Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Globalization is the reality of our World and impacts our Decisions.

Written by: on February 2, 2023

In his book, The Ages of Globalization, Prof. Jeffrey D Sachs sets out the history of globalization through human history.[1] Sachs, a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development, uses a multidisciplinary approach to the theme, including Anthropology, geography, history, sociology, political science, economics, and other aspects of human development, to shed light on how we can meet the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century. He documents the dynamics of six previous ages of globalization: The Paleolithic Age, 70,000–10,000 BCE; The Neolithic Age, 10,000–3000 BCE; the Equestrian Age, 3000–1000 BCE; the Classical Age, 1000 BCE–1500 CE; the Ocean Age, 1500–1800; and the Industrial Age 1800–2000.

Massetti, in her book review, says, “Each age represents what he terms a scale-enlarging transformation, expanding both population and production while changing the nature of governance and geopolitics. Depending on the climate, technology, and institutional options available to a particular geography, human progress has been spurred or spurned by globalization.”[2] Through these ages, Sachs identifies a storyline running through all the seven ages, “one of unfolding progress, albeit progress repeatedly marked by injustice, inequalities, and extraordinary violence.”[3] Sachs also observes a unique phenomenon that is also highlighted by Jared Diamond in his book, Guns, Germs, and Steel.[4] The advantages of the so-called the “lucky latitudes,” because, “they have been home to humanity’s greatest technological and economic progress.” These coordinates are from 25 degrees North to 45 degrees North in Eurasia or the global north. I believe that the next great phenomenon is the gradual rise of the global south, as African and other global southern countries work hard to claim their rightful and respectable place in global affairs despite trade and other global financial policies pitted against them; my dream is valid, and it keeps my hope alive.

Sachs asserts that the most urgent global problems require nothing less than concerted, planetwide action to secure a long-term future. He defines globalization as “the interlinkages of diverse societies across large geographical areas. These interlinkages are technological, economic, institutional, cultural, and geopolitical. They include interactions of societies across the world through trade, finance, enterprise, migration, culture, empire, and war.”[5] Within the different ages, Sachs considers how the interplay of geography, technology, and institutions influenced the Neolithic revolution; the role of the horse in the emergence of empires; the spread of large land-based empires in the classical age; the rise of global empires after the opening of sea routes from Europe to Asia and the Americas; and the industrial age. Sachs demonstrates how the dynamics of these past waves offer a fresh perspective on the ongoing processes of globalization in our own time through digital technologies.

Of great interest are the problems that are facing globalization. Sachs identifies three challenges facing an increasingly globalized humanity: a destabilizing increase in economic inequality with the majority living below the poverty line, a devastating global environmental crisis, and the risk of global conflict that could annihilate humans. The current Digital Age, starting in 2000, is so new and so accelerating that our near future is unknowable, except that we must defeat climate change to continue to thrive and to keep millions of other species from going extinct. We need more equality in race, gender, health care, education, population, and wealth to survive. All these challenges are driven by territoriality and are thus genetic, requiring affirmative effort to change. Capitalism, a territorial economic system, must also be checked.

Sachs is prescriptive in postulating solutions for these global challenges, an approach that he has been criticized for. He emphasizes the need for new international governance and cooperation methods to prevent conflicts and achieve economic, social, and environmental objectives aligned with sustainable development; He calls for a transition to renewable energy and a universal commitment to sustainable development.

Sachs highlights the limitations that he sees in the solutions that he prescribes. On the transition to renewable energy, he is not sure that changes can be made quickly enough to avoid irreparable planetary harm; three significant impediments to sustainable development in the current Digital Age, increasing global inequality between individuals, the global environmental crisis, and the risk of war, especially between China and the United States; Lack of political will, because politics are controlled by money, and the influence of the multinational corporations that hijack and control government; and a deliberate campaign of public disinformation that has led to a distrust of scientific facts and institutions.

Several Criticism has been directed at Sachs; his book is overly prescriptive and out of touch with a global polarity that outweighs a sense of global common purpose; he has ignored major trends in some parts of the world that render his proposed solutions unimplementable, like circumstances that will force Europe to use coal to stay warm in winter and forget to stay green, China is placing poor countries into debt traps rather than helping them, the UN has become a lame duck, is principally dependent on the US, and cannot even stop the war in Ukraine;  human nature and governments that are looking out for themselves, and only looking out for others if it benefits them; and the misinformed assumption that the world will be benevolent and united to solve the global challenges.

The book was a great read and very informative about the history of globalization; it triggered me to think of ministry from a global perspective. The author approaches globalization purely from a secular point of view. Still, it helped me reflect on the place of the church and the Christian leader in the context of globalization as I work on my research on the case for holistic ministry and developing protocols for entry into new vulnerable communities. The protocols I will develop and regular retrospection after each new vulnerable community entry will serve as a framework for continuous improvement in our ministry practices for a bigger impact.  The need to ensure the global applicability and scalability of our holistic ministry model becomes even more critical if we are to agree with Jesus’ global vision for spreading the Gospel that is captured in His words in Matthew 28:19(NASB); “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations…,” for the Bible (NASB) in Hosea 3:3(NASB) says, “do two walk together unless they have agreed to meet.”


[1] Sachs, Jeffrey D. The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions. (New York, NY, USA. Columbia University Press, 2020).

[2] Massetti, Brenda (2020) “The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions,” Journal of Global Awareness: Vol. 1: No. 1, Article 8, 2020: https://scholar.stjohns.edu/jga/vol1/iss1/8

[3] Sacks, Jeffrey D. The Ages of Globalization.,…pg. 12

[4] Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. (New York City, NY, USA. W. W. Norton & Company, 1997)

[5] Sacks, Jeffrey D. The Ages of Globalization.….

About the Author


Mary Kamau

Christ follower, Mother of 3 Biological children and one Foster daughter, Wife, Pastor, Executive Director of Institutional Development and Strategy in Missions of Hope International, www.mohiafrica.org.

16 responses to “Globalization is the reality of our World and impacts our Decisions.”

  1. mm Eric Basye says:

    Mary, this is an excellent post. Seriously, in my opinion, this is your very best. A very good summary. I find it particularly interesting given your context as your perspective is so different than my own. Yet, in this crazy digital age of interconnectedness, I don’t feel that we are worlds apart.

    In thinking about your work, and what seems to be a growing expanse and presence (including the US), how do you foresee this age of connection helpful you fulfill your vision and kingdom work?

  2. mm Mary Kamau says:

    Thank you, Eric, especially for your affirmative comments. I will answer your question with a comment about how digital connectivity was critical not only for the organization to stay afloat but we were able to grow our work into new communities both in 2020 and 2021 at the height of the covid19 pandemic. With the lessons learned during the pandemic, where we were limited by lockdowns and the inability to travel, we are better placed to more effectively communicate globally with our ministry partners, collect feedback, establish work in remote geographical areas and other countries, and report promptly on the impact of the ministry work on people and their communities, as we intentionally invest more in technology.

    • Kayli Hillebrand says:

      Mary, given your answer to Eric, is it accurate to say that the forced leaning into some of the benefits of globalization will allow your ministry new opportunities and expansion possibilities that would not have been possible otherwise?

      • mm Mary Kamau says:

        Thank You Kayli; that is true that “forced learning” opened our eyes to see new possibilities. While we had the vision to grow beyond Kenya, we had not anticipated that it would be as soon as it happened in Liberia and also the USA support office but through the “forced learning, we have invested more in technology which has expanded our realm of possibilities.

  3. mm Andy Hale says:


    I enjoyed reading your post. I posed a similar question to Henry and Jonathan, but I would love to hear your perspective.

    What has your experience been like in this global leadership program? Do you feel the various expressions of African leadership have been presented for contemplation and application? If not, what would be some resources you could point me so that I can broaden my perspective?

    • mm Mary Kamau says:

      Thank you Andy, for your comments and questions. This leadership class has been very timely for me at this time that I co-lead our ministry organization with my husband, especially as the organization grows and expands into other countries in Africa and with a support office in the US. The program has been very practical and has added a lot of value to my leadership practice. I have gained a lot of knowledge and have added to my reference library the leadership books that we have read. The doctorate will definitely be a valuable addition to the organization’s standing and it will give me a platform to write as we document our ministry model. We read the book Global Leadership Perspective by Western and Garcia which I consider to be the best representation of African leadership so far in the program. Garcia wrote about the influence of culture, colonization, and other factors on different African countries’ leadership practices, including South Africa, Ethiopia, and DRC. I read about the leadership practices in the three countries and, to a great extent, agree with their representation of African leadership practices. There are many scholarly books on African Leadership, many of which are written by Westerners, but there are also some significant and emerging African writers. Ali Mazurui, Prince ThioBiany, Dambisa Moyo, George Ayittey, and Moky Makura, among others, have looked at African leadership from an African’s eye.

  4. mm Roy Gruber says:

    Mary, this is such a comprehenseive summary of the book and an insightful post. Of the challenges detailed by Sachs, which one presents the greatest challenge to your context? Does that have a direct impact on your ministry?

    • mm Mary Kamau says:

      Thank you, Roy, for your comments and question. I would say poverty is by far the most significant challenge coupled with trade and financial policies by globalization institutions (that have been hijacked and are controlled by big corporations) that are tilted in favor of the dominant political and economic powers but work against the poor countries’ development.

  5. mm Jonathan Lee says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for your excellent post and thoughts. Regarding your ministry work in the remotest villages in Africa and children’s education, what are some of the major changes that you have encountered as a direct result of digital revolution in the 21st century?

    • mm Mary Kamau says:

      Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments and question. My country Kenya is one of the leaders in embracing technology in Africa, and Nairobi city was declared by Fortune magazine in 2016, as “the most intelligent city in Africa” because of internet connection speed and distribution across the country; access to cell phone services across the country; and access to financial services through mobile banking. The Kenyan Government has set digitization as a priority and digitized government services, setting an excellent example for the private sector, thereby fueling technological growth. As a ministry, we have been blessed to have access to reliable internet and cell phone services, which have been very instrumental in communicating with our ministry partners and keeping them informed about the ministry work. Technology has been an excellent opportunity for us as a ministry and has helped engage our target communities. This may sound strange when I write about remote areas in Kenya, but the adoption of technology in Kenya has been one exceptional area that is fueling the country’s growth.

  6. mm Henry Gwani says:

    Outstanding summary, reflections and applications to your ministry context, Mary. Praying that you continue to see God’s grace revealed in your work and that you draw from Sachs and other authors in your vision of developing leaders in Kenya and around Africa.

  7. mm Troy Rappold says:

    Mary: Nice analysis. The criticisms of the book by others that you list are warranted but it is such a thin book that the author had to make decisions on what to include and what to leave out. It’s a great synopsis of 70,000 years of human history. I thought it was worthwhile to read too, if for no other reason to see the big picture in one quick read.

  8. mm Mary Kamau says:

    Thank Troy, for your affirmative comments. I agree with you that Sachs’ is great work and even those that criticize his work acknowledge the great work that he has done in writing the historical perspective of globalization.

  9. Elmarie Parker says:

    Mary thank you so very much for your thoughtful and thought-provoking engagement with Sachs’ work. I appreciated you including critical feedback on his work as well–some of that resonates with where I felt my own resistance to his profound commitment to the idea that nations seeking their own self-interest will cooperate on this critical issues facing the globe. I was also thinking about “Guns, Germs, and Steel” as I read his book. Interesting connections.

    I found especially encouraging this comment from your post: “I believe that the next great phenomenon is the gradual rise of the global south, as African and other global southern countries work hard to claim their rightful and respectable place in global affairs despite trade and other global financial policies pitted against them; my dream is valid, and it keeps my hope alive.” As I work with other colleagues based in the global south I regularly hear their hopes that the UN power dynamics would more and more reflect this shift in global power. Sachs calls for a change in UN membership. I’m curious what your perspective is on this proposal and if you see any relevant role for the UN in being a convener for collaborative work on the challenges facing our globe? I recognize that my own country of citizenship is perhaps the largest barrier to such change at the UN, but nonetheless, I’d value your thoughts on this.

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