I will depress you a little. Forgive me.
In the age of information in which technology is thumping, the geographical location and agricultural wealth do not make much sense or let’s say, as much as in the past. That is, there is a great danger for Turkey and taking place in the new world order requires a new understanding and comprehension. So that we will have a say in the world that the new economy will shape, the number of the technology firms or firms that have developed a popular and destructive technology in the world must be expressed hundreds in the next few years.
Unfortunately, in the last 6-7 years, our national income per capita is around 10K USD. It is easy to go up to 10K from 3-4K USD but going from 10K to 20K to 30K really requires very self-sacrificing and conscious work. It is getting harder and harder to realize our goal of becoming one of the top 10 economies in the world. Perhaps we cannot keep ourselves from questioning whether we can even take part in the top 20 economies in the 2020s, not to mention even being among the top 10 economies. According to the prediction of the Economist magazine, Turkey turns back the 20th place in 2025. Let’s not say the only way, but at least one of the most important ways of making this figure positive is to manufacture products with high value added, that is, with very powerful technologic aspects, because the new economy is constructed based on technology. Just as the importance of the Migration of Tribes for the Middle Age, the importance of the Conquest of İstanbul or Discovery of America by Columbus for the New Age, the importance of the French Revolution for the Modern Age, the fact that technology is shaping the human life (Perhaps here a few decades later, historians may refer to the invention of iPhone , the complete presentation of the Human Gene Map, the invention of the Artificial Intelligence, the discovery of Space with Elon Musk, or the establishment of the first Human Colony on Mars, etc. for this start) shall have such importance for information age, and we are now in the midst of this transformation. The pioneers/leaders of this period, in other words the world’s new hegemony or hegemonies, will be those who have been investing in technology for a few decades. In the meantime, for those wondering, the past hegemonies are Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, England, respectively, and later Germany-England-France, USA-Soviet Union and USA. I share the slide-share presentation for those who are interested in details. http://www.slideshare.net/dbmiller2va/power-politicsslideshare8-25. You can also watch a spectacular documentary series from YouTube about when the greatest powers of the world became hegemonies and how and where they gain that power https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5rkAOdEEs. You can read from this link the article that I wrote about Holland’s experience which I find very unusual. https://eycisi.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/how-to-become-great-the-netherlands-miracle/.
Having seen all of these, your horizon will probably be opened 3-5 times more and you will move away from the vicious discussions and start to work on the new economy. I would like to say now, excitedly, what I planned to say at the end. The hegemony or hegemonies of the information age shall be those who invest everything into technology, put innovation and entrepreneurship into center, and naturally hold the high quality human resources to carry out these all. Speaking of the quality human resource, it is worth pointing out that this depends on the quality of education. Here, I would like to share with you a few data about education from Selçuk Şirin’s book “Turkey on the Crossroads: Freedom or Misery” (“Yol Ayrımındaki Türkiye: Ya Özgürlük Ya Sefalet”):
– According to PISA’s data, the rate of our young people with advanced problem solving ability is 2.2%. This rate is 28% in South Korea!!! Entrepreneurs come out of those with advanced problem solving skills.
– More than 600 thousand university graduates in Turkey have abandoned hope to find a job.
– The number of new companies per 1000 at productive ages: Australia 12.2, United Kingdom 11, Turkey 0.8. That is, they are 15 times better.
– In 2014, no companies were established in 4 provinces. The number of companies established in 31 provinces does not exceed a single digit.
– While 6 out of 100 companies established in 2000 were closed, this rate is in the band 35-40 in recent years.
– The market value of Whatsapp (53 people) at the date of its sale is higher than the market value of the 4 biggest companies that Turkey has emerged during the Republican Period. (I cannot explain how I felt a pang of sorrow in my heart, especially while reading this one.)
What can we do despite the danger bells? Is there still hope? Yes there is. Probably we cannot catch this trend by running in fast steps, going by train, bus, car or airplane, however, if we go at the speed of space shuttle, we will have a say in this information age and our children will appreciate us. In fact, the basic remedy is obvious:
– We must have an education system based on creativity. What do I mean? That means this. At the beginning of December I was in Finland, in Slush, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurship events (slush.org). A Post Graduate music teacher, who worked voluntarily in the event, said that there are 2 reasons, when I asked why Finland is so successful in education. 1. Here the best-educated people of the country become teachers to educate the future generations. 2. There is a general curriculum from the center, but it only tells which topics need to be addressed. Every province, and even every school in the province, decides how this curriculum will be addressed. This would trigger pluralism, free thought and competition, he said. I think it could not be clearer. An anti-parenthesis: In Sweden to which I travelled several months ago, the mayor of Stockholm spoke about the vision of putting Stockholm in the top 3 in every field (Health, Energy, Information, etc.) in the world in 2030. I hope the same for Ankara.
– We should increase access to information as much as possible. We should reach the information, which is a tool, from everywhere, all the time and through multiple platforms and present some results.
– We need cyber-roads 100 times, 1000 times more than the need for double roads, and we need chips 100 times, 1000 times more than the need for cement.
Our work is totally difficult. I know. But do not worry. Even if we are late, there are people working on technology and entrepreneurship day and night in this country. I would like to give some examples from some of the companies that have won the award for the international success in our award ceremony, which we have recently organized as ODTÜ (METU) TEKNOKENT (odtuteknokent.com.tr) and where the prize winners of YFYİ (yfyi.com, Twitter: @yfyi) were present, too.
The fastest growing company in the global market reaching up to the billion dollars level with its latest investment: UDEMY!. The globally successful company with 212-country exportation network: TALEWORLDS! The company that was purchased by Google and recognized in the global market: ANVATO! The company making an international boom with investment from America’s leading Venture Capital company: OPSGENIE!
When I say that you can get all the details about the ceremony from
http://odtuteknokent.com.tr/en/haber/odtu-teknokent-basari-oduleri-sahiplerini-buldu, I cannot stop wishing that the light of hope will never disappear and that the entrepreneurship virus will never leave you.
Take care of yourself…
Note: As I mentioned in the article, I would like to explain that I benefited from Selçuk Şirin’s (selcuksirin.com) book “Turkey on the Crossroads: Freedom or Misery” (“Yol Ayrımındaki Türkiye: Ya Özgürlük Ya Sefalet”). Reading the story of Selçuk Şirin, a person is much more hopeful