Globalization. It means different things to different people, but everyone certainly has a notion about it. For some, it means an open world, and easy access to foreign lands. For others, it means a whole new world altogether.
I do believe that the world has underestimated the effects of it - even now. What started of as a ploy by the richer nations to search for new markets for their goods has back-fired upon them. They wanted free access for everyone in the world, hoping to sell their products and services. What they didn't realize was the fact that one day the companies in these emerging markets would also try to compete with them, and not just in the foreign land, but also back in their home turf.
Globalization made world flatter - and the notion of sustainable competitive advantage is lost for ever. Knowledge and technology are easily available. No new products can remain untouchable for long - there is a whole army of people analyzing everything and the data can be accessed in seconds over internet. So, the new companies doesn't have to go through the same learning curves as the old companies did. The game has changed, and now its just about the speed and agility. And may be to some extent brands, which have an irrational appeal (and hence some form of competitive advantage).
The world would evolve into a more efficient place - and this doesn't mean a better place. A lot of jobs exist today because we have inefficiencies - if they are eliminated, we would have a lot more unemployment. We are moving towards equality - we could easily get the work done by the people who charge the lowest wage. In effect, we are slowly moving towards a world where the per capita income would converge - it might take decades though. We are all connected by social networks, and share similar ideologies. Barring China, which doesn't allow most of these web sites, rest of the world may converge to a similar culture. We all like McDonalds, and are certainly losing our local differences gradually. People are moving all around, and any big city in the world would have people from all nationalities. So, in effect, slowly and slowly, we are becoming global citizens.
I do not know how that world would look like, but am sure we are witnessing a great change. Never before had people interacted so much amongst themselves. Never before people had easy option to selecting the places where they wanted to settle. Never before people were connected to each other to such an extent. This would invariably lead to a uniform efficient world - where everyone has access to the best in the world. We needn't buy shabby clothes as we have access to GUCCI and ARMANI. In this transformation, west has most to lose, and east has most to gain.