Why Network Thinking Matters

Network thinking:

Rep. David Obey (D-WI) included the pandemic preparation funding in the [stimulus] package because he believed “that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse.”

vs. Non-network thinking:

SENATOR COLLINS (on why she stripped pandemic flu funding from the stimulus bill): There’s funding to help improve our preparedness for a pandemic flu. There is funding to help improve cyber security. What does that have to do with an economic stimulus package? [CNN, 1/31/09]

In a networked world:

LONDON – Airlines and travel companies led world stock markets lower Monday as investors worried that a deadly outbreak of swine flu in Mexico could go global and derail any global economic recovery, though pharmaceutical companies rallied on expectations that demand for anti-viral drugs may surge to deal with any pandemic.

Investors are fretting that a flu outbreak could set back already-enfeebled global trade and travel, just at a time when policy-makers around the world have begun sounding more optimistic about the global economy’s prospects.

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