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The Globalization Portal


Globalization (or globalisation—see spelling differences) is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture. Put in simple terms, globalization refers to processes that increase world-wide exchanges of national and cultural resources. Advances in transportation and telecommunications infrastructure, including the rise of the Internet, are major factors in globalization, generating further interdependence of economic and cultural activities.

The term Globalization can also be referred to as the process of opening up all national economies in a globalized market. Globalization is mainly used in the economic field, but it affects all human activities: industry, services, trade, politics, social, culture, religion, transport, health ... It also concerns communication and exchanges between the entire world and different cultures so that we would all become a "global village." However, this would be very difficult to operate in a purely national market because the countries that already have a stable economic system, would not accept to make a change on their economic system. Also, very conservative countries would never want anything to change in their culture.

Humans have interacted over long distances for thousands of years. The overland Silk Road that connected Asia, Africa, and Europe is a good example of the transformative power of translocal exchange that existed in the "Old World". Philosophy, religion, language, the arts, and other aspects of culture spread and mixed as nations exchanged products and ideas. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Europeans made important discoveries in their exploration of the oceans, including the start of transatlantic travel to the "New World" of the Americas. Global movement of people, goods, and ideas expanded significantly in the following centuries. Early in the 19th century, the development of new forms of transportation (such as the steamship and railroads) and telecommunications that "compressed" time and space allowed for increasingly rapid rates of global interchange. In the 20th century, road vehicles, intermodal transport, and airlines made transportation even faster. The advent of electronic communications, most notably mobile phones and the Internet, connected billions of people in new ways by the beginning of the 21st century.

The term globalization has been in increasing use since the mid-1980s and especially since the mid-1990s. In 2000, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified four basic aspects of globalization: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people, and the dissemination of knowledge. Further, environmental challenges such as climate change, cross-boundary water and air pollution, and over-fishing of the ocean are linked with globalization. Globalizing processes affect and are affected by business and work organization, economics, socio-cultural resources, and the natural environment.

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Manuel Castells
Manuel Castells
B. 1942

Manuel Castells is a Spanish sociologist especially associated with research on the information society, communication and globalization. The 2000–09 research survey of the Social Sciences Citation Index ranks him as the world’s fifth most-cited social science scholar and the foremost-cited communication scholar. He was awarded the 2012 Holberg Prize for having "shaped our understanding of the political dynamics of urban and global economies in the network society." His work synthesises empirical research literature with combinations of urban sociology, organization studies, internet studies, social movements, sociology of culture, and political economy. He coined the term “The Fourth World”, denoting sub-population(s) socially excluded from the global society; usual usage denotes the nomadic, pastoral, and hunter-gatherer ways of life beyond the contemporary industrial society norm.

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1901 chart of undersea telegraph cabling

Eastern Telegraph Company 1901 chart of undersea telegraph cabling. An example of modern globalizing technology in the beginning of the 20th century.

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North America from low orbiting satellite Suomi NPP
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has ecological, economic, political and cultural dimensions. Sustainability requires the reconciliation of environmental, social equity and economic demands - also referred to as the "three pillars" of sustainability or (the 3 Es).

Healthy ecosystems and environments are necessary to the survival and flourishing of humans and other organisms. There are a number of major ways of reducing negative human impact. The first of these is environmental management. This approach is based largely on information gained from earth science, environmental science and conservation biology. The second approach is management of human consumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained from economics. A third more recent approach adds cultural and political concerns into the sustainability matrix.

Sustainability interfaces with economics through the social and environmental consequences of economic activity. Sustainability economics involves ecological economics where social aspects including cultural, health-related and monetary/financial aspects are integrated. Moving towards sustainability is also a social challenge that entails international and national law, urban planning and transport, local and individual lifestyles and ethical consumerism. Ways of living more sustainably can take many forms from reorganising living conditions (e.g., ecovillages, eco-municipalities and sustainable cities), reappraising economic sectors (permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture), or work practices (sustainable architecture), using science to develop new technologies (green technologies, renewable energy and sustainable Fission and Fusion power), to adjustments in individual lifestyles that conserve natural resources.

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Anti-globalization movement(7 C, 20 P)
Biological globalization(2 C, 3 P)
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