The Globalizing Learning Economy

The Globalizing Learning Economy

The Globalizing Learning Economy

The Globalizing Learning Economy

Synopsis

This volume analyses some of the major and current trends and challenges in the "new economy" from the point of view of technical innovation and competence building. It brings together the leading European expertise on different topics in this field. The contributors to this volume share the belief that knowledge is a fundamental component of economic growth and welfare. However, the ways in which knowledge is transmited and distributed among economic agents requires shaping by public policies. The individual chapters report on the most significant policies adopted and asses them in the light of the European experience in comparison with the United States and Japan.

Excerpt

This book reflects work pursued in the first generation of the European Commission's programme on socio-economic research tser (Targeted Socio-Economic Research). It represents an attempt to contribute to one of the fundamental aims of tser in the Fourth European Framework Programme, i.e. to let the results of socio-economic research feed into the knowledge base of public policy in Europe. tser was the first major European effort to support and co-ordinate research in the field of social science and it supported research in three different areas: evaluation of science and technology policy options; social exclusion and inclusion; and, finally, education and training. This book is based primarily on research pursued under the first of these headings.

In selecting projects and contributors for this volume we had as a major criterion that they would contribute to the understanding of major new trends affecting the conditions for policy making in general and innovation policy in particular. This book is therefore addressed to students, scholars, policy makers, and others interested in understanding what are the major new challenges related to globalization and learning societies—and what can be done about them. We have preferred to use the title The globalizing learning economy rather than the more in vogue expression 'The global knowledge-based economy' because we want to emphasize that we are still a long way from a truly global economy and that there are still vast differences among countries, regions, and social classes in terms of the exploitation of the available knowledge. Moreover, what connotes the present era is not only the intense use of knowledge but also a learning process characterized by both knowledge creation and knowledge destruction—sometimes forgetting is a prerequisite for knowledge creation.

This book should give readers a feeling of optimism by pointing to the enormous potential in developing human resources in connection with new technologies and new forms of organization. It should, at the same time, raise big warning flags signalling that the globalizing learning economy may not be sustainable if left to itself. the challenge of growing social, regional, and global disparities, along with the environmental challenge, may undermine natural and social capital that are key inputs and prerequisites for the learning processes on which the whole system is founded. We also point out that in important respects Europe still seems to be unprepared to adapt successfully to the rapidly changing landscape. Several chapters highlight weaknesses of Europe in areas that are crucial for future well-being. a major policy effort at the European, national, and regional levels is required to allow the Old continent to run on a par in the new global economy.

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