Boardroom briefing: Globalisation to ‘reset’, music sharing in Melanesia, and Facebook’s answer to Zoom


Globalisation due for a ‘reset’, promoting local music sharing in Melanesia, and Facebook gets into video conferencing. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

COVID-19 has made globalisation very ill

Will the coronavirus stop globalisation dead in its tracks? In the short term, it already has, observes Tim Harcourt, former chief economist at Austrade.

‘But in the long term,’ he suggests in an article for the Lowy Institute’s The Interpreter blog, ‘it will mean a reset not an outright rejection of globalisation.’

What will this reset look like? With ‘six of the nations first hit – China, South Korea, Italy, Japan, the US and Germany – accounting for 55 per cent of world GDP, 60 per cent of global manufacturing, and 50 per cent of global manufacturing exports’, he anticipates a major blow to both global demand and supply.

Because ‘the pandemic exposes the world’s reliance on Chinese global supply chains’, he also expects ‘a realignment of alliances’, greater scrutiny of foreign investment, and countries moving towards greater self-reliance and flexibility in their local manufacturing.

Some trends already established, such as telecommuting, robotics and artificial intelligence, will accelerate.

Finally, perhaps in good news for a country like Papua New Guinea, Harcourt believes ‘rocks and crops’ – mining and agriculture – will remain steady.

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Promoting local music sharing in Melanesia

The Melanesian music-streaming platform MJAMS started in the Solomon Islands. Credit: MJAMS/Facebook

Amanda Watson, Research Fellow at the Department of Pacific Affairs, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University, has taken an interesting deep dive into music sharing in Melanesia.

Her research paper takes a look at the rise in mobile phone usage in PNG and the Solomon Islands and looks at the emergence of sharing local music and the possible growth of music streaming with the arrival of the Coral Seal Cable.

The report find that models of music streaming like Spotify will not work in PNG due to the market size and the lack of credit card usage, but it takes a look at MJAMS, a Melanesian music-streaming platform that started in the Solomon Islands and has since spread to Samoa and American Samoa – and that might provide a better model for any PNG music entrepreneurs.

Facebook zooms into videoconferencing

Messenger Rooms Facebook

Messenger Rooms will soon hold up to 50 people. Credit: Facebook

Social media giant Facebook launched Messenger Rooms this week as a competitor to Zoom, the breakout business of the pandemic. According to a report in Entrepreneur Asia, the new service will be available whether or not you have a Facebook account and appears to be more fluid with people being able to ‘drop in’ on live streams in a simpler way to Zoom.

The main difference appears to be that your Messenger Room will live on your Facebook profile, should you do have an account, allowing friends and family to see when you are on a live call and visit spontaneously.

Facebook has said that Messenger Room has started to roll out in some countries.

Worth checking out if you are doing a lot of video chats.

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