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The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

by Thomas L. Friedman

(The author will be on hand to sign books at the end of the presentation)

Friday, April 8, 2005 12:00–1:30 p.m.
IMF Center Auditorium, HQ R-710 (Visitors enter via the IMF Center)
720 19th St. NW, Washington, DC

This Book Forum is free and open to the public.


For security reasons, please RSVP to or (202) 623-7001 as soon as possible, as seats are limited. A picture ID will be required; persons and bags will be screened.

Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow for these additional measures. Visitors should enter through the IMF Center, 720 19th St. NW.

Only IMF/World Bank Staff ID holders should use IMF main entrance at 700 19th St. NW.

When scholars write the history of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004," what will they say was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations, giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization? And with this "flattening" of the globe, which requires us to run faster in order to stay in place, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner?

In his new book, the award-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The World Is Flat is the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of the most respected journalists.

The event will be moderated by Raghuram Rajan, Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department.