Watching Slumdog Millionaire scoop up Oscars tonight is more than a sign that this is a great film. I’d suggest it’s also a sign that the world is getting smaller and flatter and that brilliant, talented folks don’t all come from the USA. Although this film is a British more than Indian production, the appeal is thanks in large part to a rising India.
Of course we all have known for some time that there are millions and millions of talented folks from nations all over the world, but the lesson of Slumdog’s Oscar success is that we’ll be seeing a lot more of that Talent in a lot more venues a lot more often.
The Slumdog phenomenon is ‘in your face’ globalization, and its importance is significant. We’ve enjoyed
great success and prosperity in the USA much to the envy and sometimes the anger of other parts of the world. We’ve shared some stuff and hogged other stuff, but the new rules of a global economy have equalized much of the playing field – flattened the earth as Tom Friedman suggests in his book “The Earth is Flat”.
We’ll be reeling for some time from the negative economic forces created as tens of millions played the paper wealth game while the government fiddled and Wall Street schemed to cash in on the folly of a massive housing bubble. Yet this is likely to pale in comparison to the massive global changes sweeping over us at every turn. These changes are unstoppable and mostly positive if you believe in fair chances for everybody.
The overwhelming success of Slumdog Millionaire isn’t just telling us that the Indian themes and talent in the film industry are rising, its telling us that the whole developing world is rising up to match – and sometimes exceed – the remarkable history of American accomplishment and prosperity.
In this increasingly globalized world it’s not longer enough just to copy and expand on former great ideas – we all need to look for the best ways for *everybody* to be run faster, jump higher, and be smarter and more productive than ever before.
But before that I’m going to finish watching the Oscars…