Dr. John Gaston hosts "The World Is Flat"

Posted on June 24th, 2011

The Opportunity Central Book Club met on June 21 for its bi-monthly meeting. The selection was Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat.

Book Club members engaged in eye-opening discussion as they talked about globalization, the creative community and education in the "flat world"--and what this means for Valdosta-Lowndes County.

Summarizing the book in one word, Book Club host, Dr. John Gaston, VSU Dean of the College of the Arts, used the word, "challenge."


Below are topics and information discussed at the meeting:

It is difficult to adapt to a global economy and flat world because we do not have prior experience to deal with what we're facing.

We need to reinvent learning to make children excited about school.

We need to educate more people in engineering and technology.

Food production is an opportunity for the United State, especially the Southern U.S. We need to get the scientists and engineers in the farming field.

Are we in the middle of a cultural transformation in Valdosta-Lowndes County?

Valdosta-Lowndes County's location is a very important economic asset. Location! Location! Location!

We need to unify our community and rally together. People will rally around causes that benefit children. Other causes to rally around: supporting cluster growth, gateways, community central projects, a competition for students, youth entrepreneurship.

Themes the book brought forward were:
  • the role and control of social networks
  • democracy and responsibility
  • creativity
  • the challenges-differences between age groups
  • cultural restrictions-has this given us tunnel vision
  • reinventing yourself
  • who can participate in the "flat world", why should you participate and how can you participate
  • limited resources-who get the resources



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