TEDxSydney: Business Dean talks of survival in a G2 World

24 May 2012

We will soon be living in a world in which China and the US share power, says Professor Geoffrey Garrett.
We will soon be living in a world in which China and the US share power, says Professor Geoffrey Garrett.

The drum beat says Australia must rebalance its foreign policy away from the US and towards China.

This view assumes China will soon eclipse the US as the world's most powerful country and that the transition will be bloody.

The problem with this line of thought is that we won't be living in a China-dominant world anytime soon but rather one in which China and the US will be twin superpowers.

At TEDxSydney this week, the Dean of the University of Sydney Business School, Professor Geoffrey Garrett, will look at Australia's future in world not dominated by a Group of 20 or a Group of Eight but rather a G2 World in which China and the United States share political and economic power.

As China's economy matures, it will also slow while the US will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, Professor Garrett will tell TEDxSydney, the annual forum for 'Ideas worth spreading'.

China and the US want to make money with each other, not war with each other. To do this, Professor Garrett, who is also Chief Executive of the United States Studies Centre, believes that the two will live with their radically different world views and manage their tensions.

This environment, he says, offers Australia an economic "win-win-win" situation.

For the first time the University of Sydney is partnering with TEDxSydney, which returns to CarriageWorks in Sydney's Eveleigh on Saturday, and is an offshoot of US-based TED talks, founded in 1984. TED speakers have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Sir Richard Branson and Bono.

"We are delighted to join TEDxSydney as the exclusive education partner," said Dr Michael Spence, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.

"We share a passion for thought leadership, challenging ideas and intellectual engagement. For more than 160 years the University has been a centre of learning and engaged enquiry.

"Our partnership with TEDxSydney is a natural fit as we continue to ask questions and seek answers to the world's big issues."

TEDxSydney will feature a selection of Australia's leading thinkers, storytellers and performers sharing their ideas with an invited audience. Talks will be simulcast globally via webstream, and a live viewing event will be hosted in the CarriageWorks foyer by University of Sydney alumnus Julian Morrow, co-founder of The Chaser.

TEDxSydney licensee and longterm TEDster Remo Giuffré said the 2012 event aimed to surpass last year's, and will include including a second day of programming with the TED Worldwide Talent Search. The global experiment will be co-hosted by TED curator Chris Anderson and content director Kelly Stoetzel.

"As a non-profit event TEDxSydney could not exist without the in-kind and financial support we receive - and we certainly could not afford to continue to grow the event," Giuffré said.

"We are thrilled to be working with the University of Sydney for TEDxSydney 2012. Ideas worth spreading is what education is all about, and education is what TED is increasingly about. The University of Sydney is a great institution, and there's a natural fit between us. We look forward to doing good things together."

Professor Garrett is also a participant in the University's What Matters community engagement campaign which brings together people from across the University's spectrum to talk about how their work has made a difference in the world. See Professor Garrett's What Matters contribution now. 

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