Speaking to Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Carnegie’s Moisés Naím explained that the “hyper-connecting” of the world has led to a profusion of people, countries, and institutions. Today, more people are living in cities than on farms, as urbanization has grown faster than ever before. Moreover, the planet’s population is the youngest it has ever been. Tourism reached the 1 billion mark, with people moving from one country to another 37 percent more than a decade ago. Naím argued that this profusion has led to the erosion of the power of the most influential institutions, bosses, and leaders. In order to have power, an actor needs to have something special to shield it from competitors. The more, mobility, and mentality revolutions are challenging those in power, and all barriers are being undermined by them, asserted Naím.

Recent social movements have further challenged the legitimacy of these high power- yielding institutions. The movements have been successful in disrupting the current system, but have not been successful in organizing a solution. All of these widespread movements have a number of grievances—including quality of life, quality of housing, and inequality. These are all challenges that are very difficult to address immediately by an action-oriented political movement, Naím concluded.

This interview was originally broadcast by NYTConference.