Thought

How Trade Grew the World: A New Economic History Group

An aerial view of a trade ship

I’ve just started a new group for Trust u3a; How Trade Grew the World: A new Economic History.

Trade is the lifeblood of economic growth. And although globalisation may be in a period of retreat, especially since the pandemic, the changes that have been wrought by the increased connectedness of the world have had a huge impact on both highly-developed and newly-developing economies.

Understanding economic history through trade is the focus of this group. It takes its inspiration from a classic book: “The World that Trade Created: Society, Culture and the World Economy.”

The aim of this group is to explore collaboratively how all these elements have interacted to create our modern world. Even in the last few weeks, huge changes have been happening to the shape of the global economy, from cereal production and distribution to the availability of the rare earths and metals that make all electronics possible.

The group’s approach will be to choose some top-level topics and explore these by individual research with presentations that fit together so that we can learn and understand our complex world depends on trade in all types of commodities.

The group needs eight to ten members initially, but the more the merrier. Initially we will meet monthly via Zoom, and it will be a classic u3a peer-to-peer learning approach: members should be willing to research on agreed topics, and present and discuss their research. A member should expect to present once or twice a year.

Find out more about the group on the Trust u3a website.