What is the Digital Age
and why is it important?
Like all people I have always been a learner. I have actively tried to dig into new and unexpected learning experiences. One of the first journeys into new and for me unknown worlds was my time in Iraq as an employee and teacher of the International Labour Organization. The year I spent in Baghdad generated a profound interest in the history of the Middle East and a deep respect and admiration for its cultures. This interest I have carried with me for the rest of my life.
In Baghdad my teacher was a former Egyptian minister who took me to his office for a one hour long lecture every day.
This experience brought me to the World Bank in Washington DC, USA. The World Bank was for me another excellent school, because of its international staff. It also offered me opportunities to travel to Africa and many other countries and try to understand what I could do to support their development goals. But most good things have a flip-side too. In the case of the World Bank I found the Bank too bureaucratic for my taste and after almost a decade I decided to leave and look for new learning opportunities.
The next step on my learning curve was an appointment at one of the faculties of United Nations University. Again the international staff, international networks, concerns for peace and a sustainable future for mankind were daily lessons helping me to see my place in the world. I continued to travel and I was a speaker in many conferences, including a high-level political meeting between EU and China in Shanghai.
But during these years of international travel and learning, information technology developed, initially in the background, but more and more critical in all forms of interaction and communication. Mankind was entering what I want to call the Digital Age. Internet was becoming the nervous system of planet earth, of Gaia, and all forms of learning and work depend on using it, on mastering it.
But, we are all individual human beings, here and now. That is why I believe there is a second key component in the life of everyone living in the Digital Age: the local life, the local community, local colleagues, family and friends. My teacher for this component has been the organisation Local Futures. They have for years been doing a critically important task in preserving the local perspective of life during the increasingly global Digital Age.
That is my motivation behind this site. Learn online, work online, enjoy and be yourself online. But at the same time maintain your local awareness, your local community, your local identity, be yourself.
Welcome to the Digital Age!