GlobalWonks' "2019 Global Outlook"
Monday, January 7, 2019 at 10:53PM
Thomas P.M. Barnett in Global Wonks, global economy, global trends

Worth getting for a nice, non-hyperbolic overview of the world and its presently most-pertinent power dynamics.

From the intro:

GlobalWonks is a technology-enabled platform with on-call access to a growing network of over 1600 global business and policy experts (wonks) located in more than 100 countries. They include consultants, academics, journalists, lawyers, and medical professionals with rich knowledge of their countries’ governance and regions, as well as the industries and issues that shape their economies.

To harness their insights, we invented Network PulseTM, a patent-pending technology that takes each client question, identifies the best set of Wonks to answer it, and gets those answers to the client within minutes or hours.

With 2019 fast approaching, we used a series of Network Pulses to probe our wonk community about issues they will be watching in the coming year. We asked them for:

  1. Top global issues to watch.

  2. Top issues in their region or country.

  3. Developments underemphasized on business leaders’ and investors’ radars.

While political and business risks are front-of-mind as 2018 comes to a close, we were particularly interested in the opportunities and upside risks the Wonks foresee.

The report then goes on to explore three system-impacting dynamics: US-China trade struggle, a growth slowdown whose center of gravity lies in Beijing, and what is described as "interlocking domestic risks" - a rather benign euphemism for the West experiencing a political nervous breakdown in the forms of nationalism, nativism, protectionism, and xenophobia.  The rest of the report examine regional dynamics in the fashion of a survey.

For an early-stage start-up rapidly approaching mid-stage, it's a fine document.  But I'll expect far better next year as analytic processes and products continue to emerge and mature.  As I have noted before, GlobalWonks seems like the most practical iteration yet of a model that I myself have worked on - over the past three decades - in a variety of public and private-sector ventures. Instead of trying to boil the ocean every day, GlobalWonks allows clients to drill down - through its network - to ground-floor expertise.

In many ways, GlobalWonks is the analytic version of the Globally Integrated Enterprise that progressively replaces the old MultiNational Corporation model.  The MNC concentrated its creativity in the home nation, mostly producing there and distributing globally. But that eventually came off to locals as predatory (think back to America's defensive reaction to the Japanese car invasion of the 1970s and 1980s). Toyota and Honda fixed that by transforming themselves into GIEs that locally sourced, R&D'd, manufactured, and sold - but on a global scale. They made themselves corporate citizens of both the world and every major market they targeted.

GlobalWonks approximates that transformation in the domain of consulting. Has it mastered it yet? No, but it's moving with real speed and ambition. And let's remember, Honda and Toyota didn't complete that journey overnight.

So while GlobalWonks is its own experiment, by my measure, it moves in the right direction with the correct ambitions: deep global networking harnessed for very granular analytic products delivered at high speed and low cost. It's not only WYSIWYG in the company's make-up, you also get what you pay for in the most immediate and transactional sense.  In short, you - as a client - aren't left wondering what exactly did we just get for our money?

To download your own copy of the report, click here.

Feedback naturally welcomed, and feel free to funnel it through me.

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