While the speed of globalization is increasing, ultimately it is a phenomenon that has been occurring since the dawn of time. Globalization can be spurred by religion, cross-border trade, investment and migration, just to name a few.

Since 1950, the volume of world trade has increased 20 times. In distinguishing this current wave of globalization from earlier ones, the website "Globalization 101" quotes author Thomas Friedman, who has said that today globalization is occurring “farther, faster, cheaper, and deeper.”

In defining globalization, many have used various terms, calling it a process, or a condition, a system, a force or even an age. Consider this current and thorough definition from Globalization 101: 

"Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. This process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world."

I had heard the argument that Brexit was being viewed as a counter force to globalization, a rejection to it. Also, there are forces at work when existing economic powers make decisions to protect their status as emerging markets begin exerting their initiatives. Terrorism and protectionism are having their impact on the globalization momentum.

Those of us who are involved in global mobility are each day facilitating the globalization process. While we often get into the nitty gritty details of a given expatriate assignment or cross-border relocation, occasionally it is good to step back and consider what is going on out there!

If you’re looking to get a quick and clear understanding of globalization – and particularly why there has been such a backlash – watch this three-minute video.