My friend Martin, who is studying International Relations at the United States International University in Nairobi, sent me a link to The Age of Nonpolarity, which he is reading in his PoliSci class. The articles does a nice job of explaining the decline of American influence globally, the rise of multiple sites of power (countries, regions, cities, NGOs, corporations, etc.), and all of this description mirrors, in many ways, the kind of distributed telecommunications network we now find ourselves living in. Makes me wonder--is this an accurate description, or just a pleasing, familiar description? Probably a bit of both. ; )
I've being trying to think through the logistics of being a small organization working among giants, using the networking tools we now have available to us, but also just psychologically accepting / realizing that such action is possible. This article helps me see that indeed, the world political terrain is open to a number of players / actors, and that small players / actors can partner with larger player actors (Gates Foundation) in order to make headway; the large player-actors do not need to be government agencies.