Monday, August 4, 2008

Increasing Oil Price = Local Jobs = Virtual Information Globalization

The increasing oil price is becoming an issue for the "outsource"

countries (manufacturing). Today, we see ships leaving the Chinese ports loaded with goods for the US and Europe. Strangely enough, they return empty. Why? Because it is cheaper to sail back empty than fully loaded. One day, oil will be too expensive to be wasted as fuel for cars, trucks, boats or planes (in that order).

Local manufacturing will be dominating the world economy again. World economy, local?? Yes, in order to be competitive, and save on transportation cost, production will have to be closer to the customer. From the other hand, companies will become more and more global, instead of multinational. Resources, people in this case (or should we call them brains) will be recruited locally. They will than become part of a virtual global community.

Today, we see the first steps in that direction. Unified Communications and Web 2.0 are already providing the tools needed to make it happen: audio/video conferencing, collaboration tools, knowledge sharing communities, ... . A huge number of "global" companies are being introduced, each and everyone of them introduced both Unified Communications and Web 2.0 tools to reduce their travel expenses with 25%.

I would like to use Germany as an example, business travel counts for € 80.000.000.000,- (yes, 80 Billion Euros). If that amount could be reduced with 25%, that would mean that companies would have access to an additional € 20 Billion. That money could be used to regain profitability (long term stability), employment and R&D (can't wait to see the new products and/or services that would come from that money). At the same time, it will also reduced the carbon footprint and as such result in a cleaner, healthier environment for our kids.

Meanwhile, the oil companies are working on new and cleaner forms of energy (gas to liquid, hydrogen, ...) and globalization will start all over again... (but most probably in a reduced form).