ince the turn of the millennium, the world has undergone startling transformations — economically, politically, socially, physically and culturally. As the new 21st century landscape unfolds, global economic and political power is shifting — east- and southward, from supplier to customer, from the physical marketplace to the rapidly evolving virtual one.
These shifts are happening, in part, because the practice of business has changed. Valuable knowledge, skills, capital and information can now be accessed by an ever-widening network of firms, workers and consumers around the globe. It has become routine for businesses in Iowa to buy goods directly from sellers in China, and for financial service firms in New York City to send analytical work overnight to India to be completed before the start of business the next day.
Internet access empowers not only buyers, but also allows sellers to enter new markets. When a major Chicago-area business recently wanted a new logo, it went to logo.com and launched a design competition. Nearly 800 designers from around the world competed for the $750 prize. The winning design that the firm picked came from Portugal. The runner-up was based in Indonesia.