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Full house for Friedman

Young people will face a global economy and flat playing field when they enter the job market, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas Friedman said Monday at the School of Communication.

As part of the Northern Trust lecture series, the New York Times columnist spoke to 600 invited guests seated on the ground-level, as well students and staff on the overlooking walkways, about his best-selling book The World is Flat.

“We were looking for someone with a global view and knew about the global contexts students are getting into,” Sam L Grogg, dean of the School of Communication, said.

Friedman has been the foreign affairs columnist at the Times since 1995 and has covered an array of topics including the Middle East, the state department and the White House.

“Tom has helped us to understand the complex forces that shape our world,” President Donna E. Shalala said. “[He is] the most gifted journalist of his generation.”

The inspiration for the book, according to Friedman, came while he was working on a documentary for the Discovery Channel in Bangalore, India.

“The World is Flat came about completely by accident,” he said.

Friedman then went on to give an overview of the book, outlining the 10 factors that he said contributed to the “flattening” of the global economy. In addition, he explained three convergences that brought about a genesis in the flat world and, in turn, created a level platform for collaboration.

“We’re going from vertical to horizontal,” he said about the way business is and will be conducted. Friedman added that the changes the world is seeing will be as big a revolution as Johann Gutenberg’s movable type.

He attributed all of this to several major political changes, such as the fall of the Berlin wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. These changes, coupled with new widely available technologies, have played a role in connecting billions of people around the globe.

“In a flat world, there’s no such thing as an American job, just a job,” he said.

Shalala emphasized what a privilege it was to have Friedman speak on campus.

“He’s not bookable,” she said. “You just can’t call his agent and have him do a book signing. He’s doing this as a special favor.”

Before the main event, Friedman spoke to group of roughly 20 graduate and a few undergraduate journalism students about his experience in the field as a reporter and columnist.

J.R. Biersmith, a graduate broadcast student, was a part of that group and thought Friedman’s thoughts were important for others to heed.

“I think it’s a pertinent message for students as well as our parents,” Biersmith said. “He’s a brilliant mind; I think he takes the complex and makes it really simple. It’s a message that needs to be heard in these changing times.”

Jennifer Shook, freshman, also felt positively about the speech.

“I thought it was really exciting and I think he had a lot good things to say,” Shook said. “I think it made an impact because I saw a lot of students who I would never have imagined thinking about that or caring about that. [There] was a really good turnout, and I really enjoyed what he had to say.”

Greg Linch can be contacted at g.linch@umiami.edu.

Bestselling author explains why the world is flat

By Greg Linch

Assistant News Editor

Young people will face a global economy and flat playing field when they enter the job market, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas Friedman said Monday at the School of Communication.

As part of the Northern Trust lecture series, the New York Times columnist spoke to 600 invited guests seated on the ground-level, as well students and staff on the overlooking walkways, about his best-selling book The World is Flat.

“We were looking for someone with a global view and knew about the global contexts students are getting into,” Sam L Grogg, dean of the School of Communication, said.

Friedman has been the foreign affairs columnist at the Times since 1995 and has covered an array of topics including the Middle East, the state department and the White House.

“Tom has helped us to understand the complex forces that shape our world,” President Donna E. Shalala said. “[He is] the most gifted journalist of his generation.”

The inspiration for the book, according to Friedman, came while he was working on a documentary for the Discovery Channel in Bangalore, India.

“The World is Flat came about completely by accident,” he said.

Friedman then went on to give an overview of the book, outlining the 10 factors that he said contributed to the “flattening” of the global economy. In addition, he explained three convergences that brought about a genesis in the flat world and, in turn, created a level platform for collaboration.

“We’re going from vertical to horizontal,” he said about the way business is and will be conducted. Friedman added that the changes the world is seeing will be as big a revolution as Johann Gutenberg’s movable type.

He attributed all of this to several major political changes, such as the fall of the Berlin wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. These changes, coupled with new widely available technologies, have played a role in connecting billions of people around the globe.

“In a flat world, there’s no such thing as an American job, just a job,” he said.

Shalala emphasized what a privilege it was to have Friedman speak on campus.

“He’s not bookable,” she said. “You just can’t call his agent and have him do a book signing. He’s doing this as a special favor.”

Before the main event, Friedman spoke to group of roughly 20 graduate and a few undergraduate journalism students about his experience in the field as a reporter and columnist.

J.R. Biersmith, a graduate broadcast student, was a part of that group and thought Friedman’s thoughts were important for others to heed.

“I think it’s a pertinent message for students as well as our parents,” Biersmith said. “He’s a brilliant mind; I think he takes the complex and makes it really simple. It’s a message that needs to be heard in these changing times.”

Jennifer Shook, freshman, also felt positively about the speech.

“I thought it was really exciting and I think he had a lot good things to say,” Shook said. “I think it made an impact because I saw a lot of students who I would never have imagined thinking about that or caring about that. [There] was a really good turnout, and I really enjoyed what he had to say.”

Greg Linch can be contacted at g.linch@umiami.edu.

Bestselling author explains why the world is flat

By Greg Linch

Assistant News Editor

Young people will face a global economy and flat playing field when they enter the job market, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas Friedman said Monday at the School of Communication.

As part of the Northern Trust lecture series, the New York Times columnist spoke to 600 invited guests seated on the ground-level, as well students and staff on the overlooking walkways, about his best-selling book The World is Flat.

“We were looking for someone with a global view and knew about the global contexts students are getting into,” Sam L Grogg, dean of the School of Communication, said.

Friedman has been the foreign affairs columnist at the Times since 1995 and has covered an array of topics including the Middle East, the state department and the White House.

“Tom has helped us to understand the complex forces that shape our world,” President Donna E. Shalala said. “[He is] the most gifted journalist of his generation.”

The inspiration for the book, according to Friedman, came while he was working on a documentary for the Discovery Channel in Bangalore, India.

“The World is Flat came about completely by accident,” he said.

Friedman then went on to give an overview of the book, outlining the 10 factors that he said contributed to the “flattening” of the global economy. In addition, he explained three convergences that brought about a genesis in the flat world and, in turn, created a level platform for collaboration.

“We’re going from vertical to horizontal,” he said about the way business is and will be conducted. Friedman added that the changes the world is seeing will be as big a revolution as Johann Gutenberg’s movable type.

He attributed all of this to several major political changes, such as the fall of the Berlin wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. These changes, coupled with new widely available technologies, have played a role in connecting billions of people around the globe.

“In a flat world, there’s no such thing as an American job, just a job,” he said.

Shalala emphasized what a privilege it was to have Friedman speak on campus.

“He’s not bookable,” she said. “You just can’t call his agent and have him do a book signing. He’s doing this as a special favor.”

Before the main event, Friedman spoke to group of roughly 20 graduate and a few undergraduate journalism students about his experience in the field as a reporter and columnist.

J.R. Biersmith, a graduate broadcast student, was a part of that group and thought Friedman’s thoughts were important for others to heed.

“I think it’s a pertinent message for students as well as our parents,” Biersmith said. “He’s a brilliant mind; I think he takes the complex and makes it really simple. It’s a message that needs to be heard in these changing times.”

Jennifer Shook, freshman, also felt positively about the speech.

“I thought it was really exciting and I think he had a lot good things to say,” Shook said. “I think it made an impact because I saw a lot of students who I would never have imagined thinking about that or caring about that. [There] was a really good turnout, and I really enjoyed what he had to say.”

Greg Linch can be contacted at g.linch@umiami.edu.

January 27, 2005

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