1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California

Speakers: AnnaLee Saxenian, Dean, School of Information • Steven Weber, Director, Institute of International Studies

Official Website: http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaID=123448

Added by andrewhsu on March 22, 2007



AnnaLee and Steven started off the forum with their viewpoints on globalization specifically related to Silicon Valley. AnnaLee summarized her analysis of how immigrants (Indian and Chinese in particular) built up the working force of Silicon Valley technology companies and then circulated their knowledge back to their home countries. Steven pointed out that the most valuable "asset" in the years to come will not be in digital format, but in the "intellectual property" and the "hard-to-measure expertise" that the workers possess.

AnnaLee took a particularly optimistic stance on allowing highly-skilled immigrant workers return to their home country. She seemed to have indicated that such a method of globalization would help spread the best practices for bringing up other countries to the level of expertise that America holds--such as higher education system in order to produce more highly-skilled workers and policy change in foreign governments to ease these "good things".

Steven mentioned that among globalization may be other "networks" of "elite" classes that may circulate "above" the average joe that may be bad for the "American average". For example, networks of international business people may be able to enter into a level of education system and health care that is so exclusive to the rich that these network of people may not contribute to the global standard as a whole for raising the public education levels and making health care more easily accessible.

Afterwards, the mic was open for comments/questions from the audience. Comments ranged from spread of American culture (be it good or bad) to globalization within America (nationalization?).

Personally, I found the viewpoints from both AnnaLee and Steven to be well-grounded and mostly right on the mark for what I have experienced (except for the network of "elite"--not as much background on that). Felt a bit like NPR--live. Audience questions/comments did come off a bit waffly at the end. There was a raffle for an iPod which I did not win. The food was tasty.

Interested 2