Back in 2002, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote an otherwise forgettable book about the impact of globalization called “Longitudes & Latitudes. ” Friedman gets a lot of deserved grief for his columns based off of a conversation with a Cairo taxi driver, but he was early onto the impact to society of the effects of hyper-connected world, bound through technology and where borders were all but disappearing. The backlash would come, he warned.
Friedman wrote about “super-empowered individuals,” people who use the tools of technology and networks in order to have outsized impact on the world, for good and bad.
“Some of these super-empowered individuals are quite angry, some of them quite wonderful – but all of them are now able to act much more directly and much more powerfully on the world stage,” Friedman wrote.
The rise of super-empowered individuals is more pronounced in younger generations, from Malala Yousafzai to Greta Thunberg.
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