Intel sponsored a Socrates Salon in Washington DC on October 19, 20th. On Friday evening, more than 100 guests gathered at House of Sweden. Hari Sreenivasan moderated a conversation between Jack Goldstone and Vijay Vaitheeswaran on the emerging global middle class’ impact on trade, markets and innovation. On Saturday, Socrates participants spent the day at the Aspen Institute with Jack and Vijay delving into the topic.
The strength of the US middle class — as producers, consumers, and economic drivers — has long been critical to the American national identity, as well as to the global economy; today some 90 percent of Americans self-identify as “middle class”. But the real story of dramatic middle-class growth is happening well outside of our borders, in emerging markets. With growing middle class consumption in China and India, and economic challenges facing the west, what will be the impact on global economic growth and innovation? How will technology and cultural differences impact this power shift and the future global marketplace?