.