I would say that the real drivers of the “Post-American World” won’t be China… or India… or Brazil — or any nation for that matter. The real drivers will be women. Women entrepreneurs. Women business, political, academic and cultural leaders. Women innovators. The truth is women already are the most dynamic and fastest-growing economic force in the world today. Women now control over $20 trillion dollars in spending worldwide. To put that into context — that’s an economic impact larger than the U.S., China and India economies combined.
So, let’s for the moment forget all the talk about the “China Century” or the “India Century” or the “BRIC Century.” The real story is that the 21st century is going to be the “Women’s Century.” As the world desperately looks for ways to restart and reset the global economy, the solution lies right in front of us. In the words of World Bank President Robert Zoellick, gender equality is simply “smart economics.”
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I think the driver will be different than what any of the pundits or “experts” predict. Will women be a part of it? Sure, but I think the real driver is going to be home-grown industry. Adafruit is a great example of a female entrepreneurial business, but were it founded by a man instead it would still be a shining example of things to come.
I think focusing on the characteristics of the doers, rather than the actual doing, is too narrow-sighted. The motives themselves are what is important.