Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Start Locally to Address Globalization

Next week I am heading out West, way out West, to Sitka, Alaska where a small little community is addressing globalization before it addresses them.

is a small city of 9,000 with a large Native American population. Sitka is also unique in that it is the home of Mt. Edgecumbe High School, a boarding high school with 95% of its students of Native American heritage. Between this High School and the local universities Alaska is producing a lot of talent. Which is the good news. The bad news is that much of the talent the state produces is feeding the rest of the world. So local businesses and political leaders are now asking themselves, "How can we make globalization work for us"?

The answer is the Partners in Education program, which is why I will be making the 2500 mile trip this weekend. At the event Roger Sampson, Alaskan Commissioner of Education and Early Development will launch the program with support from IBM, Alyeska Pipeline, Arctic Slope Regional Corp and two local universities, Sheldon Jackson and the University of Alaska.

The Partners in Education framework provides a construct for helping governments, academia, companies and communities work together to build sustainable ecosystems that both protect the past and provide the right training for the future of the local economy. There is no reason why Sitka cannot become the next Tallin in Estonia where a little company called Skype was developed and was recently acquired by eBay for $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock in 2005. Could Sitka be the home of the next Skype. You bet.

Once underway the Partners in Education will be rolled across the US in other local communities. Please drop me a note if you are interested in doing something in your community.


Anonymous said...


Didn't ebay buy skype for $1.3 billion plus 32 billion shares of ebay. Total estimated value US$2.6 billion.

P.S. have fun in Alaska, I was there last year and it was wonderful.

Jerry S.

Christopher Sciacca said...

Thanks Jerry for keeping me honest. I have updated the post.