Well, well. Not content with traversing the globe and dispatching uplifting epistles based on extensive conversations with heads of state and taxi-drivers, Tom Friedman will now have a conference all by himself. It’s called ‘The Next New World’ and for $995 you can have a whole day watching Tom “explore the complex dynamics of new-world infrastructure, especially the transformative electronic, digital and mobile environment,” impart “invaluable insights into strategies for success in today’s new world order,” and answer the question: “What World Are You Living In?”
Why does Friedman feel the need to start a conference of his own?
“It’s been a feeling of mine for a while”, he says in the introductory video, “that while we were sleeping, something really big happened over the next decade. That is, while we were focused on 9/11 and the subprime crisis, something really big happened in the plumbing of the world.”
[The plumbing btw is basically the internet.]
So what happened while we were sleeping (and therefore not reading the New York Times OpEd pages)? Well,
“The world went from connected to hyperconnected, from interconnected to interdependent, and my view is that this is changing every job, every workplace, every industry, every job. and we’re not talking about it. Yet we’re all living it and feeling it…If you don’t start every day asking, ‘What world am I living in?’ you’re going to get in a lot of trouble.”
Friedman proposes to answer these questions by chatting with a set of white men on subjects including “Threats or Possibilities,” “What Happened to Power?” “What You Don’t Know Is Coming,” and “What Energy Is Going to Be.” If that weren’t enough, the website promises the presence of droves of C-Suite executives, venture capitalists, “content providers,” “hardware manufacturers,” and “service providers.”
As the New Republic astutely points out, if you haven’t got $995, you can achieve much the same result from the wonderful Thomas Friedman OpEd Generator.