July 20, 2016
Bretton Woods II Advisory Council Member George Kell wrote in the Huffington Post about how to avoid self-destruction in globalization:
Today, many analysts and commentators realize that Brexit is a symbol for deeper changes that are enveloping Western democracies on both sides of the Atlantic, coinciding with a rise of nationalism globally. The “isms” that Kofi Annan warned about at the end of the 20th century have already been unleashed and are now influencing public discourse and policy-making around the world. The post-1945 order now seems to be unraveling. Power is fragmenting and the era of horizontal integration where interdependence was built on foundations of openness, and commerce based on rules, is giving way to protectionism, inward orientation and fear. Indeed, we are now facing the real prospect of destroying the very system that has enabled humanity to safeguard peace and spread economic opportunities on an unprecedented scale, without having a viable alternative in place.
And so we must ask ourselves an important question. What can be done to avoid travelling down this road of self-destruction? Specifically, how can we re-set the dominant zeitgeist for a pathway that preserves the best of the lessons we have learned from the past, while tackling the most urgent challenges ahead including climate change, inequality and conflict? I believe there are four clear ways available to us.