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Brief Published: 9 Dec 2011

Ink Conference: A New Silk Road for India?


The Power of the Journey is the theme of this year’s Ink conference, held in bustling Jaipur in India. The event brings together the world’s best thinkers from a wide range of disciplines including, art, science, technology and design to fuel innovation and foster knowledge.

Indian American geo-strategist Parag Khanna took the audience on a 1,000-year journey of globalisation – from Italian explorer Marco Polo, to the need in India for a "21st-century Silk Road" – referring to the historical Trans-Asian trade routes.

"There is only one journey that all of us have been on – the journey of globalisation," Khanna proclaimed, adding that accelerated by technology, "globalisation 5.0" is upon us. Back in the 1990s, a handful of nations controlled much of the trade, whereas now "resources and capital are fragmented, flowing in all directions and growing exponentially”.

So what does total globalisation mean for India? Khanna wants India to "rejoin the Silk Road". Enabled by the already under-construction high-speed trans-Asia rail links – an "iron and steel-enabled” Silk Road could be just around the corner. The politics between surrounding nations, however, will be a major stumbling block, according to Khanna.

The Ink Conference runs from 8-11 December 2011.