Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (Sanskrit: वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्) – The World is One Family
~Mahopanishad VI.71-73, Circa 450 B.C
It’s been close to 2500 years since the above words were written (or maybe spoken, as back then scriptures were passed on as chants without being written), but it is only in the last few decades that we’ve finally started to understand the true meaning of the above words.
It’s not that the wars over blurry borders have ceased altogether or the politicians have stopped talking about ‘building walls’, but there is a renewed consciousness amongst general public about Global Citizenship. Immigration is still mostly done for monetary needs or for refuge from tyranny, but what has changed is the perception about immigration. Patriotism is seen as a distant cousin of nationalism and the guilt of leaving behind your motherland is somewhat less, as the economies are interlinked and the hearts are electronically connected.
Today’s Needull, a recent report by World Bank on Global Talent Flow, stems from my recent discussion with close friends about why someone would be willing to venture towards a distant snowstorm, leaving behind the familiar warmth of home. While the report doesn’t answer the philosophical aspects of immigration, it provides a whole lot of data to show that immigration is a byproduct of the revolutionary increase in communication channels, level of education in developing countries and interlinked foreign trade.
The forces behind the exceptional rise in the number of high-skilled migrants to OECD countries include the increased efforts to attract talent by policymakers who invest in human capital, the positive spillovers generated by skill agglomeration, the declines in transportation and communication costs, and the rising pursuit of foreign education by young people.