International Expansion Blog

5 TED Talks to Change Your Perspective on International Business

By Mark Eisenberg, Associate

Mark Eisenberg, Associate, High Street PartnersLooking for a fresh perspective on global business? We’ve rounded up our 5 favorite big-picture TED talks that take us out of our everyday business thinking.

1. Charles Robertson: Africa’s Next Boom  [13 min.]

The Talk: For the last decade, economists have predicted the rise of the BRICs, while today it’s the MINTs that grab the lion’s share of headlines. In this video, Charles Robertson makes a powerful argument that Africa will be the next center of economic growth. From a rapidly reforming public sector, to a flourishing private sector, the signs, he argues, are everywhere. Watch the video to discover why Africa is on the verge of trading in rural poverty for industrialization and prosperity.

The Quote: “Africa is booming. Per capita income since the year 2000 has doubled. Life expectancy has increased by one year, every three years, for the last decade. That means that if an African child is born today instead of three days ago, they will get an extra day of life. It’s that quick.”

For more on Africa, see High Street Partners Advisor Felix Ndeloa’s blog post The Risks of Not Doing Business in Africa.

2. Rose George: Inside the Secret Shipping Industry:  [11 min.]

The Talk:  Given that almost everything we purchase or own in our lives was at one point transported overseas, most of us know shockingly little about the shipping industry. Journalist Rose George made it her mission to discover what was happening in this most global of businesses then reported back on what she found.

The Quote:  “Shipping brings us 90% of world trade. Shipping has quadrupled in size since 1970. We are more dependent on it now than ever. And yet, for such an enormous industry – there are 100,000 working vessels on the sea –it’s become pretty much invisible.”

For the latest HSP Country Update on ports in Brazil: Brazil: Port Reform Law Passes

3. Tim Harford: Trial, Error, and the God Complex  [18 min.]TED Top Blog Post

The Talk: When you’re operating in a new country, it’s crucial that you understand the market you’re serving. It’s unlikely that you’ll get everything right on the first try, but Tim Harford explains how an iterative trial and error process can help you learn from mistakes and make your business even stronger.

The Quote: “Now I’m an economist. I’m not a doctor, but I see the God complex around me all the time in my fellow economists. I see it in our business leaders. I see it in the politicians we vote for, people who in the face of an incredibly complicated world, are nevertheless absolutely convinced that they understand how the world works.”

4. Paddy Ashdown: The global power shift  [19 min.]

The Talk: As Paddy Ashdown sees it, three simultaneous trends – technology, globalization, and the emerging economies – are conspiring to make this one of the most turbulent moments in history. Ashdown explains what he sees as the most important challenges ahead, and why we’ll have to tackle them together.

The Quote: “In the modern age, where everything is connected to everything, the most important thing about what you can do is what you can do with others.”

5. Don Tapscott: Four Principles for the Open World  [17 min.]

The Talk: Collaboration, Transparency, and Sharing, are some of the buzzwords of the 21st century, but Don Tapscott sees them as far more than a passing fad. Instead, these themes will shape the future of our interactions, and if he’s right, will certainly have an impact on global business.

The Quote: “So this technology push, a demographic kick from a new generation and demand pull from a new economic global environment is causing the world to open up. We’re at a turning point in human history where we can finally now rebuild many of the institutions of the Industrial Age around a new set of principles.”

For a practical view of current trends in international business, please join us for a webinar hosted by HSP Founder & CEO, Larry Harding: International Expansion in 2014: Where’s Hot, Where’s Not, and What You Need to Know to Succeed