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How megacities are changing the map of the world

In this TED Talk, Khanna talks about the global connectivity revolution, in all its forms - transportation, energy and communications which has enabled a quantum leap in the mobility of people, goods, resources and knowledge. We can no longer think of geography as distinct from it.

World Built Environment Forum
22 March 2019

In this TED Talk, Khanna talks about the global connectivity revolution, in all its forms - transportation, energy and communications which has enabled a quantum leap in the mobility of people, goods, resources and knowledge. We can no longer think of geography as distinct from it.

Khanna sees these two forces of geography and connectivity as fusing together into what he calls "connectography." Connectography represents an evolution of the world from political geography, which is how we legally divide the world, to functional geography, which is how we actually use the world.

How megacities are changing the map of the world | Parag Khanna

"I want you to reimagine how life is organised on earth," says global strategist Parag Khanna. As our expanding cities grow ever more connected through transportation, energy and communications networks, we evolve from geography to what he calls "connectography."

Khanna asserts that connectivity, not sovereignty, has become the organising principle of the human species.

We are becoming a global network civilisation. Our global infrastructure spending is projected to rise to nine trillion dollars per year within the coming decade. We will build more infrastructure over the next 40 years, than we have in the past 4,000 years.

A twin megatrend in the 21st century is planetary urbanisation. Cities are the infrastructures that most define us. By 2030, more than two thirds of the world's population will live in cities. And these are not mere dots on the map, they are vast archipelagos stretching hundreds of kilometers.

Join "one of the most influential people of the 21st century" at the World Built Environment Forum Summit as he considers how the global system's long history of resilience can inspire confidence in its future.