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Global Cities Render National Borders Obsolete


全球城市淘汰国界 “Cities, not nations, are the key players in a global “systems change” taking place in the world today,” says Parag Khanna, a leading strategist and a Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, in an interview to The Atlantic. In his newly published book, “Connectography“, Khanna outlines the deep changes in our current perception of geography. In the age of hyperconnectivity, physical borders and locations matter less – global communications and supply chains are much more important, shifting the focus of national security and military forces to their protection. And while geographical borders are effectively erased, a new stratum of “global cities” arises – and some of these, boasting a population and wealth comparable to a small country, maintain their own diplomacy with other cities of the kind.

These “city-states”, some by definition (Singapore, Hong-Kong) and others by perception (and one will often hear that “London is not England”, as much as New York City is barely representative of smalltown America), are usually giant metropoles serving as regional hubs and attracting minds and money from their immediate surroundings. Oftentimes these are the nation’s capitals or largest cities, holding most of its wealth – yet one may see that a growing number of their inhabitants define themselves as global citizens, rather then exhibiting a strong national identity.

A global city is a perfect, almost obvious ecosystem for nurturing venture and innovation. In City Venture, one of our new research strands, we explore the relationship between a city and the ventures within it – how a city can encourage and accelerate ventures; how do the city and the ventures benefit one another; what are the tools and resources enabling a successful city venture ecosystem; and what happens when ventures in a city fail? Issue 5 of Coller Venture Review, to be published in Q4-2016, will be dedicated to city venture – and a call for papers will be issued soon.

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