A: Who do you think will be the big winners in business over the next couple of years?
B: I don’t have a crystal ball but I really believe that people who are adaptable, can speak English and another language well, people who understand the internet, and people who can network well will be at a huge advantage. Moreso now than ever before.
A: What is it about the current landscape of the global economy that values these skillsets?
B: Rapid technological change and a massive transfer of wealth from rich to poor countries are two major trends that will continue well into the foreseeable future. People who take advantage of these trends will be ahead of the game and become rich, while those who sit around hoping that change won’t happen will be left in the dust.
A: Can you give any specific examples?
B: Take education for example. Because of technology, it’s now possible for a professor to give a high quality video lecture to anyone around the world who has an Internet connection. That was unheard of less than 20 years ago. There is so much untapped business potential it’s ridiculous.
A: Why is learning English more important now than ever before?
B: There are many reasons but one is that English is the international language. The majority of new cutting edge ideas will be talked or written about either first or second in English. People with a decent understanding of English as well as business, will be able to stay ahead of the curve and apply these new ideas to make a fortune in their own country.
Phrases and Vocabulary used:
Crystal ball: Some “fortune tellers” look into a “crystal ball” and pretend to be able to tell the future. Most people now think this is completely ridiculous. So often, if someone is trying to predict the future, they may start with, “I don’t have a crystal ball but…” That basically means, I can’t promise you that I can really see the future, but it seems to me that it might go this way because of something.
I don’t have a crystal ball but I really can’t see that relationship lasting very long. They fight all the time.
Landscape: This word is used a lot in many different contexts. In this case, “the landscape of the global economy” is basically talking about what the global economy is really like.
Transfer of wealth: A “transfer of wealth” is money going from one place to another. Right now, for example, there is a major transfer of wealth between the USA and China. The Chinese, on average, are getting relatively richer than the average American.
Foreseeable future: The “foreseeable future” is a term that is talking about how far in the future it is sensible to really talk about. For example, it’s pretty ridiculous to try to predict what the world will be like in 1000 years.
I don’t think anyone in the foreseeable future will be able to run faster than Usain Bolt.
Be ahead of the game: If you are “ahead of the game” it means that you know more than most people in your situation about something.
He’s only 15 and he’s already been accepted to Harvard University. He’s really ahead of the game.
Left in the dust: If you “leave someone in the dust” it means that you move past them in some sort of competitive environment.
They left all their competition in the dust after they hired their new CEO.
Unheard of: If something is “unheard of” it means that it is something that is unimaginable.
60 years ago it was unheard of for a kid to yell at his teacher. Now it happens all the time.
Untapped: If something is “untapped” it means it has a lot of unused potential.
A lot of big oil companies want to drill in Alaska because there is a lot of untapped resources. Many people don’t want them to drill for oil there because of what it could do to the environment.
Ahead of the curve: If you are “ahead of the curve” it basically means you are “ahead of the game”.
You should read more if you want to stay ahead of the curve in your industry.
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