David Clark | Issue 06

David Clark | Issue 06


Big trends shape all of our futures. The Industrial Revolution and the communications revolution have changed our world in ways past generations could not imagine.

Like other trends, increasing globalisation has both good and bad sides. When I think about New Zealand’s future, there are concerns I associate with the dark side of globalisation’s fragmentation and growing individualism.
  1. A reluctance to respond to climate change. Multi-lateral action is imperative. New Zealand is a small country whose individual emissions will not change the world’s path – but for the fact that the example we set is incredibly important. If New Zealand, with its abundance of renewable resources, can’t shift to sustainable technologies, who can? Furthermore, opportunities to lead the world (and be paid for our technologies) are passing us by each day. Intergenerational justice and New Zealand’s economic interest demand we turn the climate threat into opportunity.

  2. Across the Western World, inequalities are growing. But they are growing faster here, in New Zealand. If we are to make the most of all of our people, we must ensure that kids everywhere are given opportunity to have breakfast every day and a decent education on top of it. Sustaining NZ’s prosperity depends on it.

  3. Participation in democracy is dropping. Fewer young people are enrolling to vote. Not enough academics participate in public debate. We need stronger civics education. We also need fewer politicians involved in scandals – and a media willing to acknowledge that most who engage in public life do so for the right reasons, regardless of their ideological starting point.

  4. Student support for tertiary study is inadequate. As the cost of living has risen over recent decades, student support has not risen commensurately. If we want our “best and brightest” to pursue further education for the good of society, study must be affordable for all.
The negative impacts of globalisation can be managed to New Zealand’s (and the World’s) benefit. What is required is a progressive vision for New Zealand’s future and refusal to pander to entrenched interests. These are difficult issues, but we must tackle them. We can’t afford not to.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2014.
Posted 7:01pm Sunday 30th March 2014 by David Clark.