NPR Special: Thomas Friedman On Thriving In The Age of Acceleration

Feb 13, 2017

This week on NPR Specials:

He has been called "the most influential columnist in America," and is read by everyone from small-business owners to President Obama. As a star columnist of The New York Times, Thomas Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize three times. Although he has been dubbed "the high priest of globalization," Friedman is well aware that it is the tensions created by globalization which have paved the way for the election of Donald Trump. 

Nevertheless, when he comes to the Intelligence Squared stage, Friedman will argue that contrary to Trump’s promises of walls and tariffs, it is openness to trade and ideas that will allow us all to thrive amid the rapid, startling changes sweeping through the world.

Given the dizzying whirlwind of technological change which has wiped out jobs and transformed workplaces, it is no wonder that electorates have reached for Trump’s protectionist solutions in the US and nativist retrenchment in the UK. But, as Friedman will argue, the forces of globalization needn’t spell disaster. Instead, it is how we respond to these accelerating changes that will determine whether we falter or flourish.

Both the EU referendum and the US presidential election were contests not between left and right, but between what Friedman calls "Wall People" — those who feel their identity threatened by globalization — and "Web People:" those who instinctively embrace the current pace of change and are keen to collaborate in a world without walls.

Intelligence Squared: Thomas Friedman On Thriving In The Age of Acceleration will air on Saturday, February 11th at 19:00 and Monday, February 13th at 8:00.

Intelligence Squared: Thomas Friedman On Thriving In The Age of Acceleration will air on Saturday, February 18th at 19:00 and Monday, February 20th at 8:00.