A Scottish town planner may have been the first person to use the concept, if not the exact words, back in the early 1900s: "Think globally, act locally." Regardless of its origins or history, it needs to be an idea practiced by every person wanting to participate in Memphis' share of the global economy.
As workers, investors, inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs, business people or community members, we are part and parcel of a global economy, and it is not waiting for any of us.
Thomas Friedman, in his 2005 bestseller, "The World is Flat," tells this fable to illustrate the urgency of the matter:
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.