Imagine There’s No Countries

Connectivity is destiny. Parag Khanna has brought a new map of the world with him to TED — one defined by connected megacities, not by political borders. “I want you to re-imagine how life is organized on Earth,” he says. “We can start by overcoming some ancient mythology.” That mythology — that geography is destiny — no longer applies because an equally powerful force, one of our own making, is sweeping the planet: connectivity. “We can no longer even think of geography as distinct from it,” Khanna says. “In fact, I believe the two forces are fusing together into what I call ‘connectography.’”

This fusion manifests itself in massive investments in infrastructure and the construction of megacities — not dots on a map but vast archipelagos of development stretching hundreds of kilometers. “All of these networks are devoted to one purpose, mankind’s number-one priority in the 21st century: sustainable urbanization,” Khanna says.

Transferring knowledge and policy between cities has started to reduce their carbon intensity, and it has the potential to make the world more peaceful. In Asia, the same countries that are building the world’s fastest-growing militaries are also investing billions in each other’s infrastructures and supply chains. “They are more interested in each other’s functional geography than in their political geography,” Khanna says. “By wrapping the world in such seamless physical and digital connectivity, we evolve towards a world in which people can rise above their geographic constraints.”

Stay tuned for the TED video. Meanwhile, watch our interview with Parag Khanna on Corporates Vs. The House Of Medici.

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