Great nations and global cities in the 21st century

You are living in some small town in Ukraine or Kenya or some other place, foreign or domestic. You long to break out and go to a place where people are gathering to think about the things you are thinking about, creating the things you want to create.

If you are passionate about fashion, maybe you will go to Paris. If it’s engineering, maybe it’ll be Germany. But if you are passionate about many other spheres, I suspect you’ll want to be in America.

David Brooks in the NYT yesterday about what will make a country an economic power in this century. Not industrial prowess, not technical talent but being at center of world-wide networks – of technology, finance, energy, culture.

Another article in the NYT on the same day explores a related concept – that of the global city:

And yet (despite the perception of decline), New York remains a world city. It is not the great American city — that will always be Chicago. New York sits at the edge: like Istanbul or Mumbai, it has a distinctive appeal that lies precisely in its cantankerous relationship to the metropolitan territory beyond. It looks outward, and is thus attractive to people who would not feel comfortable further inland. It has never been American in the way that Paris is French: New York has always been about something else as well.

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