Future Friday: Are we moving to a less global world?

by Michael Haberman on November 18, 2016 · 0 comments

Has the rate of globalization reversed itself?

Has the rate of globalization reversed itself?

On November 7, 2016 I wrote a post for Blogging4Jobs called What Would HR Look Like In a Less Global World? In that post I wrote about the fact that there is a developing trend that indicates the world is moving away from the global “we are all one big world” view that has been prevalent for the last several decades. Since writing that I have come across another article that is surmising the same thing. Are we rejecting the “global” approach and pulling back into a more national model of living?

A new megatrend

On May 30, 2014 I wrote a post called Future Friday: What is the difference between a fad, a trend and a megatrend? In this post I said that “Megatrends are the long-lasting, years in developing, things that shift the world.” I quoted the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies that said “Megatrends are the probable future – or express what we know with great confidence about the future. Megatrends are certainties.” I went on to say “The identified megatrends of today are an aging population, globalization, increasing technological change, urbanization, prosperity, increased network speed, and just the speed of everyday life. These are forces that, barring disaster, we will all have to deal with. Of course there are things, the ‘wild cards’ that could occur to derail these megatrends.” The question becomes have we hit a wild card that is reversing that megatrend of globalization?


In a Business Insider article, Deutsche Bank’s chief forex strategist George Saravelos, said “…this year is likely to be remembered for signaling the persistence of a new mega-trend: the peak, and likely unwind of globalization…” Brexit, the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European market, signaled the beginning. Many see the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. President as a continuation of that megatrend. Though as I stated in my blog post “Binyamin Appelbaum reports that trade on a global basis has fallen in 2016. In the United States the value of imports and exports fell $200 billion in 2015 and has fallen an additional $470 billion so far in 2016. Appelbaum doesn’t think this is just a blip on the radar. He says ‘there are signs that the slowdown is becoming structural. Developed nations appear to be backing away from globalization.’” So it appears that the megatrend of globalization has started to reverse itself prior to Trump’s election and that election is just another step in the process.

A new reality

Will we see a drawback in the globalization of the world? Or is globalization a bigger megatrend than just trade? Does the connectivity available to us and the increasing use of international gig workers mean that globalization will continue? Or will the apparent drawback by larger companies dampen the connectivity of the workforce as well? We will have to see, but HR professionals need to be aware that the world is changing and the retraction of globalization may result in changes that will have to be dealt with by HR.

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