Business, like government, must master geo-economics - Agenda - The World Economic Forum

Fascinating: The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Peloponnesian War of 431-404 BC may not seem to have much in common. But together they provide a useful reference point for the complex period of instability the world is entering – and importantly, what needs to be done to successfully navigate it.

The collapse of the Soviet empire, and the epic and ultimately ruinous campaign waged by ancient Athens and its allies against arch-rival Sparta, provide a stark counterpoint to the multi-polar complexities of the 21st-century geopolitical landscape.

The early 21st century looks to be a time when such geotechnology matters more than ever — outweighing traditional power determinants like geopolitics and geoeconomics. Indeed, China is a superpower today not because it has twice as many nuclear weapons as it had two decades ago, but rather because it has come to dominate manufacturing through manpower, ingenuity and espionage, has generated massive surpluses from it, and now invests those profits in military hardware and other advanced technologies. A decade from now we may look back at China’s 12th Five-Year Plan as the seminal document of the early 21st century. It pledges $1.5 trillion in government support for seven “strategic emerging industries,” including alternative energy, biotechnology, next-gen IT, high-end manufacturing equipment, and advanced materials. China invented none of these fields, but outstrips all competitors in attempting to improve and deploy them at scale.

@paragkhanna and @ayeshakhanna1 raise important points for countries to consider moving forward.

Which Nation Has the Best ‘Technik’? - Ayesha Khanna and Parag Khanna - Harvard Business Review