Shofwan memenangkan The 39th St Gallen Symposium yang berlangsung di Swiss, 7–9 May 2009. St Gallen Symposium adalah acara tahunan yang dihadiri sejumlah pemimpin bisnis dan politik dari seluruh dunia untuk berdialog dengan para pemimpin muda. Dalam acara tersebut, para ratusan pemimpin muda diseleksi lewat karya tulis bertemakan krisis global, untuk kemudian diambil 3 terbaik dan dipersilakan menyampaikan gagasannya di hadapan forum dunia. Berikut isi makalahnya :
My first arrival at Japan was deeply dominated by admiration -both on Japan’s technologies that I saw for the first time (including a simple vending machine in Kansai International Airport’s corner), and on how the globalization has made me possible to be there. In my grandfather’s days, going abroad was a difficult thing that could take months or even years. It was the reason why every time somebody is going to depart for hajj, we will have a traditional festival to pray for his or her safety. In my father’s days, it was getting shorter –but still difficult and long. Now, it is easier to go from one part to another part of the globe. It takes only seven hours from Jakarta to Osaka. The world is getting more connected.
In my second coming to Japan, in 2008, I realized that something different was happening simultaneously. The immigration officer asked me to put my fingers on a machine. My finger prints were taken. “For security, Sir!” he told me. I smiled.
Introduction: The Flat and the Fortress
Inspired by his travel to Bangalore, India, Thomas Friedman wrote a revelation arguing that “The World is flat.” Countries are no longer in a different ‘level of playing field’. All competitors, despite its historical background, are now having equal opportunities. Political and economic boundaries are fading away in a fast pace.
Noting that the Friedman put the crumbling of Berlin Wall as one primary mover of the World’s flattening, one should aware that the collapse of World Trade Centre’s Twin Towers was a symbol of an entirely different story. The emergence of ‘homeland security’ doctrine created excuses for the strengthening of border control in North America. Immigration procedures are getting stricter in Europe and almost all parts of the World. The so-called “flat world” seems to be jagged. Political and economic boundaries are still there –and may become stronger in the future.