Extract from ENGLISH THINKING: Learn-To-Think in English, Lessons One to One Hundred by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson:
Modern English is the first global decision language because it is the most widely spoken language across the world. The boardrooms of the world think in English. English is the premium language of decision-making in communications, science, information technology, business, seafaring, aviation, radio and diplomacy. English thinkers are the brains behind the global entertainment industry, gaming and the social networking phenomenon. The world wide web is dominated by English thinking.
Are you an English thinker? A working knowledge of how to think in English is critical for advancement in a number of professions and occupations from medicine to IT to fashion. In today’s world more than a billion people can think in English to at least a basic level. The world is now divided into two groups: those who can think in English and those who cannot. The former has an unfair advantage over the latter. When it comes to thinking in English my advice is: catch up or miss out!
Why English Thinking? Looking back we can see how English became the lingua franca of today’s world. English thinking spread beyond the British Isles with the growth of the British Empire, and by the late 19th century its reach was truly global. Following British colonisation from the 16th to 19th centuries, English became the dominant language in the United States, Canada, Australia and India.
In the latter half of the 20th century widespread use of English was much reinforced by the global economic, financial, scientific, military, and cultural pre-eminence of the English-speaking countries. Most profoundly, the economic and cultural influence of America and its might as a global superpower since World War II have significantly accelerated the language’s spread across the planet.
Today, more than half of all scientific journals are published in English, while in France, almost one third of all natural science research appears in English. English has replaced German as the dominant language of science Nobel Prize laureates. It is now the lingua franca of international Air Traffic Control communications. In international diplomacy during the 20th century and at the United Nations, English has surpassed French as the dominant language.
What is English Thinking? There are two main facets to the term ‘English Thinking’. The first is the language and the second is the methodology. English Thinking not only requires a working knowledge of both the language and idiom of English but it also means the ability to understand and operate the historical cognitive techniques of English Thinking: logical/critical thinking; the scientific method and enlightenment/evolutionary thinking; and the more recent innovation/creative thinking tools of cognitive science.
Many English speakers are not English Thinkers.
“The world is divided into two groups: those who can think in English and those who cannot. The former has an unfair advantage over the latter. When it comes to thinking in English my advice is: catch up or miss out!“
– Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, author, ENGLISH THINKING: Learn-To-Think in English, Lessons One to One Hundred.
To all SOT members in 52 countries around the world may I wish you a Happy New Year. 2012 looks set to be an even more interesting year than 2011! To our Australian members have a relaxing and happy break over the January summer holidays.
In Australia, we are beach-lovers. This is our summer break so we mostly head off to our beaches and favourite holiday destinations with our family and friends. Traditionally, it’s a time for Aussies to relax together, to renew friendships and to have some fun.
We also have time to do a lot of reading and thinking. We meditate alone on our past year and our plans for the coming year. We have many shared discussions while sitting on the beach with friends or over a family barbecue. (Here’s a picture of St Kilda Beach where I was born and where I live today.)
Of course, I realise that SOT members in other countries do not live on the beach but in an amazingly diverse range of locations and picturesque settings. So whatever situation you find yourself in January, I do hope you will have time to meditate and think and to renew your life as you embark on a new year.
Very best wishes to you and your family and friends, and I hope we will continue our journey into thinking … together in 2012.
In the decade since September 11, 2001 the world has witnessed a dramatic and inexorable shift in the geo-political tectonic plates that are Europe, the USA and Asia.
In big global terms the world has watched as the post WWII position of USA dominance has shifted from growth to decline. We have all looked on as the Euro experiment has come to a shuddering, stalling halt. We have observed the rapid rise of Asia.
In particular the world has seen India assert itself as a rising global power. And, nothing has captured the imagination of the wired global audience more than the phenomenon of the growth of China.
During the past decade School of Thinking China has been researching the Chinese market and conducting projects for private corporate clients in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing.