The global impact of our individual actions in society today is more than most of us know. The reach a single person can have has grown exponentially with the advent of the Internet and accompanying decrease in technology costs. The question becomes, how have people used this historical improvement in our ability to communicate across the world? One professor from the University of Oxford began inventing solutions for the less privileged people of the world. His idea began with the concept of user-adjustable spectacles. Check out a demo of his invention:


Professor Silver quite aptly described the problem of vision loss across the world. Using his glasses, he suggests that helping people to improve their vision goes far beyond just being able to see better; Having better vision enables people to go back to work and reintegrate into society. So, how does an invention and application such as this tie back into the world of international business? In my opinion, there are two key takeaways:

  • First, some may say that the glasses here simply represent a humanitarian effort.  I would argue that this idea represents much more: an emerging technology. The concept of enabling people to create glasses that are immediately usable, with little interaction from an optometrist, is attractive regardless of living conditions or situation. 
  •  Second, by using the Internet and global networks, individuals like Professor Silver are able to spread the word about ideas and inventions quickly and easily. Small groups of people can now get international attention at a very low cost. Globalization can take on many different forms. In this form, it is easy to see both the humanitarian and business benefits of living in a world where barriers to communication have been dramatically decreased.

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