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Re-Globalization with a Vision

There is an optimal "win-win," non-zero-sum alternative to the challenges of globalization in the 21st century beyond COVID, blockades, nationalism an protectionism. Such an alternative requires to have a "guiding star": a solution that is not "a side" but a multi-dimensional "win-win" optimal.

A recent book, Six Faces of Globalization: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why It Matters by; Anthea Roberts, Nicolas Lamp, presents the challenges of post-COVID globalization as a Rubik cube with "winners" and "losers" in six different, yet interconnected views:

What the authors explain in more detail in this presentation and I summarized in my Blog

The Rubik analogy is a rich and thought-provoking framework to "frame" political and social reactions toward globalization. The book presents five reactions to the "mainstream" idea of globalization as "faces" or "sides" of the Rubik cube. The Rubik analogy frames the analysis within certain constraints or pre-condition that can help or hinder the search for practical problem-solving alternatives:


The world is not flat

Our shared planet is not a cube with opposing "sides" as 19th century nation-states and nationalistic populism antagonistic views propose, but a GLOBE. A SPHERE whose balance is fluid and continuous, through open trade, two-way migration, that slowly dilutes boundaries into REGIONS and luri-national MEGAREGIONS.

1. There is no one "optimal" "win-win" but 6ⁿ possible options. The Rubik model presents the non-zero-sum, "win-win" option as "the establishment narrative" (two popular populist derogatory terms) and "the dominant paradigm" (another). To find a "win-win" option within the tangled Rubik model, all other facets must be fulfilled on their terms -whether they might be objectively correct or wrong, feasible or not. Everybody has to be happy to find a happy ending, or at least, the problem-solver has to conciliate six positions at politically, ideologically, and socially odds with each other.

2. All six facets are presented antagonistically, which defeats the purpose of the Rubik model, which has multiple collaborative solutions to "fill" the six desired sides' optimal" (no facet can have "mixed" or blended elements).

3. There is a "lose-lose" mandatory option to solve all other five, and Rubik's simplistic logic does not have a 'losing side."

The Rubik analogy is academically and visually attractive but intrinsically drives to endless unsustainable "solutions" unless there is an optimal "win-win," non-zero-sum alternative.

Such an alternative requires "mixing" elements of each side

And also to have a "guiding star": a solution that is not "a side" but a multi-dimensional "win-win" optimal, like the Prisoners' Dilemma.

That goes beyond quick fix diplomacy and appeasement. We got one in 1945-48 after two World wars. And a third, with the fall of the USSR.

Globalization challenges cannot be solved without a "guiding star": an "end game" that helps align "sides" and special geopolitical interests at three levels of results -not just resources or activities-:

  1. Micro results: what participant organizations and governments produce, exchange, and deliver

  2. Macro results: the benefits and consequences for each participant

  3. Mega results: the shared benefits and consequences for all and our shared global society (of which there is no way back) and the planet.

We must find a new MIV or get entangled in an unsolvable, unstable mess of a self-made maze.

Here are some guiding principles and questions:

Defining a common purpose among all stakeholders is the most critical step for turning social capital into value-adding social performance. Using Roger Kaufman's Minimal Ideal Vision- Table 12 - all stakeholders in the ecosystem can reach an agreement in a shared vision for their shared future, identifying and prioritizing needs -defined as gaps in results-. For each one of the MIV elements, stakeholders can identify gaps between the current and desired level -"what is" against "what should be"- and agree on their priority.

And specific indicators:

These are the strategic, sustainable basis for a "win-win" global order and for "solving" the "Rubik cube" minimizing the risks of war and unnecessary destruction.

We must think strategically about shared results instead of playing tactics with critical consequences such as a politicized approach is shown to bring.

There will always be "sides" to sharing a planet. With 8 billion human beings organized in 190+ nations, there is no alternative at all. No way back other than nationalism and war. 20th-century history (and that before) demonstrated it.

We must develop the win-win side of globalization, following a shared Ideal vision that all those on the other "sides" of the politicized spectrum can eventually join. A world with peace, prosperity, and rule of law. Our shared humanity demands no less than overcoming united inhumanity and Win-Lose or Lose-Lose self-destructive and nihilistic alternatives.


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