Cross-Border Commute


Michele Bowman, 32, senior vice president at Global Foresight Associates, a Boston-based futures-research and consulting firm.


“Electronic immigrants, also known as cross-border telecommuters, are nothing new. But as the global economy becomes more integrated and interdependent, the ranks of these workers will grow. Electronic immigrants will soon infiltrate high-end technical fields such as engineering and it.”

So What?

“Global businesses will have to pay more attention to the issue of intellectual-property rights. Free agents who have a broad range of experiences are highly valuable, but they pose a risk to a company’s intellectual capital. And employee ideologies will increasingly reflect industry-based perspectives rather than geographically organized political systems. For example, rice growers in Alabama and Vietnam will collaborate to promote their product but will have little affinity for steel producers in Mobile or Hanoi. Companies will have to foster a corporate culture that transcends national boundaries.”

Futurology Decoder Key

“Cybership will vie for importance with citizenship. Companies will need to increase their tolerance for change, and view boundaries — whether national, corporate, or divisional — as more and more nebulous.”

Contact Michele Bowman by email (, or visit Global Foresight Associates on the Web (